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In this article, discover the top 10 reasons why focusing on YOU is a game-changer. Dive deeper into the mindset shift from “self-care is selfish” to “self-care is selfless” with a mantra that I created for myself. AND that’s not all! We’ve got 30 actionable ways for you to prioritize yourself—choose one that speaks to you and start your self-care journey today.

Top 10 Reasons Why Focusing on YOU is a Game-Changer

Today, my theme is “Me, Myself, and I”. I chose this theme because I want to share with all of you how important it is to be looking after yourself and looking after yourself first. Often, we don’t do that, especially busy moms. I know for myself that it wasn’t until I got into health and wellness, that I discovered how important it was to look after myself first. Until that time, I had literally thought I needed to look after everyone else first, and then and only then could I look after me. Of course, you know, that didn’t happen very often! 

So,  I want to share with you 10 reasons why looking after yourself is so important. I’m a big believer in understanding the why, because when I know why I’m being asked to do something or why something is being recommended to me, I am so much more likely to follow through on taking action than if somebody just tells me to do something.

These are in no particular order; however, self care is a foundation for your life.

1. Self-Care as a Foundation:

Focusing on yourself is like building a strong foundation for a house. When you take care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being, you establish a solid base upon which you can build a fulfilling and successful life.

It is important to look at the physical, the mental and the emotional, and even the spiritual well being. This is what I do when working with my clients, we look at all four of those bodies, because all four of them are important. When you focus on yourself, you get enhanced wellbeing.

2. Enhanced Well-Being:

Prioritizing self-care leads to improved overall well-being. It positively impacts your health, energy levels, and resilience, allowing you to navigate life’s challenges with greater ease.

We all have stressful events thrown at us every single day. When you’re in a place of enhanced well being you are much better able to cope with that.

3. Increased Productivity:

Taking time for yourself doesn’t detract from productivity; in fact, it enhances it. When you are well-rested, mentally sharp, and emotionally balanced, you can accomplish tasks more efficiently and make better decisions.

I love this one because a lot of people feel like they don’t have time to look after themselves. That it is  just one more thing to add to their long to-do list. Taking time for yourself doesn’t detract from your productivity, it enhances it! When you are well rested mentally sharp and emotionally balanced, you can accomplish tasks more efficiently and make better decisions.

All you have to do is get started in little five-minute increments. Then you will start to notice the improved productivity and then you’ve got 15 minutes that you can play with, as your productivity improves. You can continue to build on that until you might be able to have two half hour blocks of time where you can do something for you during your day and continue to enjoy heightened productivity.

4. Emotional Resilience:

Focusing on self-care helps build emotional resilience. It equips you to handle stress, setbacks, and uncertainties more effectively, enabling you to bounce back from difficulties with strength and grace.

When we are operating from a full cup with good rest, good energy, we are much better able to cope with all of those stresses’ life throws at us in a much calmer way.

5. Balanced Relationships:

Taking care of yourself is essential for maintaining healthy relationships. When you are in a good place mentally and emotionally, you can contribute positively to your relationships, fostering understanding, empathy, and support.

When we’re stressed out, it is much more likely that we snap and an argument starts to happen, and that can make it feel like the relationship is struggling. When we have the space to care for ourselves first, it can result in very different outcomes in a much more positive relationship.

6. Personal Growth:

Prioritizing “Me, Myself, and I” is a key component of personal growth. It allows you the space and time to reflect, learn, and evolve, fostering continuous improvement in various aspects of your life.

This was certainly true of me. After being let go from my corporate job, I attended health coaching school, and I started learning about the importance of self care. That really was an opportunity for me to start growing as a person in a way that I had never realized was even possible before. It literally single handedly changed my life, how I interacted with my husband, with my daughters how I felt in my own physical body, because I started prioritizing myself. I discovered it wasn’t selfish. All my family members were benefiting from me doing this.

7. Setting Boundaries:

Focusing on yourself involves setting and respecting boundaries. This helps prevent burnout and ensures that you have the energy and resources to dedicate to your priorities without spreading yourself too thin.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of burnout in the world today, and one of the solutions is to set boundaries. The problem is not enough of us do it, or we set the boundary and then we waver and then we don’t uphold it.  I teach courses on how to set boundaries in a positive way so that there isn’t any conflict in that process. When we set clear boundaries, everybody knows where they stand, and again, it just allows for much easier communication, and gives you the space to be able to look after yourself.

8. Increased Happiness and Fulfillment:

When you prioritize your well-being, you are more likely to experience happiness and fulfillment. This, in turn, positively influences your outlook on life, your relationships, and your overall satisfaction and boosts your health, as your immune system is stronger when you are in a happy state vs a stressed or fearful state.  If you’re living in a stressed-out state or a fearful state and you’re in your fight or flight, your immune system is actually shut down.

