Putting You First
The hardest thing about putting you first is feeling guilty. Mom guilt is real and very common although definitely not normal. We, as moms, are programmed to put everyone else in our lives first. Hell, the programming for most of us most likely started when we were little girls. We watched our moms clean the house, take care of the kids, cook the meals and have dinner ready when dad got home. Growing up we watched what our moms did and learned, being programmed, that that was the way we were also supposed to do things. We were supposed to meet everyone else’s needs before we met our own, if we even met our own needs at all.
As women we are also nurturing which again leads us to take care of others and, more often than not, that means we are putting others first. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that we can care for others, love others and prioritize others. However, the problem lies when we are doing this and sacrificing ourselves, our own joy & happiness and our own wellbeing in the process. The one thing that I want you to walk away with is that when you show up for you and prioritize you, you will have 1000% more to give to others in your life. Oh and…to truly understand that self care ISN’T selfish! Okay, that’s two things and two very important things to remember.
What does it take to put YOU first?
In order to truly prioritize you and put yourself first, you must believe you are worth it. You must see the value in who you are and continue to strengthen that value through personal growth. Let’s just say that is much easier said than done.
So where in the world do you start?!
Let’s touch on 3 main areas that are imperative to personal growth which strengthens your belief in yourself and ultimately your ability to prioritize yourself.
1. Take (at least) 10 min each morning just for you.
How often do you jump out of bed rushing to get the kids ready for school? Does your day start with craziness, chaos & you taking care of everyone before you even have time to think? Does your day start with you scrolling on your phone looking through FaceBook, Instagram, your emails, etc? All of these things are examples of you being last on your list of importance for the day.
One of the simplest things to do it to start your day FOR YOU. It will not be easy at first. It will get easier and will become non-negotiable once you create the routine in your day. When deciding what to do for you each morning, it must not include anyone else’s energy. So jumping on your phone first thing is not something FOR YOU.
Some examples could be ~
- Grabbing your favorite book
- Going for a walk
- Sitting quietly letting your mind wander
Whatever you choose to do first thing when you wake up, it should make you feel good, start your day off with positive energy & create hope and excitement for the day ahead.
2. Start saying ‘no’ more often.
Okay before you stop reading, hear me out. This tip is super important to shifting your mindset into putting you first. When ‘yes’ is the first word out of your mouth when anything is asked of you, you are putting others before yourself. Do you find yourself agreeing to do things or help out because you don’t like to say no or you don’t like to upset others? This is people pleasing and it is one of the most common ways to put others before YOU.
Before you automatically jump to the ‘yes, of course! how can I help?’ response be sure to pause and think about you first and ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want to?
- Do I want to spend my time on this?
- Do I have the capacity for this?
- Can I give 100%?
- Will it bring me joy?
And you don’t have to give an answer right away. If you aren’t sure, let them know you’ll get back to them. Sit on it. Think about it. And decide in your most honest moment if it is something to which you want to give your energy.
You can still say ‘yes’ and help others as long as it is something you want to do, something that makes you feel good and something that doesn’t drain your energy. And only say ‘yes’ after you have prioritized YOU.
3. Do one thing every single day that brings you joy.
The whole purpose of life is to feel joy. Think about it. Everything we do is because we think we will feel better by having it. The clothes we buy, the trips we take, the food we eat, the people we surround ourselves with. We are looking for joy in each of those moments. And…do you need the clothes, the food, the vacations to truly feel joyful?!
Joy, not to be confused with happiness, is a feeling that we get to define for ourselves. Joy and happiness are not synonymous. Happiness is something we get from external factors. Joy is found within us. Everyone experiences joy differently. So what is it that brings you joy? Make a list of what it is that lights you up. What makes you smile? Who are the people & places that warm your heart? I’ll give you a hint – this isn’t something huge and expensive. These are the little things in life. Such as…
- sunshine on your face
- sand beneath your feet
- a hug from your child
- being in the woods
- being around water
- laughing until you almost pee your pants (this is my favorite one!)
Save your list on your phone. Make sure you experience one or more of those things each day so that you are experiencing joy each and every day of your life. Life is all about the feelings we have. What are the feelings you have most often in your days? If they aren’t focused on joy – it’s time to reevaulate how you are spending your days.