By Caro Syson
04 Jul 2022
Are you always putting others first? Putting other people’s needs before your own? It’s something that is common for many of us, where we put ourselves at the bottom of the pile or the back of the queue and ensure that everyone else is ok before we actually check we’re ok.
Sometimes we don’t even check if we even are ok, because we’re so busy looking after everyone else!!
How often have you eaten a cold meal because you’re sorting everyone else out first? If something happens are you the one that has to put yourself last? Do you have to drop everything if something crops up? Sound familiar?
Putting ourselves at the back of the queue is a choice we make and choosing to put ourselves first can be super hard, especially if we’re not used to it. It feels as though we’re being ‘selfish’ if we put our needs first, right? And, we were brought up and told that we don’t want to be selfish people, so we continue to put others' needs before our own.
Resentment and burnout
Do you know what this leads to? Resentment and burn out. That thick, horrible feeling of resenting the time we spend on other people and not on our own goals, dreams and even self care. When we’re always putting other people before ourselves we drain our batteries to dangerously low levels and we leave ourselves with nothing to invest back into us.
Choosing to do something for ourselves over someone else can be a challenge, but if we don’t start investing in ourselves, and our energy levels and our own happiness - then we will end up burnt out and resentful.
We all have 4 areas that need a regular recharge, we can think of them as batteries:
1. A physical battery
2. An emotional battery
3. A mental battery
4. A spiritual battery
If we’re not recharging our batteries often, they’ll empty, deplete and eventually totally give up. This leads to burn out, mental health issues and physical illness. The effects of long term stress and being overworked is well documented and the results are not pretty. We don’t want to risk that, do we?
You may be snappy when your batteries are empty, possibly fatigued, moody, miserable, stressed and even ill.
If you fall ill, who will run your business? Who will look after your clients? Who will look after the children? It’s a worry that we just don’t need, so start looking at how you can invest more back into yourself, and start to say no to a few things.
It’s ok to stand up for yourself and say no to events and dates that you know will stress you or drain you.
Put yourself first every now and then
Putting yourself first makes you a better person. There’s a reason on flights that they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others in the event of an emergency. You can help more and be better equipped to deal with any challenge by making sure that your own batteries are fully charged and raring to go.
If you’re running on empty, you’ll not be able to give or be your best. So, ultimately, putting your efforts into recharging your batteries first is actually the least selfish thing you can do.
Investing in yourself doesn’t necessarily mean spending money on yourself. It can do if it’s a course you want to take to better yourself, or it can be if you see investing in yourself as taking yourself off for a spa weekend, or taking yoga classes.
Investing in yourself can also just mean time for yourself, thought for your own self-care, putting your own needs over those of other people, even starting a hobby perhaps.
Below are a few tips on how to put yourself first and recharge those batteries.
Your physical battery gets topped up and renewed by sleep, food, nutrition, and exercise. Can you ensure you get 8 hours sleep? Can you get some help to make sure your jobs are done before you go to bed?
Can you make healthy eating choices, knowing that when you choose healthy over convenience, your future self will thank you.
How about exercise? Can you schedule a 20 minute walk around the block and fill up your lungs with fresh air each day? Your energy levels will greatly improve by making small changes to these areas.
Your emotional battery gets topped up by nurturing conversations with friends, time with family, relaxing in the bath, reading a good book, watching a feel-good movie, walking in nature.
Can you arrange time to see a friend? Plan a weekly games or movie night with the family? Or take yourself off to the bath, fill it with bubbles, some essential oils, and a good book.
Make it a regular thing and top that battery up.
Your mental battery gets topped up by mindfulness, so how about taking a course or search on YouTube, for a guided mindfulness technique to follow every morning?
Journaling every evening helps to clear the thoughts out of your mind and move them onto paper, which helps stop the same thoughts playing over and over again on a loop, which leaves your mind more relaxed and able to sleep better.
How about following a yoga video? The beneficial mental effects of yoga are well documented. 10 minutes before bed can really help relax a busy mind. How about some guided hypnotherapy audios …. whatever works, right?
The spiritual battery will mean something different to everyone. Some might go to church, others may worship in a group setting, some might meditate every day, and others may want to figure out their purpose alone.
There is no right or wrong, only full battery or low battery. How you choose to recharge these batteries is entirely up to you.
However you choose to top your batteries up each day is your choice. The important thing is that you do top them up and that you recognise the need to make time for yourself.
Start today. Make a plan and schedule some time for you. Make it a regular thing and you’ll soon be feeling thankful
Let us know what investment you make in yourself and follow us @pocketpa.gb or email us via [email protected] as we’d love to hear from you.