Here's how to flip the script and start putting yourself first

What is self-care exactly?

The idea of self-care has been all the rage as of recent, but what does it really mean for us? At a high level, it means honoring your mind, body, and spirit. However, this looks different for everyone depending on their individual needs. It’s about finding what brings you peace in each of those areas and prioritizing yourself to make it possible. 

If you’re someone who’s always giving your all to make sure others are happy and healthy, it’s time to flip the script and give some of that same love and attention to yourself. Some of the main benefits of proper self-care include increased productivity, enhanced self-esteem, and improved physical health.

Here’s how to achieve it:

1. Assess what’s been getting in the way

There may be a hundred reasons why you haven’t been putting yourself first, however, it’s important to assess what specifically is getting in the way. Common life priorities include family, health, work, and relationships. Two of these (family and relationships) are outer priorities, while the other two (health and your work) are internal priorities. Both sectors are important, but the only way to succeed is by striking a balance.

It’s also important to note that putting yourself first doesn’t mean you’re focusing solely on yourself 24/7. Taking care of yourself should be just as important as taking care of others. Sometimes, to maintain the balance, it will require you to take a step back and say, “no.” Other times, it will require you to be assertive about what you need from those around you. Once you assess what’s been holding you back, you’ll be better equipped to achieve inner happiness.

2. Prioritize your health

Setting up doctor’s appointments for your children is a no-brainer. However, always prioritizing others’ needs may lead you to push your own health to the backburner. In order to be the best person you can be, both toward others and to yourself, tending to your needs is essential. Doing so may be a bit of an adjustment to start, but over time, it will get easier to focus on your own health. Start by adding in weekly exercises and nutritious foods to keep you feeling your best from the inside-out. From there, schedule up-to-date doctor’s appointments to stay consistent throughout the year.

For the busiest of people, you can still prioritize your health by utilizing online health services. These commonly come in the forms of online subscriptions, such as for monthly feminine hygiene products. Or they can come in the form of telemedicine, which allows you to connect with doctors from the comfort of your home and even get sent prescriptions. Need a specific skin-care treatment from a dermatologist? Take an online assessment, and order it right to your door. With these services, prioritizing your health has never been easier.

3. Loosen your expectations

Many of us have high expectations for ourselves, whether it be from pressure at our jobs or the way in which we parent. In most cases, it’s healthy to set standards for ourselves to stay motivated to accomplish our goals. In other cases, we may set unrealistic expectations and beat ourselves up when we inevitably fall short. Although it may be difficult, it’s important to forgive yourself for not always meeting your expectations and to dissolve any guilt you may feel.

Guilt can eat you up alive. Fixating on where you may have lacked will only make it harder on yourself and diminish your self-esteem. It’s more important, moving forward, to loosen your expectations and build realistic ones instead. You can’t be everywhere at once or succeed in all realms of your life each and every day; that’s a fact. All you can do is try, forgive yourself when things don’t work out, and try again.

4. Find what fuels your soul

It’s easy to get into a daily routine and let your passions fall by the wayside. However, having passions that make you happy and feel alive are important. Find the time to get back into the hobbies that used to fuel your soul. Designate time throughout each week to tend to these passions.

If you no longer feel passionate about those things or have never had a specific passion, it’s a perfect time to do some soul-searching to find one that fits you now. Discover what ignites your interests and serves as an outlet for your creativity and thoughts. If you’re unsure where to start to find a hobby you love, look here.

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