3 Ways I’m Putting Myself First — And Feeling Better as a Result

We’re often told that we should put others first, and be less selfish. While I believe that we should help others when we can, I have learned that sometimes it’s important to put yourself first. You can’t truly care for others if you run yourself ragged.

This year, I’ve been putting myself first in 3 main ways. And I feel better about my life and my situation as a result.

1. Exercise Each Day

I’ve started making exercise a priority. This not only helps me care for myself physically, but I feel better and am more productive as well. Daily exercise means that I have more energy, and that my mind is more focused. I even head to the gym a couple times a week to engage in my favorite form of exercise, swimming.

Making time for exercise, and making it a priority to engage in exercise that I enjoy, has helped me a great deal so far. So, even if I have to put off work, or re-arrange my schedule in some way, I get in that exercise. My mood has improved, my health has improved, and everything is better overall.

Putting myself first and making sure I get in the exercise has been one of the best things I’ve done for myself so far this year.

2. Saying No

It can be hard to say no. You don’t want to say no to friends and family. As a freelancer, I sometimes have a hard time saying no to work. When you don’t say no, it’s easy for the obligations to pile up. You start to feel as though everyone owns you, and that you don’t have time for yourself.

Plus, it can be depressing when you realize that you can’t do everything, and something slides or doesn’t get done. Not only are you overwrought and frazzled, but now you feel bad that you’ve disappointed someone. Be realistic about your situation, and be realistic about your priorities. Sometimes, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to say no sometimes.

Later, when you’re in a better place, or when you have the capability, you can say yes. Saying no has taken a lot of the burden off me, and I’ve de-cluttered my life as a result.

3. Insisting on Time to Relax

There used to be a time that I felt I had to be productive every waking moment. Client work. House work. Whatever. However, I’m putting myself first now by making sure there is time to relax each day. I make it a point to read something I enjoy, or watch a TV show without the laptop with me.

I also make sure I spend quality time with my husband and son. It’s not exactly the same as relaxing, but it is a good way to put my family’s needs ahead of my work schedule.

Sometimes, putting myself first means that I put off work until another day so that I can get on with the business of living, rather than working all the time. And sometimes it means that I tell my son that we’ll play that board game after I’ve had half an hour to read and compose myself after a busy day. I’ve found that this actually makes the situation more pleasant, since I’m in a better mood, and ready to focus on him, rather than being cranky and irritated.

Putting myself first in some things has made me a better mother and wife, and I’m happier with my life.

About the Author

Miranda writes about financial topics for several web sites. Her blog is Planting Money Seeds, and her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger, is available on Amazon.