Put yourself first at the top of your to-do-list every day, and the rest will fall into place
For some people, it’s almost second nature to take care of demands and requests of their family members, friends, and employers before even considering their own. Women in particular are moulded by society to be nurturers, mothers and caretakers. In fact, 91% of American nurses and 66% of caregivers responsible for the health needs of elderly loved ones are women. Unfortunately, failing to care for your own emotional and physical needs before attempting to resolve those of others can really take a toll on your emotional and physical well-being.
Better productivity. When you learn how to say “no” to things that over-extend you and start making time for things that matter more, you slow life down in a wonderful way. This brings your goals into sharper focus and helps you to concentrate on what you’re doing.
Improved resistance to disease. There is evidence that most self-care activities activate your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). What this means is that your body goes into a restful, rejuvenating mode, helping it to fortify its immune system. So, with better self-care often comes fewer colds, cases of flu and upset stomachs.
Enhanced self-esteem. When you regularly carve out time that’s only about being good to yourself and meeting your own needs, you send a positive message to your subconscious. Specifically, you treat yourself like you matter and have intrinsic value. This can go a long way toward discouraging negative self-talk and your critical inner voice.
Increased self-knowledge. Practicing self-care requires thinking about what you really love to do. The exercise of figuring out what makes you feel passionate and inspired can help you understand yourself a lot better. Sometimes, this can even spark a change in career or a reprioritization of previously abandoned hobbies.
More to give. When you’re good to yourself, you might think you’re being selfish. In truth, self-care gives you the resources you need to be compassionate to others as well. Giving compassion is a bit like filling a bucket; you can’t fill someone else’s if you don’t have enough of your own!