Treat Yourself: The Importance of Putting Yourself First & Self Care
It is not unusual to have been brought up to be kind and respectful of other people. Most children were taught at an early age to consider others’ feelings and help those in need. However, as adults, many people have difficulty putting themselves first.
To many, the idea of considering their own needs first feels somehow wrong, or even selfish. The good news is that it’s never too late to learn to treat yourself as well as you do others; to prioritize yourself in a healthy, energizing way. Here are some suggestions to help you move towards putting yourself first, thereby recharging your life.
Learn to Say No
Being a caring and compassionate person is wonderful, but sacrificing yourself by saying “yes” all the time to other people’s requests will deplete your energy. Free up some time and open up some space for you. Practice saying “no” more often, free of guilt.
Ask for Help
When you’ve taken on the role of helping others, it can feel uncomfortable to ask others for help when you need it. After all, you’re the one people go to when they are in need. The thing to remember is, all of these people who come to you for help feel no discomfort in asking for it. They need help, they ask for it, they get it. Try to do the same. As soon as you release the pressure you’ve put on yourself to handle so much on your own, you will feel a tremendous weight lifted. Remember, life needs to be balanced, work on increasing your awareness of when you are taking on too much.
Get to Know Yourself!
People who have learned to neglect their own needs typically don’t know themselves very well. It is hard to get to know and acknowledge your preferences, and the way you would like to spend your time, when your tendency is to be “other” focused. Knowing oneself is not luxury, it is essential in living a fulfilling life. Take some time to discover what you enjoy. Once you find what it is that makes you feel good, commit to doing it more often. As you get better at putting your needs first, you will feel happier and more empowered. You will know that your own needs matter and that you are worth the effort. You will appreciate yourself in a very different way.
People have a hard time with these exercises often due to low self-esteem, and the messages they received as they were growing up. Therapy can be beneficial for people who want to change and better understand their patterns of behavior, as well as increase their self esteem. If you are interested in starting treatment, please contact me so we can discuss how I may be able to help. I look forward to hearing from you.