As I said in my last very short post, I was moving on from strictly trying to write about finances. Something that I’ve been increasingly intrigued by recently is “self-care.” I’ve been a people pleaser for as long as I can remember and it hasn’t always been that great. Putting others first can definitely be a good thing but it can also wear you down over time and is just downright exhausting at times. When people know you’re a people pleaser, it’s easier for them to take advantage of you. I mean seriously, there are a lot of people out there who are only out for themselves, and putting others first makes you an easy target. Not only that, but your needs and wants go unnoticed. Where is the fun in that?
After years and years of putting others first, I kind of got fed up with it and started making conscious efforts to change. Not completely of course, but enough to where I could put myself first. At the end of the day, you can’t really help and care for others if you’re not at your best. Constantly trying to make everyone around you happy will only make you miserable and tired. Then what?
For me it led me to not wanting to get up and go to work (although that may have had something to do with the level of soul sucking…ness…that’s definitely not a word but you get the gist LOL), spending every bit of my free time doing nothing (aside from watching Netflix), consistent and nearly daily headaches, fatigue, crankiness, etc. Not fun or productive by any means. So, I started thinking about how I could make a change and take care of myself for a change.
#1. Learn to say “No”
This is seriously the biggest game changer. It is completely OK to say no if it’s something that you don’t want to do. It’s so easy to get caught up in the whole “I don’t want to make anyone unhappy” thing and say yes to things even if you don’t want to do them. Oh, you need me to drop everything that I’m doing and come help you with your yard work? Yea, sure. I’ll be there in 10. You need me to cover your shift so you can go out partying tonight? No problem. I didn’t really need that day off even though I asked for it 6 months ago. I gotcha covered. Sound familiar? I thought so.
Somehow, their needs and wants get placed over yours, no matter how silly they are. Is that really how you want to live your life? Putting everyone else before yourself? You’re essentially wasting energy, time, and effort for people who (usually) don’t appreciate it and most of whom wouldn’t return the favor when asked. It’s unnecessary and tiresome.
Instead learn the art of saying no. I say art because, if you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to make this change unless you can provide a nice and pretty decline. You don’t want to go hurting anyone’s feelings. Saying no is a big enough step as it is. So learn how to politely and respectfully decline. It can be as simple as “I would love to, but….” and you fill in the rest. Just know that it is okay if you can’t or don’t want to do something.
#2. Spend some quality time with yourself
My quiet time is especially important to me. As an introvert, different tasks and social situations can be exhausting, which results in my need to recharge. My “me” time can consist of pretty much anything and regularly changes. Depending on my mood, I may spend an hour just listening to music on YouTube or all day re-reading my favorite book. I’ve been known to go see a movie by myself (no shame LOL) or go on a shopping spree on my own. When I was still going to college, I skipped an entire day and drove to the park on a nice breezy
day so that I could lay in the grass and read. Hey, I didn’t say anything about it always being the responsible thing to do. But it definitely did the trick and got me back where I needed to be mentally. And while we’re on the topic of not necessarily being the most responsible… a bottle of wine and a bubble bath is usually a good thing too. Kermit apparently thinks so too… ——->
When you’re focusing on your own well-being, sometimes a little alone time is just the thing for you. It gives you the opportunity to decompress and make sure you’re on your A-game. Find something that you enjoy that’s relaxing to give you that little boost. Don’t be peer pressured into thinking that you don’t need it or that it’s lame to do any of it. If you like it and it helps you, then do it!
#3. Find a hobby…or a few
This could potentially fall into the quality me time piece, but not necessarily. A lot of hobbies can either be solo things or group activities. Either are good. You just need to find one or a few that you really enjoy. I personally have a lot of different hobbies, but they change regularly. Really the only constants are reading and writing. Those have always been and probably always will be my two favorite. But usually I come across something that I really enjoy and then I do it consistently for a few weeks and then move on.
If you’re a homebody, try to find something outside of your home. Maybe go hiking or start a new sport. You can kill two birds with one stone and knock out your workout and have fun doing it. I also consider adventuring to be a good hobby. You get to go out and about, meet your daily step goal (get those Fitbits out people), and hopefully enjoy some fresh air. There’s nothing better for your own well-being than fresh air and exploring a new place.
Well there you have it. While there are a ton of other things that you can do for yourself, those are my top 3. Doing them regularly is something that I’ve found has helped my overall well-being. In order to be your best self, you have to feel good. Being around toxic people and situations is sometimes unavoidable, so it’s important that you know how to take care of yourself first and foremost. Like I said before, even for you die-hard people pleasers, you can’t take care of someone else if you’re not taking care of yourself.
Have any best practices to add?