AD | Collaborative post
The past couple of years have been hard for most people. Covid has changed all of our lives and still, two years later nothing is back to normal yet. It can be easy to look at caring more for the people around you but it’s so important to think about yourself. So, with that in mind, I wanted to share 10 ways to put yourself first in 2022.
1. Say no
It can be so easy to feel as though you have to say yes to everything. Go for a coffee? Yes. Babysit? Yes. Run errands for someone? Yes.
One of the easiest ways to put yourself first this year is to learn how to say no. Sometimes we can feel pressured into saying yes because we feel like we have to but that doesn’t help us at all. Our time is precious and we need to prioritise ourselves. If there are things you just don’t want to do, unless they absolutely have to be done, say no.
2. Take 15
Most of us lead really busy lives. It might be that you are trying to juggle work, the kids, running a household and everything else in between. Try to take 15 minutes every day just for you and do something that you want to do. This could be reading a chapter of your book, going for a walk around the block or sitting in the garden. Make sure your day isn’t about everyone else.
3. Have a bubble bath… alone
As a parent, bath time can often be a family affair. Someone usually needs a wee or has a question that absolutely cannot wait for another 10 minutes. Find a day where you can have some uninterrupted time in the bath. Maybe read a book, have a nice drink or put some candles on while you try to relax.
4. Look after your mental health
The most important person in your life is you and your mental wellbeing is so important. This year, embrace your mental health and make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep it in tip top shape. There’s nothing wrong with having some things you’d like to work through, or issues you would like to talk about.
Accessing a service, such as private psychiatry, could really help with things such as depression or anxiety, just to name a couple of things. By being able to talk to someone, you can get help to manage the symptoms of mental health issues.
5. Fruit and veg
A great way to feel better in yourself, and to put your health first is to make sure you are eating enough fruit and veg. Try to increase your intake of both daily. Find out what is in season, visit your local markets or try a new recipe you haven’t made before.
6. Have an early night
Not getting enough sleep is something a lot of do on a regular basis. Instead of staying up late, leave the dishes until the morning, watch that TV show in a couple of days and leave the ironing for another time. You’ll feel much better for a good night’s sleep and be more rested and more productive the next day.
Doom and gloom can easily take over. It’s always easier to focus on the negative. Take some time each day to write down 5 things you are grateful for and try to shift to focus to the positive things in your life.
8. Go for a walk
Being inside all day is no good for anyone and especially in winter, we struggle with the lack of natural light. Getting outside for a walk, whether that be for 20 minutes or an hour, will help to clear your head and give you a real break from whatever else you have going on. You don’t have to walk on your own either. The the kids out with you, meet up with a friend or make some time to go for a walk with your partner.
9. Set goals
To put yourself first you might want to look at goals for the future. This could be anything from what you want to achieve in a week, a month or maybe even longer term goals. Get yourself a planner, or an app, and start a list of things you might want to do, achieve or work towards. The great thing about goals is that you don’t even have to give timescales if you don’t want to and they could just me things you work on over time.
10. Remove the guilt
Never forget that it’s more than okay to put yourself first. We often feel so guilty or selfish for thinking about ourselves before other people but this year try to shift your mindset and realise that you don’t have to apologise for thinking about your own needs first.
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