5 Ways to Make Yourself Your Number One Priority
By Amy Kelly, LCSW
The other day was “family laundry day.” I spent it collecting, separating, washing, drying and folding laundry. I not only did this for myself but for everyone else in the house too. While technically, I don’t have to do this (there are other adults in the house), I still always feel like I SHOULD do it.
Sometimes I feel guilty for wanting to only do my own laundry and let everyone else do their own. Somewhere along the line, like so many other women, I feel that I’m responsible for everyone.
So as tired as I was, after a week of answering emails, meeting clients, cleaning the house and more, I bit the bullet and did the laundry one more time.
How many times have you said these things to yourself: “I don’t have time to relax!” “I wish I had more time for me.” “I’m too busy to exercise and eat right.” Sound familiar?
Put yourself first? Sounds a bit selfish doesn’t it? Society has placed an emphasis on the importance of caring for others. But that does not mean that it has to be at the sacrifice of yourself. Many of us focus too much on others’ needs and neglect our own needs.
It’s time to make time and put yourself on the priority list! When you don’t make your wellbeing a priority, just about everything else goes downhill. In order to have long term success with weight loss and fitness you must prioritize yourself and make time to reach your goals. It is easier than you think… here are five ways:
1. Make time in your day for regular exercise.
How much time are you wasting doing things like surfing the internet, checking your email or Facebook page? These things are only distractions that suck up valuable time you could be spending taking care of yourself. Time to dump those “busy behaviors” and get moving! Schedule in times to exercise and hold yourself accountable for making it happen.
2. Make sure you get an adequate amount of sleep.
Getting sufficient shut eye plays a crucial role in weight loss. How many hours are you getting of sleep a night? If you are getting less than seven hours per night it may be contributing to your difficulty losing weight and keeping weight off! Create a relaxing bed time routine and make getting enough sleep a habit.
3. Make time in your day to eat healthy meals.
The key to healthy eating is planning ahead. Taking time to plan healthy meals for yourself will decrease your chances of grabbing something unhealthy to eat and snacking on junk food. Don’t skip meals… it will only make you famished which will lead to impulsive and usually unhealthy food choices. Schedule your meal times and eat slowly!
4. Learn to say “No.”
Get it in your mind that you do not need to do everything for everybody! Putting this expectation on yourself will only make you more stressed and take up valuable time you could be spending on yourself. It’s alright to say “No” to people. Don’t feel guilty about it. Your time is valuable; reserve it for doing something to care for yourself.
5. Make time for relaxation and doing things you enjoy.
Use any free time you have doing something that makes you feel good. For some people that may mean doing yoga or meditating, for others it may be spending time with friends laughing. If you love doing an arts & crafts project, when was the last time you did something. Doing something as simple as taking some deep breaths can be rejuvenating. Make a list of things that you enjoy doing and fit these things into your daily routine.