A few weeks ago, I shared a blog post about why it’s important to put your needs before the needs of others. I talked about how sometimes you must put yourself first when it comes to self-care.
Since I published that post, I’ve had so many people reach out to me saying that: a) it was just what they needed to hear during this difficult time period we’re going through, and b) that they’d love more insight into the benefits of prioritizing their needs in order to be a better friend, parent, spouse, leader, and more.
Through reading your messages, it became clear to me that advocating for one’s own needs can be really hard for some. I get that! And at the same time, I can’t help but restate that it’s so important that you fill your own cup first so that you are even able to have something to offer to your beloveds.
To inspire and help you with this, here are three reasons why you want to focus on taking care of yourself first.
When you’re exhausted, your level of serotonin and other “happy hormones” decreases, meaning all the simple things you normally enjoy, like having drinks with friends or playing with your kiddies, are not only less enjoyable but can result in frustration, irritation, or even aggression. It takes time to replenish these happy hormones, and feeling tired is your body’s way of telling you that you need a break to top them up!
Our bodies and minds are connected. When you don’t carve out time for personal care, your body can go into stress or survival mode, meaning your cortisol level will rise, creating even more stress (a vicious cycle, really). To add to that, stress on your nervous system and lack of sleep can affect your immune system, meaning you’re more vulnerable to illness. Now more than ever, you must take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health!
Have you ever walked into a room where the air is tight, the mood is somber, and you feel uncomfortable? Recent research suggests that people feed off other people’s energy like sponges (it’s called emotional contagion). Chances are, if you’re stressed or in a bad mood, that mood is rubbing off on your loved ones. It’s important to recognize the subtle power we have in affecting someone else’s mood, and by prioritizing our own happiness, we’re likely to make others happy too.
As you can see, putting your own needs first allows you to be more energetic, prevent illness, and be happier and more available to the people you love, which in turn will allow you to perform better at your work and have more genuine, meaningful social interactions and connections — all of which are key to a happy life!
When you make time for your wants and needs, you are showing yourself the love and care your body and mind both require for you to be your most Authentic Self. The impact it will have on your life — and your loved ones — could surprise you.
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