So often you hear people talk about putting yourself first. They are not telling you to be selfish in the sense that you neglect others, rather they are saying in order for you to be of any good to anyone else, you MUST get yourself healthy, happy, and in a good place!
You’ve heard the old saying, “If mom’s not happy, no one’s happy.” Well, that’s true! And the same holds true for everyone, not just mothers! We are all made of energy. Our energy flows out and touches everything around us. We are affected by the energy of others, and they are affected by ours. When you are in a bad mood, a funk, or a downer day, take a look around you and see how your energy is influencing the lives of those around you. Your children, your spouse, and even your dog! It’s all thrown off, little attitudes spring up, happiness might turn into silence, and pretty soon the whole room is a big ball of twisted emotions.
The idea of putting yourself first means just that. Parents especially have a hard time with this because we’re conditioned to throw our own happiness aside to give our children any on-demand thing they desire. (Notice I said desire and not require.) Pretty soon we’ve lost our own identity. I know this, because I experienced this. It was when I understood that getting myself in a good frame of mind would flow out to those I loved, that I embraced the idea of putting myself first.
Many readers are asking, “What does this even mean?” Well, it means that you have to make time for yourself. Are you a scheduler? If so, block out AT LEAST thirty minutes a day just for you. Like any other habit, affording yourself some me-time is something that has to be learned. Do something by yourself, for yourself. It’s not a time to catch up on laundry or watch television. It’s a time to do what interests you. For me it was writing, creating, sitting with nature, or taking photos. Maybe for you it’s taking a walk, or sitting outside watching the sunset. Maybe it’s poetry or reading a book. Whatever it is that excites you or ignites your interest. Whatever it is that quiets you and calms you. Me-time is also great time for meditation! It is a time in which you are giving back to yourself, something that you probably forgot how to do in many years. A time to enjoy a quiet space with your own spirit.
When you give yourself permission to tend to yourself, you are in turn tending to your entire family unit. Putting yourself first is not selfish, it is the difference between negative and positive interactions with those around you.
Sheila Burke is an inspirational and spiritual author, the founder Happiness Hunting with Sheila, and the online communities of Irie and Zensational Living. Her books include Chorus of Souls (Jan. 2014), Booyah! Spirit, and Zensational Living and can be found in paperback and kindle on Amazon.