While striving to do our best and hustling to make our dreams come true is amazing, all that effort can begin to really take its toll on us. Many of us struggle to keep up, learning to prioritize ourselves and taking the time to care for ourselves is not only a great feeling, it’s an absolutely essential one.
Sometimes when we overextend ourselves the very concept of being our best self can be hampered. So prioritizing oneself allows us to live our life smoothly and effectively, and helps us bring out the best version of ourselves in whatever challenges that may come our way.
Below are a few ways in which we can start the process of prioritizing ourselves
1) Being nicer, kinder and more compassionate with ourselves. What we say or how we treat ourselves can have a profound effect on our thoughts, moods, and productivity. Even when we feel disheartened, we must try and focus on whatever effort and progress we make rather than just the results. Being able to avoid negatively labelling ourselves when something doesn’t work out the way we wished for it to is key in this process. Being mindful of the language and words we use to describe ourselves at work or home to others and ourselves is very important.
2) Putting a full-stop on the ‘people pleasing habit’ and prioritize ourselves instead. It is important to understand that it is okay to make choices that are more aligned with our own needs, dreams and goals. It is important to address and work through the guilt that may arise every time we choose to prioritize ourselves over work or others.
3) Being realistic with ourselves
Sometimes our to-do-lists can have a million things that we need to get done and not completing every single one of them may leave us feeling extremely demotivated. We need to focus on prioritizing only three things we wish to achieve every day. Breaking bigger goals down into smaller ones, achieving these goals will ensure our progress and give is a sense of achievement.
4) Encourage meeting people in person rather than interacting only on social media
It is fun to scroll through social media and stay connected with our friends on it however reading about how people are doing only on social media can leave us feeling like underachievers as people post only the “rosy picture” of their life on social media. Thus affecting our mood and maybe our performance in all aspects of our life. Knowing when to shut off from social media feeds and not believing everything we see on it is very crucial for a holistic balance between work and other things we choose to do.
5) Treat yourself
We find it so easy to gift others things. Sometimes it’s important to do the same for ourselves. Creating a wish list and rewarding ourselves when the time is right or we wish to appreciate ourselves for the work we have done, is such a lovely gesture. It can also help to work through our need for external validation and may help us build and maintain our self-confidence over a period of time.
6) Sleep and eat right. A good 7 to 8 hours of sleep can help our body to recuperate. It helps to boost our energy and intellectual functioning which in turn helps us to perform better at work or the task at hand. Similarly eating the right foods that nourishes our body can help too, keeping our health in check and not letting us fall sick so we don’t lag behind in our work or need too many days off from work. However it is important to take a few rest days or even just a day off when things at work get hectic. This may help us to rejuvenate and come back to tackle the work at hand in a more productive and appropriate way.
7) Finding few minutes a day for ourselves. This helps to prioritize what makes us happy and may give us a space to explore things for ourselves that we usually may not find time to do with our busy work schedules. Things like walking, keeping a journal to help us understand ourselves better, being creative or indulging in a little bit of meditation can help find a safe space within ourselves. All this will only help to improve our productivity.
8) Tapping into our authentic self. It is easy to get carried away by “herd mentally” that most of us have difficulty breaking away from. It is easy for us to know what makes others happy or what to choose because someone else may have chosen it, but just because these things matter to someone else does not mean they may matter to us too. Spending time understanding what makes us happy is very important. Being authentic and true to ourselves is often challenging as we wonder what people will think of us if we do something different from them but doing so can only help us build trust in ourselves and our choices whether at work or our personal life.
These easy and doable steps may help us to be able to have a long-term career, as well as discover and explore our passions and interests outside of our job. The more time we spend understanding ourselves, the more we will come to realize that our work life is merely a part of our identity and not the whole of it. This will in turn help us get a clear picture about what is the best use of our time and energy by putting a stop to wasting time on things, people, or activities that block us or keep us stuck from heading in the right direction.