Take care of YOU first

Let’s talk self-care. This is something many of us struggle to prioritize, especially people pleasers and natural-born caregivers. We want to help others succeed. We even go so far as to put our own needs aside to help out our loved ones. While this is all very noble, and we should do good for others, we need to remember ourselves in the process. That’s why I titled this blog post, “Take care of YOU first.”

The thing is, when we’re not taking care of ourselves, we actually have less to give others. We run out of steam. It’s like the quote “If you don’t make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.” When we don’t take the time for self-care we can become miserable, exhausted, or burnt out. It hurts us and those we love. We don’t feel our best and our loved ones don’t get the best of us. So, in this sense, taking care of ourselves also helps others we’re around. At home and at work, when we prioritize self-care, we’re able to get more done and we’re more pleasant to be around.

If you haven’t been doing this, it can be a little difficult to get into the swing of things. Start by looking over your schedule. Figure out how much time in a day you use for various tasks. Allot time for each item on your agenda. Consider how much time you need to take care of yourself properly (consider factors like sleep, hobbies, personal care appointments, meals, exercise, etc.). Write down a number for how much time you require daily for these self-care items (the time may vary depending on the day. For example, if you have a hair appointment one day, you’ll need more self-care hours). Once you have a good idea of the time you require each day for self-care and what needs to be done, you may feel overwhelmed. You may even wonder how this is going to be possible.

This is when you look back over everything and determine what isn’t a necessity. That doesn’t mean putting yourself on the back burner, things like exercise, getting adequate sleep and good nutrition should be priorities. But maybe there are certain chores that can be put off or other agenda items that don’t have to be handled by you. This is the time to start delegating. Look over any items and consider who could potentially take some things off of your to-do list. Even if the other person won’t do it as well as you, it’s okay to hand it over in order to prioritize self-care.

Also, learn the word ‘no.’ This is something you need to be able to say in order to protect yourself from being overwhelmed by projects. Sometimes, you just have to say ‘no’ to requests and invites in order to give yourself the time you need.

Remember, you can’t be your best self, unless you make time for ‘you.’ So, start prioritizing self-care today!

[Monalisa Johnson is a licensed and ordained minister of the gospel and a certified life coach as well as a mother and entrepreneur. In no way is anything that she writes, speaks or shares considered medical advice or clinical therapy. Consider all that you receive to be life coaching and guidance.]

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