INSIDE: Finding ways to take care of yourself is one thing but if you’re going to make your self-care routine stick, you need to put yourself first every single day. And in this post, I’m sharing three simple things you can do to help you do just that. Let’s dive in!
(This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase, I make a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you but it does help to keep A Simple and Contented Life going. Thanks for your support!)
Learning to put yourself first…
These last few weeks we’ve been talking all about how to bring more self-care into your every day. We’ve looked at how to create a self-care routine that works for you. I’ve shared some super simple ways to not only take better care of yourself but treat yourself better too. We’ve also talked about how self-care isn’t selfish and the importance of having your very own self-care toolkit.
Now it’s time to talk about the final, perhaps most important part of your journey towards better self-care; taking care of yourself going forward. Because finding ways to make your wellbeing more of a priority is one thing. Making your self-care routine stick is something else. If you’re to make your self-care process a habit, you need to put yourself first every single day. And in this post, I’m going to show you how.
Why you should put yourself first…
I never used to be very good at putting myself first. But then I was diagnosed with breast cancer and my life depended on me staying strong so that I could fight. I learned the importance of making my wellbeing a priority. How important it is to listen to your body and do what you can to put yourself first.
During my chemotherapy, I promised myself that I would have a plan for going forward. That when I was better, I would continue to put myself first every single day. And when I did just that, when I started to put myself first, I noticed a massive shift in not only how I felt mentally and physically but how I felt inside as a person too.
There are so many reasons why you should put yourself first. Make yourself a priority every single day and you’ll:
- Feel calmer and more relaxed.
- Sleep better.
- Have more energy.
- Feel more connected to yourself.
- Trust yourself more.
- Increase your sense of self-worth.
- Feel happier and more confident.
- Feel less guilty about saying no to the things that don’t serve you.
- Have more time for you.
Putting yourself first is the final step in your journey towards better self-care. And the benefits to your mental and physical wellbeing make it totally worth it.
How do I know?
Because the list above is everything I’ve felt and found since I’ve been doing it!
But how do you make it happen?
How do you put yourself first and make your self-care habit stick?
Here’s how to make yourself a priority every single day and how to continue to take care of yourself going forward.
Schedule it in
One thing that really helps me fit self-care into my schedule is to write it in my diary. I have a Daily Plans book from Paperchase that I absolutely love and use every day to write out my schedule and to-dos. The great thing about it is that as well as having space for my schedule, it also has space for me to write how I’ll make time for myself each day too. And whenever I fill in that box and write down how I’m going to put myself first, guess what? That’s right, it happens!
Want to increase the chances of putting yourself first? Write it on your calendar!
I talk more about this in my book How to Create a Family Life You LOVE but ideally, you should treat your self-care commitments like any other appointment or event.
Write down the time you intend to start and finish. And be specific about the activity you’re wanting to engage in. Doing these things will help make it more likely that you’ll follow through.
Planners perfect for this:
- Fleur Daily Planner. This is the one I like to use. Not only is it super cute but it looks great on your desk too. PLUS, if you have giant handwriting like me, the lines are nice and wide so there’s plenty of space for you to write!
- Self-Care Journal. This journal is great for practicing self-care and putting yourself first. With trackers, plenty of self-care ideas to get you started as well as tasks and mantras, it’ll have you feeling like your best you before you know it!
- 2020 Wellness Diary. If you want a diary that focuses totally on self-care, this is it. With a week across two pages, there’s plenty of space for you to journal about how you feel as well as monthly tasks for you to complete.
Create a Plan
If you’re to make your wellbeing more of a priority, you need to have a self-care plan.
Because not only does having a self-care plan make it easier to put yourself first, it helps you to be more intentional about how you spend the time you have for you too.
A self-care plan helps you to identify what nourishes your mind, body and soul and get it down on paper. It helps you to figure out where your pockets of free time are and how to best make the most of them. It’s an important part of your self-care toolkit because with it, you’re more conscious of what makes you feel great. And when you know that, you’re more likely to put yourself first.
I talk more about having a self-care plan in part four of this series, so be sure to check that out if you haven’t done so already. And if you want to give creating your own self-plan a go, you’ll find a FREE printable self-care plan that you can download in my post, which not surprisingly, is called Your FREE Printable Self-Care Plan!
Trust your instincts…
Finally, if you’re going to take care of yourself going forward, you need to trust your instincts. Because sometimes, life gets busy and you’ll find yourself living on autopilot. And it’s during those times that you need to trust your instincts more than ever so that you know when you’re in need of a little boost.
Feeling frazzled or fatigued isn’t a cue to knuckle down and work harder. It’s your body and mind’s way of telling you that you need a break. That you need to put yourself first. So, listen to them!
Keep an eye out too for any unusual signs that things might be off-balance. Irritability, eating poorly, not getting enough sleep or indulging in bad habits are all good signs that you need to take better care of yourself.
Start feeling or behaving like the opposite of the list I shared above and there’s a good chance you’ve stopped putting yourself first. Which means it’s time to start doing what you can to put yourself first again!
Now it’s your turn…
How will you take care of yourself moving forward? What will you do to put yourself first every single day? Make a plan, schedule it in and don’t forget to trust your instincts.
And if you need a few ideas of how to put yourself first, here are some great ways to get started:
- Get a decent night’s sleep.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruit and veg.
- Stay hydrated.
- Opt for herbal teas instead of wine.
- Take time out to be by yourself and do nothing.
- Embrace peace and quiet – just sit still and think.
- Get fresh air and exercise.
- Listen to music
- Declutter your to-do list.
- Be mindful of what you say yes and no to.
- Walk your dog – or borrow someone else’s.
How to put yourself first every single day…
Self-care is a process. Making it stick takes practice and dedication. And because the benefits don’t appear overnight it’s easy to start to feel discouraged and let your self-care practices fall to the wayside. Especially when times are busier or more stressful than usual.
And that’s why you need to put yourself first every single day.
One final word of advice…
Take the time to assess your self-care needs regularly. Set aside time each week – preferably when you’re planning out the week ahead – to make sure you’re giving yourself enough time and attention. And if not, build time in. You might find it hard at first but taking care of yourself moving forward does get easier – as long as you make the commitment to put yourself first every day.
That’s it for this post! Have you ever felt guilty about putting yourself first? Has this post encouraged you to make a plan for taking care of yourself going forward? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time…
P.S. Like what you read? Subscribe to A Simple and Contented Life!
Join my community and receive weekly emails packed full of motivation, inspiration and reassurance that you’re not alone on this parenting journey. As an added bonus, you’ll gain EXCLUSIVE access to my FREE Resource Library. Inside you’ll find a ton of cheatsheets, checklists, printables and workbooks all designed to help you make family life LESS stressful and MORE enjoyable. Simply fill in your details below and I’ll add you to my mailing list!
Did you like this post? Be sure to check out the rest of the posts in this series too!
- Super Simple Ways to Treat Yourself
- How to Add a Self-Care Routine to Your Day
- 3 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself
- The Self-Care Toolkit – What it is and Why You Need One
- Five of the Best Cheap and Easy Self-Care Ideas
- Self-Care isn’t Selfish: Why You Should Never Feel Guilty About Putting Yourself First