You’re wildly accustomed to putting everyone else’s needs before your own. You’ve done it for so long now that you can’t even imagine what it’d be like to put yourself first. Well, you need to start doing so or there’s going to be nothing left of you to give. Here are 10 reasons you should stop worrying about everyone else and instead start putting yourself first.
You’re an important person too–the most important.
Putting others first in your life from a place of love, but you deserve to feel that love yourself. After all, you’re the most important person in your life. It’s time to start treating yourself that way by making your own needs and wants a priority. You know how you treat some of your favorite people in your life? Start treating yourself the same way.
There’s a difference between kindness and codependency.
You may think that what you’re doing is being kind to others, but it’s really codependent. If you’re constantly taking care of others while neglecting yourself, this is a level of unhealthy codependency. It’s okay to be kind to others, but the way of doing that isn’t to always put them first while leaving yourself last. People can take care of their own problems and you can take care of yours.
Chances are that you’re a caretaker if you’re a woman.
Women are socialized to be caretakers and nurturers. This means that all of the care if left to us. Reese Witherspoon seconds this idea when she says, “I think women are natural caretakers. They take care of everybody. They take care of their husbands and their kids and their dogs, and don’t spend a lot of time just getting back and taking time out.” Share the burden with others (especially men). You don’t have to bear the weight of the world.
Putting others first is a habit that can be broken.
The good news is that the habit you’re stuck in can be broken. Over time, you can learn to stop putting others first and start putting yourself first. It just takes practice and lots of “faking it until you make it.” Don’t give up on breaking this habit. Getting to a point where you’re first in your own life is one of the most wildly freeing things you can do.
You know the oxygen masks on the airplane metaphor?
There’s a reason they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on before helping another person with theirs while you’re on an airplane. The metaphor is completely relevant to this issue—you need to help yourself before helping someone else. If you help someone else before you help yourself, you may actually die in the process–physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
You’ll actually be a better partner, employee, friend, etc.
If you’ve been putting yourself last for as long as you can remember, it may seem terrifying to attempt to change this pattern. The good news is, though, that you’ll actually be of more use to people when you’re taken care of before all else. There’s a saying that you can’t pour from an empty cup, so make sure your cup is full, then you’ll be able to truly help people.
Burnout is very real and you don’t want it to happen to you.
When you’re expending tons of energy taking care of everyone but yourself, you can experience burnout. This is when you become totally wiped out. It can sometimes mean hospitalization for mental collapse. You don’t want this to happen to you, so be sure to make time for taking care of yourself along the way.
Life is all about balance.
Putting yourself first isn’t about becoming totally selfish. Helping others can still be an important part of your life. It’s just necessary to make sure you’re balancing helping yourself and helping others. Having the scale tip too far in either direction can be really harmful. Though at first, after putting others before yourself for way too long, you may need some extra you time.
Ever heard of self-care? You deserve it!
Self-care is a glorious and beautiful practice. It may seem selfish when you’re used to putting others first, but it’s really a complete necessity in order to be a whole person. You deserve tons of self-care—you even have some lost time to make up for. Run yourself a bubble bath, eat something decadent, buy something lovely, and don’t feel guilty about any of it.
You don’t want to get to the end of life and realize you missed it.
If you spend all of your life taking care of other people, it’s going to pass right by you. You’re going to want to be present for all of the beautiful things that are happening in your life, so leave some serious room for yourself and relish every minute of it.
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