Choosing yourself is a crucial part of your health and happiness in life. Many mistake this choice/trait for selfishness. To explain this confusion: selfish people always choose themselves, but those who choose themselves aren’t always being selfish.
Choosing you simply means that you put yourself first when it’s necessary; you take your own health and feelings into consideration and, when necessary, you put those feelings and needs over the wants of others.
People who are merely selfish always put their needs and wants over the needs of others. So how can you start to choose yourself first?
1) Stop and Think Before You Just Say Yes Out of Politeness
One of the most important and significant first steps towards choosing yourself on a daily basis is putting an end to the bad habit of saying yes to everything.
While it’s good to be open to new things, taking on too much work or too many obligations can overwhelm you and harm your overall mental health.
Do this: Pause when someone asks something of you, and say you'l get back to them with an answer later, then reflect on your own needs.
Can you take on more work or another event?
Can you handle a party, or do you need to go home and recharge your batteries?
Contrary to popular beliefs, it’s okay to say no to helping someone out sometimes.
2) Treat Yourself with Kindness
Part of choosing yourself first is treating yourself well. If you don’t treat yourself kindly and with respect, how can you expect others to do it? Stop being so hard on yourself; we all make mistakes, choose poorly, and miss the mark sometimes.
Give yourself a break and forgive yourself for your errors; as long as you learn from them, it’s all a part of life. A good way to practice this is by giving yourself pep talks throughout your day.
Do this: You don’t have to do this out loud, say positive affirmations and think positive thoughts. The act of deliberately thinking positive and inspiring thoughts about yourself will help you to overcome obstacles and improve your self-esteem and confidence.
3) Speak Up for Yourself
Another big part of choosing yourself is standing up for yourself and your beliefs. You matter just as much as anyone else and so does your opinion.
Do this: Practice stating your opinions, views, wants, etc. and standing up for yourself when necessary. You’re important and you deserve to be heard.
4) Take Care of Yourself
Part of getting into the habit of choosing yourself first is choosing to take care of yourself. You’re only given one body and one life; you need to take care of it.
Do this: Eat healthy food, exercise regularly, maintain proper sleep habits, go to the doctor when necessary, and do what you need to do to minimize stress and improve your mental health. It’s hard to choose yourself in social situations if you aren’t healthy enough to be in social situations.
5) Let Go of Toxic People
Letting go of toxic people isn’t only a step towards choosing yourself, but also a crucial step in maintaining good mental health. Toxic people bring no good into our lives; they tear us down and keep us there.
One popular opinion is to let go of these people by saying goodbye, good riddance. I prefer another way...
Do This: Inner Work - which is the practice of going deep within yourself for the purposes of self-exploration, self-understanding, healing, and transformation. When you work on yourself, you growth. When you grow, those around you who are not having similar experiences will fall by the wayside and continue on their own negative journey without you.
6) Remind Yourself You’re Worth It
This step is crucial to keeping steady with your progress in choosing yourself regularly and maintaining positive mental health on that journey.
As we said before, people often have a pre-conceived (and mistaken) notion of this endeavor as being an act of selfishness. However, this effort is more in the name of self-care.
You’re choosing yourself in situations where it is necessary: when you can’t take on a larger workload, when you can’t handle more obligations, when you need to remove a toxic person from your life, etc. You’re doing this because you’re worth it.
You are your own best champion, always remember that.
As a woman, you know what it's like to be over-scheduled. You know what it's like to give to and take care of others more than you do for yourself. You know what it's like to put yourself last because someone who depends on you needs your time.
You know what it's like to work hard all day and come home to take care of responsibilities at home, too. Or you work hard at home all day but your work doesn't end just because the sun sets.
Being on emotional and psychological overload has become a way of life for many women. They are strong and they can handle a lot, but sometimes in the cycle, they often lose sight of the fact that that in order to keep giving to those they love or doing what they love, they have to recharge, they have to center themselves again.
The following seven tips can help you improve your mental well being and you will discover that when you feel better mentally, you feel better all over.
Tip #1 - If you are overextended, ask for help.
If you feel like a mouse chasing the cheese and the cheese is always four steps ahead of you, then you're doing too much. It's normal to want to handle responsibilities without wanting to ask for help. But when you're too busy, that can lead to feelings of stress or burning out.
Tip #2 - Get rid of negativity.
If you have relationships that are bad for you, it is time to cut ties. Surround yourself with positive people - people who will nourish you and support you. Let go of past emotional hurts and anything that ties you to a negative experience.
Tip #3 - Just STOP!
As a woman, you are so busy, so on the go that you never just stop and do nothing. Even on your days off, you are busy doing something that you feel has to be taken care of. Give yourself time to stop. Take off - be unavailable to everyone but you. Meditate, get involved in yoga or something else that relaxes you.
Tip #4 - Take part in activities that you enjoy.
We often let go of what we enjoy doing. We push it off to the side because we don't feel we have the time. Make time for the activities you love.
Tip #5 - Physical health, including rest and exercise, is closely tied in to mental well being.
Make sure that you're taking care of yourself through eating right, getting plenty of rest and exercising.
Tip #6 - Unload your burdens.
Don't carry around stress inside. We all need an outlet to talk about the things that bother or upset us. Talk to your friends, a therapist, or even use a journal to get out the things that give you a heavy mental load.
Tip #7 - Live your passion.
If you feel stuck or you feel like life is passing you by - or this isn't what you signed up for, change it. It is never too late to chase a passion you have. You might not be able to pack up and move to Paris today if that ís your dream, but take smaller steps to reach that goal if that's what you want.