CURRENTLY WORKING ON: Goal 1 – Feel Better
Step 1 – Choose Yourself (continued)
It’s al very nice and all, figuring out the first step to feeling better is to choose yourself, but how exactly do you do that? What if you didn’t have some sort of epiphany like me? Then where do you start?
You start by realising this: if you do not take good care of yourself, it is impossible to take care of others. Therefore, you owe it not only to yourself, but to everyone around you that you love, to take good care of yourself.
I’m sure almost everyone has heard the safety talk on a plane in which you’re told to, in case pressure in the cabin drops, put on your own oxygen mask first before helping your children (or others sitting next to you) with theirs. Why? Because if you pass out, you’ll not be able to help others. Result: more possible casualties. It’s logic 101.
I tell you this, because I know from own experiences, as well as stories of coachees, people find it difficult to put themselves first, fearing it will make them selfish. Being self-centred, however, takes years of practice. One logical decision will not magically transform you into an egoist, trust me.
Now that we’ve got that settled, here’s 3 tips to choose yourself:
1. Acknowledge You Are Not Feeling Okay
It’s such a cliché, but true: you cannot fix a problem if you deny it’s there. Sticking your head in the sand will surely work for a while, but the longer you wait facing reality, the harder it’s going to slap you in the face when you pull your head up for a breather.
One trick I picked up is to avoid the verb to accept. You don’t have to accept you’re feeling down. You don’t have to feel like you should be okay with it. But at the very least you should acknowledge it. You are not feeling like this for no reason: your body and mind are trying to tell you something. So sit down and listen.
“You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”– Buddha
2. Get Your Priorities Straight – Set Boundaries That Work For You
Now that you’ve acknowledged you’re not exactly as happy or as healthy as you’d like to be, it’s time to set some boundaries – for your own sake! You are now your own number 1 priority. That’s right. When making decisions, ask yourself: is this going to help me feel better? If the answer is no, reconsider.
Someone needs your help? Great! Only… If you don’t feel up to it, for whatever reason, don’t. If you’ve got 100% energy to spend on a daily basis, quit giving 80% away to others. You need it yourself! If the people asking for your help care about you, too, they’ll understand. Which brings me to tip 3:
3. Talk About It – Be Open And Stay True To Yourself
People cannot read your mind or smell what’s going on with you. If you want a little understanding, you’ve got to at least give them a little explanation.
When I opened up about not feeling well, some people got angry with me, others got upset and some were downright surprised. But at least now they all know why sometimes I am not going out with them or would rather hang out closer to my home than theirs.
You don’t have to be dramatic about it, but at least let people know, in general, what’s going on. It will make tip 2 a whole lot easier, too!
Talking also releases some of the burden you’ve been dragging along with you. Feeling miserable is bad enough, don’t add loneliness to the mix.
I hope these tips are useless for you, for that’d mean you’re doing fine already. If you do have a hard time putting yourself first, just imagine you’re in an airplane with oxygen masks dangling in front of you. Nobody would hold it against you if you helped yourself first in that scenario, so why should they do it now?
And even if they would, their opinion is not your priority. Your priority is yourself, so you can feel better and help others better, too.
Whatever it is that you do: be kind to yourself. You deserve it. Buddha said so, so it must be true 😉
Are these tips helpful to you? Do you have more tips that have helped you and might work wonders for someone else? Let me know ↓↓↓