Do you find it hard to make yourself a priority? Are you constantly putting others before yourself? If so, it’s time to start loving yourself and taking care of your own needs.
It’s easy to get caught up in the demands of everyday life and forget about taking care of ourselves. However, making yourself a priority is essential for your overall well-being. By prioritising your own needs, you can improve your physical health, mental health, and relationships with others.
Making yourself a priority doesn't mean being selfish or neglecting your responsibilities. It simply means taking the time to care for yourself and ensuring that your own needs are met. Whether it's taking a mental health day, setting boundaries, or practising self-care, there are many ways to make yourself a priority and improve your life.
In this article, we’ll explore 24 practical strategies for prioritising yourself and achieving your goals!
Acknowledge the Importance of Self-Love
Taking care of yourself is not selfish, but rather a necessary foundation for living a fulfilling and happy life.
In a world filled with daily obligations and responsibilities, it's crucial to recognise the importance of making yourself a priority. This article will explore the benefits of prioritising self-care, understanding your worth, and how it can lead to personal growth and a balanced life.
Recognise that taking care of yourself is not selfish
Understanding the concept of self-love is crucial for personal well-being. By prioritising your needs and recognising that self-care is not a selfish act, you open yourself up to a world of possibilities.
OCCO's blog on self-love offers valuable insights into the importance of embracing self-care practises, nurturing your emotional and physical health, and finding the right balance in life.
Understand the benefits of making yourself a priority
Making yourself a priority has numerous benefits, both in the short-term and the long-term. By taking time to acknowledge and prioritise your needs, you can:
Improved overall well-being
Prioritising yourself allows you to focus on your physical, emotional, and social health. By engaging in healthy habits, such as maintaining a balanced diet, participating in regular physical activities, and practising daily affirmations, you lay the foundation for a healthier and happier life.
When you invest time in taking care of yourself, you replenish your energy and enhance your ability to be productive. Creating a morning routine, blocking time for important tasks, and organising your to-do list can help you maintain a productive and fulfilling lifestyle.
By valuing your own needs, you set a positive example for others and foster healthier relationships. Spending quality time with loved ones, having exclusive time for yourself, and eliminating toxic people from your life contribute to emotional well-being and better social connections.
Realise that you deserve to prioritise yourself
It is important to recognise that you are worthy of making yourself a priority. We all have the right to take care of ourselves and invest in our own happiness.
When we choose to prioritise our needs, it sends a powerful message that we believe in ourselves and respect ourselves enough to make self-care a priority. Making time for yourself allows you to recharge and be the best version of yourself.
Acknowledging the importance of self-love and understanding the benefits of making yourself a priority can be the first steps towards achieving better physical and emotional health.
Setting boundaries is an important self-care practise that helps you make yourself a priority and prioritise your own needs. Boundaries are limits we set for ourselves to protect our physical, mental, and emotional health.
Here are some tips for setting healthy boundaries:
1. Learn to say "no" to commitments that don't serve you
Learning to say "no" to commitments that don't serve you is an important aspect of self-care.
Saying “no” to tasks, people, and activities that don’t align with your values or that exceed your capacity allows you to put yourself first and make informed decisions about how best to use your time and energy.
Saying “no” can also help you recognise when it’s time to ask for help.
2. Establish clear boundaries in your relationships
Establishing clear boundaries in your relationships is an important self-care practise that helps you make yourself a priority. Boundaries allow you to communicate your needs and respect the needs of others.
Being able to communicate your expectations, limits, and values with the people around you allows for healthier relationships and reduces potential conflicts.
3. Communicate your needs and expectations to others
Communicating your needs and expectations to others is an important step in making yourself a priority. It is essential to be honest with yourself about what you need and then to communicate this clearly and confidently to those around you.
Being able to express your needs in a respectful manner allows others to understand your boundaries and helps create healthier relationships.
Establishing effective communication with those around you allows for healthier relationships and helps you keep your balance.
It is important to understand that setting boundaries and making yourself a priority is not selfish, but rather an essential aspect of self-care. Making yourself a priority is key to achieving emotional balance and overall well-being.
Practising self-care is an essential step in making yourself a priority. Self-care involves taking the time to invest in your physical, mental, and emotional health.
It means being mindful of your needs and taking the time to nurture yourself with activities that bring you joy.
Let's delve into some self-care activities that can help you prioritise yourself:
4. Make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation
Making time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation is an important part of self-care and making yourself a priority.
