When I say that you should put yourself first in life, it does sound a bit off – especially if you are a parent, loving spouse, caring friend, or any other amazing role.
We naturally want to care for others, be there for them, and do our best to serve the people we love.
So, why am I advocating spending our energy on ourselves first?
Well, here are some reasons that I think it can not only help you in life but actually if you want to help others, it is going to be essential.
Your energy level
You have probably heard the phrase “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” right? It has merit.
If your cup is empty, then you can’t give any energy to another person.
So, take time to check your cup level. This way, you can be there for another person in your best form and in your most giving manner.
On airplanes, they always remind us to “put your own oxygen mask on first” and then help someone else. Put yourself first!
Again, same philosophy here. You can’t save anyone if you are not breathing yourself. So, this is reiterating the need to take care of yourself first.
Honestly, as a busy mom, teacher, and wife, I find myself always taking care of myself last.
I make the meals, feed the family, and often find myself just having the leftovers.
But, am I doing myself justice by taking a back seat in life and showing my kids that I don’t put myself first? I don’t mean being selfish by not giving my time and attention, nor do I mean ignoring their needs.
Yet, I do want to be a role model and demonstrate positive self-care by taking care of myself. I can do this by my own actions, self-talk, and models of behavior.
What’s your physical condition?
When it comes to our health, it is always essential to put yourself first. That way we can be in our best physical condition to do the things in life that we choose to do.
So, this example of putting yourself first in the area of nutrition, exercise, and sleep is a no-brainer, right? We all do these things naturally every day, don’t we? Not really.
Ask yourself this question:
Do you sometimes overlook your own needs to take care of other things and other people?
What we do every day makes an impact in our lives now and in the future.
So, making those mindful, conscious, healthy choices is the key to a better life! Not to mention, we inspire others by our living example of how we take care of ourselves.
Your “mental defense”
What about our mental state? This is essential because we all strive to create a living environment that nurtures a peaceful existence.
We live busy lives. We wear many different hats as roles in our daily routine.
And we allow the external factors of the life around us to intrude upon our mental consciousness.
If we take some time to practice our inner connection with our source of life, then we are refreshed, inspired, and ready to spread our joy to others. Another reminder why you should put yourself first.
No one wants to be around a person who drains them, complains, and sets negativity as the center topic of discussion.
I think the best “mental defense” is to commit to being inspired, empowered, and passionately driven to do our life task.
We can achieve great things when we are mentally clear on our inner purpose and our inner spiritual connection.
How do you feel when you don’t put yourself first?
Emotionally we sometimes forget ourselves as well. We tend to judge ourselves on the reactions of others, comparing ourselves, and leaving us disappointed in our personal efforts.
One remedy for that is stop comparing. Develop your own internal self-assessment of how you feel.
And when you need a boost, have a set of “metal tools” ready, like a box of treasures that you can reach for when you desire inspiration, love, and hope.
I’m convinced that when we take care of our emotional state of being, then we are better able to help others when they go through the roller-coaster journey of ups and downs in life.
These steps will let you help others – and yourself!
In the end, we all benefit from companionship, compassion, and commitment to making positive impacts on the lives we touch and the people we love.
So, make a decision to start right now.
Keep doing it until it becomes a habit.
Put yourself first. And you’ll discover it’s in everyone’s best interests that you do.