Making Myself A Priority Has Made All The Difference To My Mental And Emotional Health

It might sound selfish, but I make myself my number one priority. This isn’t to say I don’t do things for others or show up for them — I certainly do. I just prioritize my well-being, putting myself first so that I’m okay. Frankly, it feels amazing.

  1. I don’t go to parties if I don’t feel like it. I usually reply “maybe” to parties because I’m never sure how I’m going to feel until that day. Even if I do reply “yes,” I still will cancel if it feels appropriate for me. Sometimes I’m just too damn tired to go out and socialize and instead I need to be home. In this case, I back out of going to the party. This is me putting myself first and I don’t care if someone thinks it’s selfish. Of course, there are exceptions where I push myself out of my comfort zone if the commitment is really important.
  2. I cancel plans if I need to. I’m not a chronic canceler or anything. I keep my commitments as much as I can. Still, when I’m feeling out of sorts, I cancel my plans. It’s not worth agonizing over it or feeling bad about. Most people understand and it’s none of my business if they don’t. I really try to take the best care of myself as possible.
  3. I’ve realized boundaries are good. It’s very hard for me to say “no” to other people sometimes. I care about hurting their feelings and of course, I worry about what they’re going to think about me. Will they be mad?! Nonetheless, I walk through these fears and I embrace boundaries. They keep me safe, respected, and relatively happy.
  4. By saying “no” to others I’m saying “yes” to myself. I’m not just saying “no” and then getting nothing. Rather, in this process, I’m saying “yes” to other things in my life. I’m saying yes to more time with my hobbies, with my friends, and with myself. I’m giving myself space to grow and learn without the constraints of other people’s expectations.
  5. I ask for what I need. I tell my friends when I’m feeling down and I ask them to hang out. I tell people when I need space. I regularly practice asking for what I need, no matter how hard it is. I’ve learned that there’s strength in asking for help and telling people I’m in need of something. Of course, I try not to go overboard, but I do put myself out there.
  6. I make myself a priority. All of these things add up to making myself a priority. I’m not doing it in a selfish way, I’m just doing the whole “oxygen mask on yourself first before you put it on others” thing. I’m prioritizing myself so that my energy reserves are in good condition and I’m ready to be a contributing person in the world. Sometimes people don’t like that I make myself a priority, but that’s too bad.
  7. My peace of mind is better. Lately, I’ve been telling myself that just about nothing is more important than my peace of mind. It’s top of my list because when it’s gone, what am I to do? I don’t want to be miserable or drained, so I choose my peace of mind over what other people want a lot of the time. As a result, my peace of mind is much better. In turn, I can show up for others in stronger and more authentic ways.
  8. I’m practicing better self-care. As a result of saying “no” to others and making myself a priority, I’m giving myself space to implement stellar self-care. I’m sleeping enough hours, feeding myself well, moving my body, and most importantly, I’m RESTING. Self-care is the best care.
  9. I have JOMO (the joy of missing out). You’ve definitely heard of FOMO (the fear of missing out), but have you heard of JOMO (the joy of missing out)? I have this in my life. I feel grateful to miss out on things because it means that I get to turn inward and see what I really need. I tend to myself and nurture myself. Missing out allows me to participate in something else, with me at the center.
  10. I’ve dropped the perfectionism. Oh man, I’ve been stuck with perfectionism for as long as I can remember. I’ve tried to keep everything neat and tidy, but that’s just not how life is. Humans are messy and imperfect and the sooner I embraced that, the more content with life I was. I compare myself to others far less than I used to and I try to keep competing with myself to a minimum.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at