Taking the time to enjoy activities such as reading, going on walks, listening to music, or engaging in hobbies can help bring balance to your life. It is important to identify what brings you joy and take the time to nurture yourself with these activities.
Doing something you love helps to reduce stress and anxiety, and can help you stay focused on your goals.
5. Take care of your physical health through exercise and healthy eating
Taking care of your physical health through exercise and healthy eating is an important part of making yourself a priority.
Regular physical activity helps to reduce stress, improve mental clarity, and boost mood.
Additionally, research has shown that regular physical activity can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
6. Prioritise getting enough sleep and rest
Getting enough sleep and rest is an essential part of making yourself a priority. Prioritising adequate rest helps ensure that your body and mind are functioning at their best.
Adequate sleep helps to reduce stress, improve concentration, boost mood and energy levels, and improve overall physical health.
Self-care is an ongoing process, and making yourself a priority is essential for your overall well-being. It is important to stay mindful of your needs and be willing to make adjustments when necessary.
Remember that you are worth the effort, and take the time to nurture, honour, and value yourself.
Embrace Your Unique Qualities
No one is exactly like you, so it’s important to embrace your unique qualities. Make a list of the qualities that make you special and take pride in them.
Whether it be your creativity, intelligence, or sense of humour, know that these are the traits that make you unique and set you apart from others. It is important to remind yourself of these qualities when you are feeling down or insecure.
7. Celebrate your strengths and accomplishments
It is important to recognise and appreciate your strengths and accomplishments. Make a list of all the things you are proud of that you have achieved in life, no matter how big or small.
It can be anything from mastering a new skill to taking on a challenging project at work.
Celebrating your successes reminds you that you have the strength and capabilities to accomplish whatever it is you set your mind to.
8. Accept and love your flaws and imperfections
In addition to embracing your unique qualities, it is important to accept and love your flaws and imperfections. Everyone has flaws, and it is important to recognise that these are part of what makes you human.
When you focus too much on your flaws or imperfections, it can lead to feelings of low self-worth.
9. Focus on your own journey and avoid comparing yourself to others
It is easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others, but it is important to remember that everyone’s journey is unique and different.
Focus on your own path and the goals you want to achieve. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small, and don't be too hard on yourself when things don’t go as planned.
Everyone has different experiences and obstacles that they have to face.
Embracing one's unique qualities, celebrating accomplishments, and focusing on personal journeys are effective self-love strategies that prioritise oneself.
Surround Yourself with Positive Influences
It is important to surround yourself with positive influences in order to make yourself a priority.
This could include friends, family members, and mentors who are supportive of your goals and encourage you to reach your full potential.
Surrounding yourself with supportive people helps to lift your spirits and provide much-needed motivation when needed.
10. Seek out relationships with people who support and uplift you
Seeking out relationships with people who support and uplift you is an important part of making yourself a priority.
It is important to surround yourself with positive influences who are encouraging and understanding and focus on building meaningful relationships with those individuals.
It can be helpful to look for people who share your values and interests, as this will help strengthen the connection between the two of you. Spend time with people who make you feel good and create positive energy in your life.
11. Avoid toxic or negative relationships
It is important to avoid toxic or negative relationships when making yourself a priority.
These relationships can be draining and damaging to your mental health, and it is essential to recognise when it is time to distance yourself from these individuals.
Look for warning signs such as feeling drained after spending time with someone or constantly having to justify your decisions and actions.
12.Cultivate a supportive network of friends and family
Cultivating a supportive network of friends and family is an important part of making yourself a priority. Having people in your life who you can rely on for emotional support, advice, and encouragement is invaluable.
Take the time to reach out to those closest to you and make sure they know you are there for them as well. Quality time spent with the people in your life can help create strong relationships and a sense of belonging.
Surrounding yourself with positive influences , seeking out relationships with those who support and uplift you, avoiding toxic or negative relationships, and cultivating a supportive network of friends and family are all effective strategies for making yourself a priority.
Practising these strategies can help build confidence, boost self-esteem, and create a sense of inner peace.
Practising mindfulness is an important part of making yourself a priority. Mindfulness involves being present in the moment, focusing on your thoughts and feelings without judgement.
This helps to reduce stress and anxiety and allows you to focus on self-care activities that can help improve your mental health.
Here are some tips for practising mindfulness:
13. Take time to reflect on your thoughts and emotions
Taking time to reflect on your thoughts and emotions is an important part of making yourself a priority.
Taking the time to sit with your thoughts and feelings can help you gain insight into why you feel certain ways and can also help you identify any potential areas for growth.
