Putting ourselves first and looking after our own mental health can be a huge challenge!
It is all too easy to find ourselves juggling a lot between work, family, friends, and private life. The list of things to do, sort, and arrange can be endless and more often than not looking after yourself and your mental health is one of the first things to drop off the list.
In fact if I asked you the question, who are you? What would you say?
Take a few minutes to think about it and maybe even write it down…
Did you find that easy to answer or were stumped for words?
If you found that tough it is a clear sign that you need to start putting yourself first. Read on to find out how.
Here are my 3 ways to make yourself a priority which will in turn improve your mental health and confidence.
Find your identity:
Our identities are the culmination of what we love, where we’re from, the people around us and so much more. We express these in so many different ways, from the way we talk, to the clothes we wear, the food we eat and the places we live in.
Finding your identity comes with understanding and knowing your values, beliefs, and culture and pinpointing your community and lifestyle. This can be so powerful because as humans we are social animals and so our identity gives us a great sense of belonging.
Start with one of these to begin your identity-finding journey; journaling, meditation, mindfulness exercises, personality assessments and my personal favourite one; seeking feedback from others.
By asking for feedback, we can gain insight into how others perceive us. This can help us identify blind spots or areas for improvement that we may not have been aware of.
Struggling with prioritizing yourself and feeling overwhelmed by the demands of others is difficult. One of the most effective ways to address this is by setting healthy boundaries. Boundaries are essential because they define what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour for you. When we have healthy boundaries, we communicate our needs and limits clearly, which helps us maintain our emotional and mental well-being.
Start by identifying your needs and limits, and reflecting on what is important to you. Write down what are your values, goals, and priorities. Then consider what drains your energy and causes you stress. Identifying your needs and limits will help you determine where to set boundaries.
Then all you need to do is communicate these boundaries and get using them in everyday life. Maybe bring in one or two new boundaries a week, start slow and build these up as you go. And don’t forget it’s OK to say ‘no’ to things too if it helps with your own well-being.
Make self-care a necessity not a luxury:
Taking care of yourself is vital when it comes to maintaining good mental health. It can help you manage stress, build resilience, improve mood, and prevent burnout. It is important to prioritise self-care activities such as exercise, healthy eating, getting enough sleep, spending time with loved ones, engaging in hobbies, and seeking support when needed. Remember that taking care of yourself is not selfish, but necessary for your overall health and happiness.
Neglecting yourself, your boundaries and self-care can lead to you feeling lost, lacking in self-love, purpose, and confidence and possibly physically and emotionally exhausted.
I appreciate it’s not always easy to prioritise yourself and stick to your boundaries, perhaps you have children, a partner in need, a stressful work environment but if you can start to build these positive self-care thoughts and approach into your everyday life, bit by bit, they will become your new norm.
Be brave, be consistent and continue to try and understand your emotions, thoughts, and behaviours, it will only lead to greater self-control, personal development and happier and healthier personal well-being.
Whenever you’re ready, here is how I can help:
If you’re looking for the first step to improve your life and current situation whether you’re in a relationship or not, I’d recommend starting with an affordable course:
The This is Me Plan explains more about why it’s important to shine the spotlight inwards and how to access a 360 approach to your mind, body, and soul. Remember you can’t be the best to others until you are to yourself first.