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Putting yourself first

Published on 13th Octover 2020

Today, I’ve come across an article online with the following key message: “if the demands upon you are making you feel overwhelmed, anxious, …, if your work-life balance is unfairly skewed away from quality time with yourself, your family, your interests and hobbies, and/or your community, then it’s time to stop and refocus on what’s most important to you and find a way back to all that really matters.”

Does it resonate with you?  The author – who is a psychiatrist called Abigail Brenner- suggested six ways to refocus. They are all fairly simple, at least in appearance:
– determine what things you value the most about your life
– determine what commitments are most important to you
– assess the way you use your time
– get rid of clutter in every area of your life
– spend more time with the people that matter to you
– make time to be alone.

Part of me Yes, they all look straight forward. But if you’ve been brought up – like me – to believe that you should never put yourself first, these suggestions probably feel like very selfish things to do.

Part of me thinks it doesn’t feel right to focus on what matters to me.Some commitments might not be the most important to me but they might be to others… Or I don’t like my job but I need to work … Or i’d like to spend more time alone but my friends need me… All these are often deeply ingrained in us. But in the end, the only thing within our control is to take responsibility for ourselves so even though it might feel selfish, we have to put ourselves first. 

What do you think? Is it easy for you to put yourself first? Do you have any tip or advice to share? I hope this is helpful to those of you who are struggling a little bit at the moment and juggling too many responsibilities.

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