OCCO's blog on journaling offers valuable insights into the practise of self-reflection and introspection. By dedicating time to write in a journal, such as the Morning Mindset Journal, you can explore your thoughts and emotions, gain clarity, and enhance your self-awareness.
14. Practise gratitude and focus on the present moment
Mindfulness begins with shifting our attention to the present moment and cultivating gratitude for the here and now.
Take time each day to acknowledge and appreciate the blessings, big or small, that surround you.
Engage your senses and fully immerse yourself in the present experience, whether it's enjoying a meal, spending time in nature, or engaging in a meaningful conversation.
15. Incorporate mindfulness practises.
Explore mindfulness practises such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. These practises help calm the mind, reduce stress, and enhance your overall well-being.
Start with a few minutes each day and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable.
There are numerous resources available, including guided meditation apps, online classes, and tutorials, to support your mindfulness journey.
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming, so find what works best for you and incorporate it into your daily routine.
Set Goals and Priorities for Yourself
Setting goals and priorities is a powerful way to align your actions with your aspirations, fostering personal growth and a sense of fulfilment. By identifying what truly matters to you, prioritising your goals, and creating a plan to achieve them, you can embark on a purpose-driven journey.
16. Identify what is important to you and set goals accordingly
Identifying what is important to you and setting goals accordingly is an important part of making yourself a priority. Taking the time to think critically about your values, passions, and dreams can help you develop a sense of purpose and motivation.
Setting achievable goals can be an effective way to track your progress and stay on track with your intentions. Consider breaking down long-term goals into smaller, more achievable goals and focusing on one at a time.
The Priority Pad offered by OCCO London provides a practical framework to help identify and prioritise what truly matters to you. Reflect on your values, aspirations, and long-term vision to establish goals that resonate with your authentic self.
17. Prioritise your goals and make a plan to achieve them
Prioritising your goals and making a plan to achieve them is an important step in making yourself a priority.
When setting goals, it is important to consider your values, passions, and long-term vision in order to create goals that align with who you are as an individual.
Additionally, breaking down long-term goals into smaller, more achievable goals can help you stay on track.
18. Celebrate small wins and progress towards your goals
Celebrating small wins and progress towards your goals is a great way to make yourself a priority.
Whenever you reach a milestone or make progress towards one of your goals, take the time to acknowledge your accomplishment and reward yourself for all your hard work.
Doing this can help foster motivation and drive, inspiring you to continue working towards your ambitions.
Setting goals and priorities is an essential part of making yourself a priority, and by taking the time to celebrate small wins and progress, you can find joy in the journey.
Learn to Forgive Yourself
Learning to forgive yourself is essential for self-love and personal growth. Forgiveness doesn't mean forgetting or excusing the wrong that was done, but it does mean letting go of anger and resentment towards yourself.
When we can forgive ourselves, we can experience a feeling of freedom and peace.
Here are some tips to help you learn to forgive yourself:
19. Practise self-compassion and understand that mistakes are a part of growth
It’s normal to make mistakes, but too often we beat ourselves up for them instead of learning from them. Practising self-compassion can help you understand that mistakes are a part of growth and our journey towards self-improvement.
Furthermore, understanding that you are not alone in your struggles and that everyone experiences similar emotions can help you move through them with greater ease.
20. Let go of self-blame and negative self-talk
Letting go of self-blame and negative self-talk is an important component of self-love.
Self-blame and criticism can be incredibly damaging to our emotional health, leading to feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Neglecting ourselves or putting ourselves down does not serve us in any way.
When we are struggling, it's important to recognise that we are not the problem.
21. Focus on learning and growth instead of dwelling on past mistakes
Focusing on learning and growth instead of dwelling on past mistakes is a key part of self-love.
We all make mistakes, but it’s important not to dwell on them or let them define us. Instead, take the time to reflect on what went wrong and how you can learn from the experience.
Learning from your mistakes can help build strength and resilience, teaching you to be more mindful of your actions and choices in the future.
Take Responsibility for Your Own Happiness
Taking responsibility for your own happiness is an important part of self-love and making yourself a priority. It is essential to recognise that you have the power to create your own joy and fulfilment.
Let's delve into a few tips to help you take responsibility for your own happiness:
22. Understand that you are in control of your own happiness
It’s important to understand that you are in control of your own happiness and that the decisions you make will have an effect on your overall wellbeing.
Taking ownership of our happiness means recognising that we have the power to choose how we respond to life’s challenges, even when things don't go according to plan.
