Why do people automatically think that a person who does what’s best for themselves is an arrogant or egotistical individual? Is it possible that they’re just taking time for self-care, and it’s being misinterpreted? True, some people tend to be self-fish, but putting yourself first is necessary.
Imagine you just bought a beautiful sports car at the dealership. You were so excited and happy to have this luxury purchase, but after a few months, the newness wears off. But you missed the first oil change and the second, and now you don’t even know how long it’s been since it was serviced.
You keep meaning to take it to the shop, but you don’t have time. Now, the brakes are squealing every time you stop, and the check engine light is on. Still thinking, “you’ll get to it,” you ignore the signs that a breakdown is imminent.
Sadly, you’re on your way to work one day, driving on a busy freeway, and the car stalls. No matter what you do, you can’t get the engine to turn on. There’s a bit of smoke coming from under the hood.
You call a tow truck because you’re stuck, and you can’t get it to move. If you had only taken time to do the routine maintenance, the issues you’re experiencing could have been avoided. Consequently, you’re now faced with a $2,000 repair bill and no car to drive while it’s being fixed.
Your body is like that beautiful sports car. If you don’t make the time for “routine maintenance,” you will suffer from a breakdown. Be honest. How often have you struggled to even get out of bed from the exhaustion when you’re not getting enough sleep?
Self-care isn’t something you take care of when there’s nothing better to do. Instead, it should be a part of your life. If you don’t put yourself first, you’re going to have significant issues.
Eleven Reasons Why You Should Put Yourself First
If your mindset is that your spouse, children, and job come first, you’re not alone. While all those things are essential, you’re never going to get far if your gas tank is empty. Self-care isn’t about being selfish; it’s about doing what it takes to keep you going and happy.
Here are some fundamental reasons why it’s okay to put yourself first. Remember, you’re not neglecting anyone; you’re just taking care of your needs.
1. You Can Get Physically Sick
You’ve probably heard numerous times that stress can kill. According to the National Library of Medicine, your blood pressure rises when you’re stressed out, putting you at an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke. Additionally, your fight-or-flight hormones increase too, which can also put your entire system under duress.
2. No One Else Can Do It for You
While you can delegate many things in your life, self-care is one thing you can’t pass off to someone else. You have no choice but to make time for yourself, as your spouse or children can’t help with this one.
3. You Will Be Able To Enjoy the Little Things in Life More
When your body is stressed and tired, you’re not going to enjoy the little things quite so much. For instance, a nice picture from your child may get tossed in the trash with barely a glimpse when you’re at wit’s end. Now, if you’re not feeling pressure and have a positive outlook, this picture might mean the world to you.
4. Your Mood Will Improve
Do you ever get so moody that you can’t stand yourself? One day you’re on top of the world, and the next day you’re sobbing into your pillow. Sure, life will always come with ups and downs, but your moods shouldn’t fluctuate like the weather.
5. Your Relationships With Others Will Improve
Why are some parents so inconsistent in parenting? It’s because one day they feel great and ready to tackle the world, and the next day they feel like if one person crosses them, they will bite their head off. The folks around you may walk on eggshells because they don’t know how to handle your moods.
When you put yourself first and take care of your needs, you will have a more even temperament that allows you to be more approachable. No one wants people to avoid them simply because they’re unbearable.
6. You Can’t Function on Little Sleep
It would be best if you had slept, and it’s not a suggestion but a requirement. Your body must have between 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep to repair cell damage that occurs during the day. According to the National Library of Medicine, your sleep deficiency can cause you to have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease over time.
Folks who don’t get enough sleep are also likely to develop type 2 diabetes, mood disorders, sleep apnea, pain and disability, and obesity. Plus, they call it beauty rest for a reason; no one looks their best with dark circles under their eyes.
7. It Increases Your Confidence
Have you ever had a massage, a pedicure, a manicure, or some other treatment done? How did you feel afterward? There’s nothing better than having someone pamper you.
When you put yourself first, it will increase your confidence. Have you ever felt like you could tackle the world when you got a new outfit, pair of shoes, or haircut? It’s because taking care of yourself feels fantastic, and it can’t help but give you a little boost.
8. It Reduces Stress Levels
It’s hard to feel stressed out when someone is massaging a soothing oil into your skin. You don’t need to pay big money, though, to reduce your stress. Why not take a walk in nature, barefoot, and reconnect with the earth?
There are so many benefits to taking care of yourself, but the most important is that it lowers your cortisol levels, which helps with your stress.
9. You Can Enhance Mental Clarity
Have you ever experience brain fog? If you’re running on empty and not getting enough sleep, mental clarity is a significant issue. According to the National Library of Medicine, brain fog is an altered state of consciousness that can cause you not to concentrate and multitask.
Your brain, just like any other organ in your body, can become tired and sick. Your mental health is just as vital as your physical wellbeing. When you are under stress, lacking sleep, and just not doing well, your brain will suffer.
You will feel the effects as a general fog, which causes you problems with clarity and gives you an inability to pay attention.
10. Increased Self-Esteem
You may not try out for that management position when your self-esteem is low because you don’t think you’re a good candidate. You may not take reasonable risks in your clothes, hairstyles, makeup, and life. However, when you get the boost in your self-esteem you need from self-care, you feel like you’re winning.
You have an increased belief in your abilities, and you’re ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
11. Your Outlook on Life Will Improve
There are days when you feel like you can’t go another mile. You may feel helpless and hopeless. However, the good news is that your entire outlook on life will improve when you start taking care of yourself. You will see things that you might have missed before, like a rose bush blooming in vivid color.
When you go through your days down and out, you will miss so much beauty all around you. Little things like the coo of a baby, the smile on your spouse’s face, or the laughter of your children coming from their bedroom might go unnoticed. However, when you start taking the proper steps to take care of yourself, then you suddenly notice so many beautiful things you’ve missed.
Final Thoughts On Why You Must Put Yourself First
Do you take time to ensure your needs are met? When’s the last time you went out with friends, hit the mall, or got your favorite sweet treat? You work hard, so you deserve to have a few little special moments all to yourself.
You don’t have to spend a great deal of money to practice self-care, and there are no expensive creams or products to buy. Of course, if those luxury touches are what it means to put yourself first for you, then do it. However, simple things like sitting alone in your room for thirty minutes and reading a good book are beneficial.
Remember, if you want to take care of those around you, you need to first take care of yourself. An empty pot can’t pour into others, so you must first fill your pot to overflowing. Challenge yourself for a few minutes of “me time” each day.