Let's cut the BS right now. I get busy. I am busy. I thrive off of busy. And every single day I still find time to put myself first. I haven't always been like this, but with time I have learned that you cannot leave self-care up to the fate of "if I have extra time." You will never have extra time. You will run around and take care of everyone and everything in your life and then you'll collapse in your bed at the end of the night.
But here's the good news. Changing your focus just a little bit can change everything.
It's so much easier to put yourself first than you can imagine. Putting yourself first isn't buying yourself a 5-star dinner and skipping out on all responsibilities. Putting yourself first comes in the little things where you remind yourself that you are worth taking care of -because you are.
I know this sounds like extra work at first, but to love yourself and keep yourself your best self, you have to plan a little time for yourself. Just like you plan time for your son's baseball game or your date night with your husband or you stay up late to finish cleaning your house.
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These 5 things are the least time-consuming, easiest ways to put yourself first today:
1. Get up at your first alarm.
No matter if you had a full eight hours or a short power nap, get up in time to properly get yourself ready for the day. I work on a cruise line as an entertainer. There are plenty of nights where I finish at 2 and turn around to start again at 6 the next morning. I want to say that I go straight to bed after work but that’s not always true either. Those alarms ring early.
I got into a nasty habit of setting them 15 or 20 minutes before I had to be in a position ready to go. Yes, I could do my job, but it wasn’t fair to me to start my morning like that. Allow yourself time to wake up that was as soon as you leave your room/house, you are giving everyone the best version of yourself. (Believe it or not, in turn, you’re giving yourself the best version of yourself.
Wash your face, make sure your clothes are straight, brush your teeth, drink your coffee or eat your breakfast slowly. The way you start your day extends into your whole day. That attitude lingers around. If you put yourself first at the beginning of the day, you’ll be more likely to take care of yourself throughout the day’s problems. If you start your day in a late, frantic, rush, you’re already teaching yourself subconsciously that you’re not a priority.
2. Write it out
Buy a cute journal and a pen and use it. Writing is so therapeutic and writing in your journal not only can be a healthy place to vent but it also allows you to prioritize what you’re thinking or feeling. This may be the only point of the day that you can give 100% of your attention to what’s going on in your mind.
I’ve been a long time journal-er and I’ve always kept a “vent” journal with me. Whenever I wanted to scream or cry when someone hurt me or even if I hurt someone else, the only place where I would release all of that was to my journal. My friends, they’d get half of the story because let’s be real, we all have a persona we like to fill where we’re the good guy and never the biggest fault.
It was hard at first to even write what I knew was true after the words were out, no one judged me, no one had a comment to make and only I had the power over them. I needed a place to be brutally honest to even try to comprehend what was going through my head. We can’t grow, love ourselves or improve if we don’t even know ourselves.
I learned how to become honest with myself. That’s when I noticed the unbalance I had. I was getting good at understanding my hurt, pain, angry and plain mean parts of you, but I was missing a huge chunk of myself. I wasn’t writing about my favorite, bubbly, sociable, happy, energetic parts of myself at all.
Be mindful as you write. Just like you can talk yourself into a good or bad mood, you can write yourself into a different mood. Yes, write about your hurt and pain…then leave them on the pages. Don’t skip the days where you feel great.
We’ve all had those great days, right? Where we wake up and feel full of energy; Our makeup looks amazing and we are ready to take on the world. (Even if this mood changes by lunch…) Don’t skip documenting those feelings too!
Write about how strong you are. Write about how beautiful you are then the next day when you’re not feeling at the top of your game, re-read it. Or don’t. Writing allows you to process…and in life so busy and fast-paced as ours, doing that one thing in the morning, or before you sleep or whenever you have time can help you slow down, take in information and then PROPERLY decide if it's worth acting on or simply disposing.
3. Watch how you treat your body
I am the very first one that will tell you to never miss a taco Tuesday. Eat that sugar cookie and for sure don’t forget to drink your festive, loaded with sugar, seasonal beverage. Love yourself enough to splurge BUT also love yourself enough to say no.