Moreover, it is essential to understand that no one else can make us happy; it is up to us to create our own joy.
23. Focus on what brings you joy and fulfilment
Focusing on what brings you joy and fulfilment is an essential part of self-love. Taking the time to recognise what brings you true joy and satisfaction can help you make yourself a priority.
Start by recognising your passions and interests, as well as activities that make you feel alive.
Take some time to explore these interests and activities, and make them a priority in your life.
24. Avoid relying on others for validation or happiness
It can be tempting to rely on others for validation or happiness, but it is important to recognise that true joy and fulfilment come from within.
Seeking approval from others does not lead to lasting happiness and can, in fact, be detrimental to our emotional wellbeing.
Additionally, it is essential to understand that we are not responsible for making other people happy; they too need to take responsibility for their own joy.
After reading the information above, you may still have questions about how to prioritise yourself. We will answer some of those in the next section of this blog.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about self-love and making yourself a priority:
How can I start prioritising myself when I have so many responsibilities?
When you have a lot of responsibilities, it can be difficult to make yourself a priority.
However, it is important to recognise that self-care is essential for our physical and mental health.
One way to start prioritising yourself is by carving out time for yourself each day. This could be a few minutes of meditation, going for a walk, or simply taking a break to read a book.
Even if it’s just for 15 minutes each day, this time can help you reset and recharge.
What are some self-care practises I can incorporate into my daily routine?
Self-care is an important part of making yourself a priority and can help you stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Here are some self-care practises you can incorporate into your daily routine:
• Exercise: Regular activity, even just a short walk around the block, can help to improve your mood and decrease stress levels.
• Healthy Eating: Eating a balanced diet can help boost your energy levels and promote overall wellbeing.
• Relaxation: Taking time for relaxation, such as meditation or yoga, can help reduce stress and increase focus.
• Sleep: Getting enough sleep each night is essential for optimal health and wellbeing. Aim for 8 hours of sleep each night.
• Socialising: Spending time with friends and family can help reduce stress levels and boost your mood.
These are just a few of the many self-care practises you can incorporate into your daily routine. Take some time to explore what works best for you and make sure to prioritise yourself each day.
How can I set boundaries to protect my time and energy?
Setting boundaries is an important part of self-love and making yourself a priority. Establishing clear boundaries helps to ensure that your time and energy are respected by others.
To start, create a list of the things you will and won't accept in your life. This could include setting limits on how much work or socialising you do, or deciding which activities will be non-negotiable.
Once you have identified your boundaries, communicate them clearly to the people in your life. This can be a difficult process, but it will help you protect your time and energy.
What is the difference between self-care and self-indulgence?
Self-care is defined as engaging in activities that help promote physical and mental wellbeing.
It is about taking time for yourself to rest, recharge, and practise good habits. Examples of self-care activities include exercising, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and spending quality time with friends and family.
Also, self-care is not about avoiding problems or pretending they don’t exist. Rather, it is about taking an active approach to improving your wellbeing.
On the other hand, self-indulgence is defined as engaging in activities that provide short-term pleasure but can be damaging in the long term. Examples of self-indulgent activities include excessive drinking, gambling, and overspending.
Overall, self-care is about taking care of yourself in a healthy and balanced way, while self-indulgence can lead to negative consequences.
How can I overcome guilt or shame when prioritising myself?
It can be difficult to prioritise yourself when you feel guilty or ashamed for doing so.
To overcome these feelings, it is important to remember that self-care is essential for your physical and mental health. You deserve to take care of yourself and make yourself a priority.
Start by recognising that you are not alone in experiencing guilt or shame. Many people struggle with this issue, and it is okay to take time for yourself.
Next, practise self-compassion. Remind yourself that everyone needs breaks and that it is okay to give yourself permission to rest. Also, focus on the positive aspects of taking care of yourself, such as feeling energised and refreshed.
Finally, remember that you do not have to be perfect in order to make yourself a priority. Prioritising yourself does not mean that you are neglecting others. It is about taking the time to do what is best for you.
Making yourself a priority is essential for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It can be challenging to prioritise yourself when you have many responsibilities, but it is crucial to carve out time for self-care and set boundaries to protect your time and energy. Remember, self-care is not selfish, and it is not the same as self-indulgence.
If you struggle with guilt or shame when prioritising yourself, it may be helpful to work with a therapist or coach to overcome these feelings. By making yourself a priority, you can live a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life.
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OCCO London is dedicated to helping you create a healthy and balanced lifestyle.