4 Ways to Start Putting Yourself First

We forget (and more often, neglect) to take care of our own emotional and mental health.

And just like skincare, working out, or any other aspect of our daily routines—the preservation and nurturing of our mental health is an integral part of practicing self-love and self-care. Today’s post is dedicated to the emotional self-care that we can practice all year round, with four simple ways to start putting yourself first:

Remember Your Own Emotional Needs Are Just As Important

If you’re an empath or have a natural tendency to provide emotional support to others, you may find yourself taking on the emotional burdens of your friends, or putting others’ needs ahead of your own in order to be a “good friend”. Yes: it is important to be a good friend, and yes: it is important to be a kind, compassionate person. But it’s also important to account for your own mental and emotional needs, and know that your feelings don’t always have to be put on the back burner to accommodate your friends and peers. A crucial part of being a good friend to others is knowing when to be honest with yourself (and others), and take care of yourself when you need to the most.

Know That It's Ok to Distance Yourself from Toxic, Garbage People

Sometimes it’s difficult to recognize a toxic relationship when you are in one. Other times, it’s difficult to find the strength to leave a knowingly toxic relationship without carrying an overwhelming sense of guilt. Although these relationships can be challenging to maneuver, it’s crucial to remember that it is never selfish to distance yourself from toxic behaviors, people, and relationships, or want to protect your own emotional or mental health by ridding yourself of these people. If a person doesn’t add any positive enrichment, energy, or opportunity for growth in your life--and in fact, does the adverse--they might be a toxic person, and it might be worth cutting them out of your life in order to put your own happiness first.

Start Embracing Your "Me" Time

One of the best ways to put yourself first is to dedicate more time to yourself and make conscious efforts to practice self-care. Self-care doesn’t always have to include an expensive facial or an indulgent shopping spree, but can be an activity, affirmation, or act that allows you to dedicate more time to growing, reflecting, or taking advantage of much needed “me” time. Allow yourself time to have a quiet night in, cook yourself a homemade meal, or spend more time doing something you love. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll likely benefit from time alone to reflect, be present, and nurture your own emotional needs.

Make the Right Choices for You

The sad reality is that you can’t always make everyone happy. Not everyone will love every decision you make for yourself—and that’s okay! Putting yourself first means taking time to recognize toxic forces in your life, make changes, and sometimes, make the ‘selfish’ choice in order to do what’s right for you. What’s most important about self-preservation is learning to make the best choices that allow you to feel the healthiest and happiest that you can be, and there is nothing braver or more selfless than trying to do good for yourself so that one day you can do the same for others.

How do you put yourself first? Tweet me @gisellelisabeth and let me know your tips for self-care and preserving your mental health!