There will probably always be things that you meant to get to but never did. That is inevitable no matter how hard you work to cover all your bases—there simply just aren’t enough hours in the day. However, there are certain things in life that you should prioritize and focus on above all else, and here are some of them.
- Self-care One thing that people often forget to put at the top of their to-do lists is taking care of themselves. Not prioritizing self-care is extremely detrimental to your overall well-being. One reason people let this slide is because they feel selfish or like they have so many other things to get done. Maybe it even feels like self-care is a waste of time. However, taking care of yourself is not only not selfish, but it’s also necessary and vital to your own health and energy. If you neglect self-care, every other area of your life will suffer because you will have much less energy to put into it. You truly cannot pour from an empty cup, so make sure you’re making time and space for self-care.
- Sleep Most of us don’t get nearly enough rest and it’s a serious problem. A lack of sleep can cause your mental and physical health to decline. It can also cause concentration problems and make you feel foggy, lazy, and less motivated. Everyone functions best with different amounts of sleep, so try to figure out how many hours is best for you and make it a priority to close your eyes for that length of time each night.
- Your family This should be an obvious one, but your family should be a huge priority in life. By family, I mean blood relatives that you love and also the family you build throughout your life. Our loved ones are what we’re going to remember and cherish most when we look back at our lives at the end, and spending time with them and building memories should definitely be one of your priorities now.
- Your pets If you have any pets, then you most likely know how much they love you and how excited they get to spend time with you. It can be hard to carve out time in our busy days to spend genuine quality time with our animals, but it’s so important. Not only is spending time with animals good for our own mental health, it’s good for them too.
- Your mental health Thankfully a lot of the stigma around mental health has been removed and people do feel more comfortable to talk about their feelings and emotions. However, I still think that people don’t take their own mental illnesses or any mental health issues as seriously as they do physical ones even though they’re just as serious and important to treat. Your mental health definitely affects your physical health. In fact, it will negatively impact every other aspect of your life, so make sure it’s a priority.
- Unplugging and being present We live in a technology-driven world and it has become next to impossible to unplug from our phones and computers without making a conscious effort to do so. However, not taking time to unplug can lead to anxiety and mental exhaustion. Give yourself a break and focus on your life in real time, not online.
- Spending money on experiences rather than things How many times have you bought something you swore you wanted only to barely use it? How many outfits do you have that you’ve only worn once (or not at all)? Spending money on traveling and experiences is much more rewarding and you’ll likely remember the positive memories of a trip you took rather than what you wore while you were on it.
- Setting goals and making progress towards achieving them If you don’t set goals and make a realistic timeline with ways you’re going to actively work to get them accomplished, you might find yourself becoming stagnant. It’s important to make both short- and long-term goals for your life so that you know what you want and you know how you’re going to get it.
- Your ability to be spontaneous As important as it is to make plans, life will sometimes show you that no matter how prepared you are for something or how well you thought it out, things don’t always go according to plan. Sometimes the best adventures and relationships and lessons come from your ability to be flexible and to go with the flow. Being too strict with your schedule can make you feel drained and sometimes the best memories are the ones you never saw coming.