You live a busy life and everyday seems to be chaotic but learning to manage priorities and balance your time effectively is apart of adulthood. Maybe it’s just me, but some days hours go by when I realize I haven’t ate, drank or generally taken proper care of myself. I have a habit, or flaw really of focusing entirely on the people and projects around me. It’s easy to let happen, one day your actively managing a self-care schedule and the next you’re feeling mentally burned out and overextended. Family, friends, work and all the other responsibilities the world dishes out has become a higher priority then the most important person…myself.
I understand that we all have live different lives with various goals, ambitions and struggles but the number one priority should always be your mental health, spiritual well-being, physical health and overall person.
Managing Stress & Anxiety
Most of us can agree that work and family brings the majority of stress. We want to build successful careers and be there for the people we love but all the pressure can easily become too heavy. Putting yourself first means learning to manage stress and anxiety before it becomes a health problem.
A recent study concluded that Millennials spend nearly 20 percent of the year stressed out. The most common stressors being finances, careers, relationships and personal health. We worry over our futures, comparing ourselves to each other and measuring success based on were societal norms think we should be.
It’s a lot to think about. Knowing that everything you do and work towards will never be guaranteed. One of my favorite quotes is simply, “It is, what it is“. Meaning don’t stress about it, don’t freak out. Work hard and celebrate the little things because all your worry will get you nowhere. Calm down, wipe your tears, let every situation be what it is. Come up with a game plan to find your way out, and even then stay optimistic. Find a little bit of happiness in the hardest moments because the best laid plans can change at the last second.
For some people living by the philosophy of “it is what it is” is harder said then done. But the takeway message is to let go of the uncontrollable, focus on the things that mean more. And to ultimately find a way to healthily manage stress and anxiety so that you are able to take care of your mental well-being.
Evaluate What Makes You Happy
Let’s do a quick exercise. Grab a pen & paper or if you’re the product of your generation, open up the Notes app and bullet 3-5 things that make you happy in your life right now and explain why. Here’s a sneak of my list:
- Hallmark Movies
Secret romantic movie buff aside, friends and family make me happy because they’re the people I share my life with. We celebrate each others ups and cry on each others shoulders during the downs. We argue and disagree but without them life would be boring.
I’ve loved writing since I was a young girl. Journaling my life away at a young age because I found writing to be a great form of expression in a big family. Blogging has become a larger extension of that. I write whatever comes to mind and it makes me happy Connecting with people across the world.
I love traveling, I think most of us get caught up in our own world. We forget to look outside of ourselves and envision other countries and cultures. In my experience, alot can be learned from stepping outside of your comfort and I enjoy living life from a different perspective.
Prioritizing Your Life
One of the biggest obstacles of prioritizing yourself is making a habit of doing the things you love MORE. Some of the tasks we have as adults are made of necessity vs. want i.e. paying bills, pumping gas, grocery shopping, etc… but there should always be a balance of the things we have to do and what we want to do.
Those 3-5 things that make you happy need to take on a higher level of importance. Your career, money and success are should not become your entire life. Experience the things that give you joy with the people you love most.
Start by making a daily log of your life. What do you spend the most time doing? What do you wish you were doing instead? How can you incorporate more of what you want to be dong into your life now? To tell the truth, there’s only so many hours in the day and I have a million things on my “want-to-do” list. Finding a way of balancing everything seems quite impossible but I no longer want the things that bring me stress and anxiety to be the main event of the day.
Promise to Put Yourself First
Understand this, putting yourself first doesn’t make you selfish, entitled or even overconfident. It means that you value your sanity and personal needs. Striving to be happy and mindful of the person you are and will become. Without judgement, acknowledge the things you love and why they are important to your happiness. Never allow others make you feel guilty and always promise to put yourself first.
How are you letting go of the guilt to put yourself first?