The truth is, when your well-being isn’t a priority, just about everything goes downhill. For all of us, when life gets busy, personal priorities, self-care, or “me-time” may start to feel expendable and to drift off your radar. Many smart, busy people get stuck in the mindset trap of believing that self-care is selfish or a luxury—something you can get to later. NOT TRUE.
Taking care of YOU is not a luxury. Like getting regular oil changes for your car, prioritizing your self-care is what allows you to run smoothly and to bring your best to your other priorities and challenges.
The cost of not making and taking time for yourself. When you don’t devote time and energy to your needs and your health:
- You have less energy and motivation to follow through on your goals
- You are more easily distracted and less focused
- Many people tend to turn to “vices” to fill in the gaps that aren’t being filled with in quality ways. Stress eating and other kinds of emotional eating, smoking, drinking too much, wasting time surfing the internet—these are a few things that tend to show up, waste more of your time and energy, distract you, and contribute to a vicious cycle of decreased happiness and less effectiveness
- Stress levels are higher
- Sleep is often impaired (or sacrificed)
- It’s common to feel deprived, irritable, more easily frustrated, or impatient
- Creativity suffers and life usually includes less play and fun
- Health is negatively affected
When you’re not a priority, you simply don’t function at your best and your ability to contribute to the world is compromised.
To start prioritizing your life:
- Write your obituary based on your life to date. Your obituary is a notice of your death, often with an account of your life and work. How will yours read?
- Write a “To Do” and a “what not to do “list. Yes a what not do list, this will help you prioritize only those things that benefit you
- Prioritize your day and your activities
- All time for yourself. Plan and schedule me time
Learning to prioritize your own needs is a process, but you don’t have to get it perfect to see big, far-reaching benefits.