Simple Ways to Make Yourself a Priority
2016 was a rough year for me. Between working forty-five hours a week, starting grad school, moving to another state, and many other things, I had no time to do anything. For a while, I felt like a robot. I did the exact same schedule everyday: wake up, shower, get dressed, go to work for eight or nine hours or go to class, go home, do homework, shower, sleep, repeat. I became so immune to my robot schedule that when I did get some “me” time, I was helping friends or family with whatever they needed. All of this, in turn, caused me to stress myself out and yearn for some real “me” time. I just couldn’t take the robot schedule and always being the go-to friend anymore. I knew I had to make myself a priority before it drove me insane. But it wasn’t easy.
Making yourself a priority is hard. There are a lot of sacrifices that you have to make, which may cause people to think you’re acting funny or you’re changing. On the flipside, you may start to regret putting yourself first and retort back to your old ways. You can’t let that happen. You have to force yourself to be the number one person in your life (aside from God, if you’re religious) before you lose sight of who you truly are.
How can you start putting yourself first?
Learn how to say “no”
You can’t do everything your friends, professors, managers, etc. ask you to do. Taking on more responsibilities when you know you need time to yourself is not good. If the people in your life ask you to do something, you can say “no.” And when you do, don’t feel guilty. They may get upset and question you, but they will get over it. You’re not being selfish by saying “no,” you’re just choosing you for once.
Manage your time
Sit down and write down what your days are like. By writing a list, you can see where you can have opportunities to make more time for yourself. Managing your time does require some sacrifices such as getting up earlier or not taking a certain route home. Be willing to do what it takes to get as much of your time back.
Actually have “me” time
Whatever makes you happy, whether it’s drawing, writing, reading, etc., make time to do it. This your “me” time, the time to do things you love to do. Having “me” time is just as important as everything else is in your life. It reminds you of your purpose and why you get up and do the same robot schedule every day. Even if it’s for fifteen minutes a day, your “me” time should be something you look forward to when you’ve had a tough day.
Take yourself out
In spite of what society makes us think, there is nothing wrong with doing things by yourself. It is okay to go the movies, the mall, to a restaurant, or a bar alone. While it is better to have someone with it, sometimes you need to get away from your world. Treating yourself is the extra step you can step to get more “me” time.
Putting yourself first and at the top of your priority can be challenging. But by doing so, you’ll see the impact it has on your life and why it is all worth it. You’ll be happier and actually want to get up for your crazy full schedule because you know you’ll have time for yourself once the day is over. You’ll feel less stressed, be in a better state of mind, and have confidence as you navigate through your day.