9. Modeling Healthy Behavior:

By making self-care a priority, you become a role model for others, demonstrating the importance of taking care of oneself. This can positively influence your family, friends, and colleagues to adopt healthier habits.

10. Authenticity and Self-Discovery:

Focusing on “Me, Myself, and I” allows for self-discovery and authenticity. It gives you the opportunity to understand your needs, desires, and values, leading to a more genuine and purposeful life.

Remember, putting yourself first is not selfish; it’s a fundamental aspect of self-preservation and personal growth. It positions you to contribute more meaningfully to the world around you.

When I learned this almost 10 years ago, it changed my world!  First off, I had totally thought it was selfish to put myself first, until I was in a course where a whole new way of thinking was pointed out to me! I was told that we can’t serve from an empty cup, which made complete sense and hit home. As a result, I created my own mantra and started reciting it everyday to shift my thoughts about this – that mantra is:

“Self-care is the most selfless act, because it allows you to show up and give the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.”

From there I started to plan time in my calendar, that was for me alone, not my husband or my kids or my work, something that brought me joy.  I took up yoga, I planned the time in my calendar, and I asked my husband for support, so that I could do this and before long I did start feeling better. I loved that time at yoga and I remember noticing that summer, that while my teenage girls still pushed my buttons, I didn’t react, instead because I was looking after me, I could respond in a different way to them – asking them why they had done what they had done or said what they had said vs just yelling at them.  Stress creates overwhelm and we get stuck in a vicious cycle, when we can get out of overwhelm, and improve our sleep, we are more resilient to the stress that life does throw our way.

I know sometimes it can feel like there is already no time in your calendar so how are you supposed to find time to look after yourself – that is where you need to ask for help, great creative, partner up with other parents and do play dates, so while your kids are at their house you can go and look after you and then you have their kids so they can get some time for themselves too.  Think about how else you might be “wasting” time in your day – are you scrolling social media and suddenly 45 minutes has passed, or are you watching 2 or more hours of television every night, what if you used that time instead to do something for you – and maybe sometimes ‘zoning out’ in front of the tv is just what you need, however perhaps not every night.  Another night you might go for a walk, take a bath, visit a friend, go to yoga – it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it brings you joy.

I do also find that  my clients often have a hard time thinking of what they might do to look after themselves – sometimes it’s equated with something that costs money, such as a massage or spa treatment and it doesn’t have to be.  I ask them to write a “nourishment list” – how would they like to nourish themselves – nourishment isn’t just about food, it’s about so much more, that has us feeling happy, joyful and whole as human beings and loving our life, loving ourselves.

Here is a list in no particular order to give you ideas on how you can start looking after and prioritizing yourself!

Examples of Prioritizing Self:

