Putting Yourself First

In yesterday’s post, I talked about the value of taking a day off every once in a while to let your batteries recharge and just being kind to yourself in general.  The truth is, this is something that many of us, myself included, need to get much better at so that we can maintain balance in our lives.

For those of us who have jobs, businesses, families and other adult responsibilities, we often have the bad habit of just putting our own requirements last on the list of things to do.

I’m suggesting that sometimes, you need to put yourself first.

This can be really hard for some people because we’ve allowed ourselves to become enablers of everyone else’s best interests and we’ve inadvertently subjugated ourselves.

In fact, most social structures have been geared towards ensuring that we don’t “put ourselves first”.

Let’s be honest, it’s waaaaay harder for women than it is for more men – women who occasionally have the audacity to put their own requirements first are looked upon as selfish.

It’s gotten much harder for men too – thirty or forty years ago, it was assumed that the man of the house would have his weekend to himself to play golf with his friends and putter around the garage.

Now parents are chauffers on weekends, shuttling their children to various activities and social gatherings.  You work hard all week and then on weekends your job simply changes to something else.

If you run your own side hustle business, this gets even worse – not only do you work all week or take care of the kids, but you’re spending your evenings working late and looking for spare hours wherever you can just to get things done on what seems like a “magic pudding” to-do list.

My philosophy is pretty straightforward, you deserve to put yourself first sometimes and everyone around you needs to just accept that.

If my wife wants to spend a day laying around in bed, playing on her phone and our family eats takeaway so that nobody has to cook or clean dishes, then that’s what happens.

If I decide that I’m going to plant my backside on the couch every so often, watch mindless TV on Netflix and do nothing, well, I’ve earned that right.

Even with my son… Some days he’s had a long week at school or whatever and if he just wants to park himself on his bed and spend the day playing Xbox, then good on him, knock yourself out.

You owe it to yourself to occasionally put yourself first.

You deserve it.

I’m lucky that my family is great about this.  If I choose to have a “me” day, my wife never says a word about it, she just gets on with her own thing.  I’m the same, if she has a “day off”, then I encourage it and ask how I can help her relax more – I think she deserves it.

Be generous with those around you and be generous to yourself!

Like everything, there’s a balance that needs to be had.  If you’re trying to get ahead and build your own online business as a side hustle, then taking every Saturday off to watch TV and listen to podcasts isn’t sensible.

But once a month or every so often after you’ve had a crazy week?

Yeah, you deserve that.

And the thing is, you’ll be better for it.  When you give yourself that day to just kick back and switch your brain off, everything will feel better.  It might take a day or two to get over the “hangover” from having an off day, but you’ll notice how much better you feel and how much sharper your brain is.

The other thing that happens is you don’t end up resenting everything around you from sucking up your time.  This happens more than people care to admit – I know tons of parents who absolutely come to hate taking their kids to sport on weekends because it just eats into everything else.

So that’s a new rule for you to follow… Every so often, put yourself first.  Don’t plan it around everyone else, don’t send out formal memos to everyone, just wake up and decide to take the day off.

It’ll probably be hard for people to cope with the first time you do it, but eventually, they’ll get used to it and if you’re adamant about adhering to your “you time”, then everyone else will come to respect it.

It might seem hard and you are probably sitting there thinking that it’s not possible for you to pull this off, but trust me, it is.

And once you do, you’ll feel so much better for it.

You can thank me later.

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