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How to make yourself a priority - 6 tips to make space for your needs.

Let's talk how to prioritize yourself and wellness.

woman making herself a priority

As working women and mothers, we often find ourselves putting everyone else's needs before our own. Women often feel guilty when they prioritize their own life or their own happiness before others, however caring for ourselves is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves. When you prioritize yourself that can at times lead to self criticism and maybe even feelings of shame. We are so used to giving and doing for others that we forget to make time for ourselves. Societal pressures has also conditioned women to feel bad about making time and space for our needs. However the past few years have been challenging for everyone and we've witnessed more than once that we can't show up as our best selves if we don't prioritize our own mental well-being.

Here are 6 strategies to make sure you're taking care of yourself and making yourself a priority:

1. Schedule time for yourself every day – and stick to it!

2. Set boundaries with others – know when to say no

3. Take care of your physical health – eat well, exercise, get enough sleep

4. Make time for your mental health – do things that make you happy

5. Find a support system – Lean on your friends and family when you need to

6. Be patient with yourself – It takes time to make changes in your life

1. Schedule time for yourself every day – and stick to it!

Your time is valuable, however many women have a hard time keeping commitments to themselves. You might notice that you find time for your job responsibilities and family's needs, but we often have difficulty following through on things that are just for us.

One simple strategy to make yourself a priority is to carve out a few moments each day just for you. Schedule it. Put it in your calendar. Make it a non-negotiable event. You probably wouldn't cancel on a friend or family members, so try to use the same approach with yourself.

Scheduling in time for yourself every day can help you remember to prioritize your own self-care and well-being. Even if it's just five minutes of mindful breathing or a fifteen-minute walk outside, making yourself a priority will improve your overall sense of self and mental energy. Take some pressure off by setting realistic goals - if you don't feel like taking a full hour away today, that's totally okay - find one thing that you can do since any amount of intentional time devoted to yourself is the perfect way to start. Let's make ourselves a priority!

2. Set boundaries with others – know when to say no

It is important to set boundaries with others and know that it’s ok to say “no”. It’s so easy to get caught up in the expectations of others and forget the importance of respecting your own physical and emotional capacities. Boundaries help protect our own personal limits so we can develop and maintain healthy relationships.

Setting boundaries can be difficult to navigate at times, but it can be an essential tool towards making your own well-being a priority and also show yourself kindness and self-respect. It’s ok to set limits even if you feel comfortable especially if it's in the service of your well-being. Setting boundaries can be challenging for people who tend to care for others or want to be helpful. Sometimes people might find themselves over-apologizing if they're feeling guilty, however it can be helpful to focus on why you are setting boundaries and validate that it's not also easy to do.

3. Take care of your physical health – eat well, exercise, get enough sleep

Nutrition, exercise and sleep are all key components of a healthy life – and important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to making yourself a priority. Taking care of our basic needs gives us the foundation to show as our best self wile also developing good habits in our everyday life.

Nutrition is the foundation for providing energy to your body; exercise supports our physical health and helps with stress relief; and last, but not least, getting an adequate amount of sleep helps support mental clarity. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself by eating foods that will nourish your mind and body in nutritious ways, moving around daily (even if it’s just a walk around the block), and setting a consistent sleep routine that will help your sleeping schedule stay balanced throughout the day/week. Being intentional about your wellness can help you show your as the person you want to be.

San Jose therapist, therapy in san jose

4. Make time for your mental health – do things that are aligned with your core values

Making time for your mental health is so immensely important. Life can be overwhelming and challenging at times. The last few years have been difficult for most people in the world. As a result, carving out time for your mental well-being deserves equal priority as our physical health.

Recognizing what is most important to you can help you align your actions with your values and make yourself a priority. Your mental well-being can be supported by simple activities such a writing in a gratitude journal, finding time to reflect on your feelings, doing an activity that brings you joy, spending time with friends, or even carving out some alone time.

Whatever you decide nourishes your sense of self can help your mental well-being and overall wellness. Taking those small moments to recharge can give you the strength and resilience to cope with what life might present you.

5. Find a support system – Lean on your friends and family when you need to

Having friends or family that you can lean on can provide much-needed stability and it's okay to turn to them when you're feeling overwhelmed. For some people it can be very hard to ask for help and bring up uncomfortable feelings. It is ok to ask for help! We are all human and we all need support at time point in time.

Being honest with those who are important to you and asking for support when you need it, can often deepen the connection and relationship. – it can often make it a lot easier to make yourself a priority. You don't have to go it alone; having a solid network of support is an excellent way of taking care of yourself and making it easier to fulfill your priorities. Don't forget that it's ok to reach out and accept help too; it might just make it a whole lot easier to keep your own needs at the top of the list.

6. Practice self compassion with yourself – It takes time to make changes in your life

Making meaningful changes in our lives often take time and practice as well as patience and self-compassion. Being gentle and kind to yourself is essential when trying to make a lasting change, as it will help to give you the self-confidence and support needed to keep going.

There often isn't one right path to shift your behaviors and make yourself a priority. It often starts with creating self awareness so you can identify opportunities where you can take care of yourself and prioritize your needs. This takes practice and it's impossible to do all the time, but little by little you can recognize those emotions and moments that come up when you often put others first.

You can then start to remind yourself that your needs deserve time and space so you can show up as a better person for yourself. Show yourself patience, understanding, and self-compassion so you can keep moving forward on your journey of self-improvement. Recognize that you're not the only person struggling with this, and that this takes time and practice. Give yourself room for self-growth and reflection before taking action. With sincere self-compassion, you can make meaningful changes without letting your self-doubt get in the way.

Prioritize yourself - Today is Day 1

If you struggle with making time for yourself or setting boundaries, know that you’re not alone – but also know that it is possible to start to shift things in your life so you can prioritize your needs. This is something that many people struggle with especially if they tend to display people pleasing behaviors or self doubt. Even small changes can have a big impact.

Therapy can help you gain clarity on these behaviors and tendencies so you can achieve the changes you've been working towards. Working with a therapist can help you learn tools to care for your mental well-being and recognize that self care isn't wrong or selfish. Therapy can give you the safe space to process your thoughts and feelings, help you learn how to set healthy boundaries, and build self awareness around your thoughts and behaviors. Feel free to reach out to Kristin to learn more and to start to prioritize your mental health today.

***The ideas, concepts, and opinions expressed in all Living Openhearted Therapy and Wellness posts are intended to be used for educational purposes only. The author and publisher are not rendering medical advice of any kind, nor are intended to replace medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. Authors and publisher claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material.

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