  • Carving out “me time” in your daily schedule and actually blocking that in your calendar with the activity listed so you don’t end up wasting the time scrolling social media, “thinking about what you might do”.
  • Setting and maintaining personal boundaries by letting others know you’ll be using that time for yourself.
  • Prioritizing regular exercise for physical well-being – whatever kind of exercise works for you – if you need ideas, go back to episode #66 when Janet Omstead talking about her PLAY book, within which she lists 100 ways to move your body and play.
  • Allocating time for hobbies and passions that make your heart sing!
  • Nourishing your body with healthy and enjoyable meals
  • Getting adequate sleep to support overall health – this is often overlooked and please go back to episode #154 and episode #157 where I outlined why it is so important to get adequate sleep, aside from just helping you be more stress resilient and give you tips on improving your sleep. 
  • Engaging in mindfulness or meditation practices
  • Saying no to commitments that don’t align with your priorities.
  • Engage in personal growth through reading or classes, or both.
  • Taking breaks to prevent burnout – I just saw a stat from 2023, that 62% of employees reported feeling burned out, part of this is because they feel they never get any downtime, with all our devices they feel they have to constantly be answering emails and texts etc.  Set boundaries with your phone and turn on “do not disturb” outside of work hours.
  • Investing in self-care activities, such as spa days or enjoy nature walks which are generally free!
  • Setting realistic and achievable goals – and celebrate the journey, as the goal you start out with, may not be where you end up. Where you end up might be better, however on a different trajectory. If you only celebrate when you achieve the goal, you’ll never celebrate how far you’ve come.
  • Learning to delegate tasks and share responsibilities – ask yourself, does this have to be done by me?  If the answer is no, delegate!
  • Practicing gratitude to foster a positive mindset – love this one, I have a gratitude journal, and this gets your RAS focused on looking for the positive instead of the danger in life and therefore you get out of your fear state (stressful) and into a state of happiness and joy, which feels so much better in your body!
  • Surrounding yourself with supportive and uplifting people – you are the culmination of the 5 people you spend the most time with – find people who uplift you and cheer you on rather than people who love you, and don’t want to see you ‘fail’ so they caution you not to move forward – except that failure is only feedback.  If you fail, you’ll learn something, which means you won’t fail next time! Those people mean well, however they hold you back.  If they can’t support you, spend less time with them.
  • Establishing a financial plan for future security – we don’t plan to fail; we fail to plan and that is so true when it comes to our finances!  Work with a professional to guide you so that your hard work now, reaps rewards for you later as well.
  • Taking mental health days when needed – ABSOLUTELY – and actively do something on those days to support your mental health – lying in bed all day doesn’t cut it. Get out in nature, it will help re-set your nervous system and boost your spirits just by you showing up to enjoy a walk or hike.
  • Embracing moments of solitude for reflection – so important – we all need time alone to do this.  Being alone doesn’t make you lonely!  When you actively use the alone time to spend with yourself how can you be lonely?
  • Limiting exposure to negative influences or toxic relationships – this comes back to what I mentioned earlier – if you walk away from a friend, or group of friends, feeling drained, they are people that you want to spend less time with. Choose to spend more time with those who have you feeling energized after being with them.
  • Prioritizing self-education and continuous learning – get curious – there is so much to learn and so much access to information in our world today.
  • Celebrating personal achievements, no matter how small
  • Engaging in activities that bring joy and laughter.
  • Regularly reassessing and adjusting personal priorities – this is important, as what you had set as a priority 3 month ago, might not align with where you are at now – we are always growing and evolving – your priorities are not set in stone, you can tweak them as needed.
  • Expressing your needs and desires openly – open communication is key, as this is how you get the support you need to find the time for YOU!
  • Cultivating a positive self-image and self-love – how do you talk to yourself? What are the conversations running around in your head – do they lift you up and tell you that you are amazing, and you can do anything you set your mind to, or do they tell you that you aren’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough etc? 99% of the conversations in our heads are not even true, when we really stop to think about it and yet we keep running them based on old patterning. If you need help removing this mental toxicity, let me know, we can do a quick session to remove those limiting beliefs and replace them with messages you do want to hear.
  • Setting aside time for relaxation and leisure – when life gets busy, we will often skip this.  Or if we try relaxing, just as we get comfy, our brain sends us a list of things we should be doing instead, and up we get to go do them – this is a TRAP!  Don’t fall into it – set aside the time to just sit down and read or take a bath or whatever relaxing activity you’d like to do and stick with it – the tasks will still be there later, and you’ll get them completed more quickly because you took some time to rest first!
  • Practicing self-compassion and forgiveness – we are always so hard on ourselves – thinking we need to be Superman or Superwoman to get everything done in the day we need to get done – and then beating ourselves up if it doesn’t all get done – instead celebrate what you did get done, celebrate the fact you also took some time to care for yourself and forgive yourself for being so hard on yourself – as that driving force will cause ill-health later on, and yet it is what society teaches us. Instead choose to enjoy your self-care now and increase your longevity too.
  • Build and maintaining a strong support system – we aren’t supposed to do life alone – who else can support you?  Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength because it shows that you know yourself, you know your limitations and that you aren’t too proud to ask for help. Those who do try to do it all alone, invariably end up in a state of burnout, which is a long slow recovery process, where they need A LOT of help and support. Why go there, ask for help now? People love helping others, they often don’t know what you need, until you ask!
  • Embracing moments of spontaneity and fun – let your inner child come out to play. Fun is not a word that is only associated with childhood, fun is something to be engage in throughout life.
  • Unplug from technology – there are actually resorts you can go to now, to experience this and re-charge you batteries, however you can do it at home – as I said earlier put your phone onto “Do not disturb” mode and leave it in another room for several hours while you read a book, or go out in nature where there is no connectivity and notice how much better you feel due to a short break from the constant “ping, ping, ping” of alerts coming at you from your devices!

Hopefully this list has given you 1 or 2 ideas to get started with – pick the ones that will be the easiest for you to implement that resonate with you and start looking after you!  After all, if you don’t look after you, who will?  You are your responsibility, no one else’s!

Which of these suggestions will you choose to get started with, or perhaps you’ve already started with some baby steps, is there anything from this list you can add to your routine of prioritizing “Me, Myself and I?”

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