We’re at a point in our society where everyone is screaming self-love. (Shout out to one of my absolute favorites Lizzo killing the game). The misconception is that every splurge or irresponsible decision is an act of self-love and that’s just not true. Of course, I want you to love your body no matter what size, shape, height or weight. You’re beautiful inside in every single stage of your life. But let me be straight. Treating your body like trash and filling it with junk does not love it.
I love coffee. It doesn’t matter what kind. I can shoot espresso just as easily as I can guzzle a peppermint, mocha, and extra cheer filled holiday drink. Then I had a jarring wake-up. I’ve always had stomach problems and they had gotten unbearable. I eat fairly healthy and tied it to lack of sleep until my doctor told me the worst news. Stomach Acid. Guess what can trigger stomach acid? Caffeine. I was in a routine of drinking espresso to wake up in the morning and probably 4 or 5 more espresso drinks throughout the day. (And it took me a doctor’s appointment to realize that was the problem, but let’s not talk about that.)
Within a week of cutting off the coffee, besides the headaches I got the first couple days, my almost constant stomach cramps went down to only a couple times during the day after meals. Not to mention I sleep way better at night which helps me get up in the morning anyways without my a cup to start the day. I gave my body the chance to heal itself and it’s doing its job. Yes, I still drink coffee from time to time but the un-bloated, less painful body I carry around with me everywhere, and for the rest of my life, is so much happier. Avoiding that craving and drinking de-caf from time to time is a way to show me self-love.
Think about it like this. Have you ever sat down at the office or in class and just have a nasty cold. You can’t pay attention because your head is throbbing, you don’t want to make small talk at lunch because your throat hurts and your nose is runny. You do what you have to, but not more and the only thing you can think about is getting back into bed because at this point it would be just as productive anyways. That day not only did the people around you get half of what you have to offer, (maybe you missed an opportunity to laugh at a funny joke or make a new friend), but you only got half of what you had to offer. (If you weren’t sick you could have accomplished more and maybe gotten ahead for a long weekend or even learned something new to impress your boss.)
Yes, we’re human and yes we will have bad days no matter what. When you build your body to be clean and strong your energy might even shock you and those bad days come around just a little less frequently. Everyone reading this has a beautiful spirit, soul and energy and it would be sad to share only half of that with the world.
4. Drink Water
Like a lot. All the time. When you’re bored. When you’re busy. Wow, will it change your life!
I don’t have to sit here and explain all the health benefits of water to you because I know if you’re reading this from a screen right now, you don’t live under a rock. The list is so long. Water keeps your body clean, supports your kidneys, washes out the junk, keeps your skin clean…. Google it if you’re interested. Just like not filling your body with junk, drinking water will make you feel so much better.
My advice? Buy yourself a super cute water bottle that you love to show off and looks fashionable when you take those photos of your coffee and journal (Admit it we all do it.)
Start your day and end your day with water. Flavor it if you must. Just remember why you’re doing it. Make yourself the priority to your urges.
5. Designate a little space on your to-do list just for you
Put something on your to-do list that is not beneficial to anyone but you and make sure it gets down before you go to sleep for the night. Have you been dying to see that new movie that came out on Netflix? Do your toes desperately need some TLC and a Pedi? Is there a new cocktail recipe on Pinterest that you want to try your hand at creating? Do you just want an hour to read before you fall asleep? Maybe it’s silly, but when my nails are done, I feel like I can do anything. Yes, I can crush my job and have time for a hobby and have balance in my life and write this blog and hey, by the way, look how cute my nails look.
Yes, these things can wait until tomorrow, but I promise tomorrow you’ll think the same thing. Write it down on your checklist and just like you need to check everything else off make sure to do at least this one thing for yourself. Don’t apologize for it. Love yourself so much that putting yourself first is not a selfish act.
Pro-tip: If you schedule a time for yourself, you’ll feel less guilty about using time on yourself.
I'm so excited for you to put yourself first today and see how much further it takes you. Do you have any great things you do every day that make you a priority? What is your favorite way to show yourself love? Make sure to comment below and we can create an awesome strong force of self-loving kick-butt people!
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As always, God Bless and I hope to see you somewhere around the world.