5 Reasons To Start Putting Yourself First
Have you heard the saying, “You’ve got to fall in love with yourself first”? Well if you want a truly amazing and abundant life, I’m telling you, you need to make it your mantra!
Now, I’m sure those voices in your head might be thinking this sounds mighty selfish, but I’m here to tell you it’s the exact opposite. When you're loving yourself and putting yourself first, EVERYTHING in your life benefits. Loving yourself means caring for yourself deeply, making your sleep, nutrition and well-being a priority. It can be anything from making your gym time nonnegotiable or canceling late night plans so you can get enough sleep, to just shutting the computer off or not checking your cellphone after a certain hour. It’s about listening to your body and giving it what it needs to feel its best.
I certainly slip up from time to time, but when I hit a certain state of overwhelm and anxiety, I take a breather, a long hot shower, a good meditation timeout and I remind myself of these five things. So I hope you bookmark this, print this out or take a screen shot on your cellphone and keep it close for those times when you slip up and fall off track and it feels like your head is about to explode. Take a deep breath with me and read the following out loud (or in your head if you’re at work and don’t want your office mate to hear!).
1. Your job can wait (and it needs to).
You're a much better worker, creative thinker and faster executor when you take care of yourself, which means the project that will take your frazzled, overwhelmed mind four hours will take your well-rested, clear head two. It's always worth it to get adequate sleep, make your "me" time a priority and show up to whatever task you have at hand that day as your best self. Your boss will thank you and your career will blossom much faster if you don’t burn yourself out.
2. Your health depends on it.
Seriously! This is a pretty obvious one. Have you ever noticed that after a crazy, stressful week of pulling long hours at work and feeling overwhelmed, you finally get to the weekend and you wake up sick and don’t leave the bed? Oh darling, if you don’t put yourself first, your body will certainly kick in and force you to! Stress and lack of sleep weaken your body’s immune system and leave you more vulnerable for all sorts of nasty illnesses. Don’t even risk it!
3. Your romantic relationships will flourish.
Whether you’re in a relationship or looking for one, I guarantee your partner will feel more enamored with you and more fulfilled in the relationship when you're not afraid to make yourself a priority. First, by taking the necessary time for yourself, you give your partner the freedom to take that time for him or herself. Everybody wins, everybody’s happy! Second, when you're well rested, relaxed and centered, you're much more fun to be around. It’s OK if your partner misses you for a night because you need a yoga session and a bubble bath; the version of you she gets afterward is 10 times the partner your stressed-out self would be. Trust this.
4. Your friends and family will benefit.
You think your friends and family don’t realize when they're talking to you and you’re half asleep or mentally distracted? Think again. These people know you best and love you most' they would much rather have you happy, healthy and clearheaded when they see you. Yes, even if that’s a little less often because you needed to take some time for yourself! You’ll be a better listener and more enjoyable to be around because you will be able to be truly present with them.
5. Most importantly, you'll start smiling more.
When you are at your happiest, you are at your most helpful to the world. We should all strive to be our happiest and do those things that make us happy, every day. Don’t feel guilty about it, you are able to show up more for others when you start showing up for yourself first. So don’t be afraid to clear your schedule for a restorative yoga class, take a walk in the park on your lunch break or get yourself a massage, don’t be afraid to love you! After all, you are pretty fabulous.
Cassandra Bodzak is a holistic lifestyle expert who helps people all over the world design a healthy life from the inside out through food, meditation, and self-care. She's the author of Eat With Intention: Recipes and Meditations for a Life that Lights You Up, an inspirational speaker and mentor. Her upcoming cooking show, "Eat with Intention," teaches people how to eat from a place of self-love, fuel their bodies, and nourish their souls. You may know her from from ABC's "The Taste" or her healthy, plant based cooking videos on SHAPE.com.