Before we start I will say that I write this article form the perspective of being a woman. I am a mother, daughter, sister, friend, colleague, acquaintance, teacher, counsellor and much more besides. Every single one of these hats that I wear is wonderful. However they take time and energy, sometimes leaving me to forget myself and how I feel. Putting yourself first is important and sometimes vital to good mental health.

What Does Putting Yourself First Mean?

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I am not talking about being selfish and wanting your own way all the time. That is not how anyone wants to live their lives, and as a mother you have little chance of doing that!

However, in the chaos of daily living it is hard to lose yourself amongst it all. To forget to look after yourself and think about what you need to be happy, healthy and content. Particularly as a mother, your concern is always about the children. Making their little lives as happy, fun and exciting as possible. It can be the case that we turn around and realise we feel rather miserable. It’s no one’s fault, just something that happens.

Putting yourself first mean taking time for you. That all important self-care. It could be some ‘me time’ or picking what you’d like to eat for dinner, it might be leaving the dishes and playing a game with the kids instead, or even going on a day out to somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit. Eat that last piece of chocolate! Putting yourself first is, as with much of our advice this year, about balance. Including yourself in what makes life amazing for you all.

Why is This Important?

Photo by Tamas Pap on Unsplash

When you are constantly that person that people turn to, the fixer, the problem solver, the listening ear, you can feel as if everyone else has the time and attention they need. You can become despondent, lack motivation and interest in things. You start to feel more like you are there only for others. Even though this may not be the case, you are important to loved ones and they appreciate you more than you know, it doesn’t always feel like that.

So, having those moments scattered throughout daily living that are just for you are important as you remind yourself of a few things. You are important. What you do matters. You deserve to enjoy life. It helps reinforce the positive thoughts that sometimes are drowned out by the din of negativity. Above all, it allows you to remember you are a person too. Not just a cook, cleaner, taxi driver or comforter.

Wanting to put yourself first once in a while doesn’t mean you don’t love being a mum or a friend, it just means you are taking care of yourself as well as everyone around you. You deserve that.

Great Ways to Put Yourself First

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There’s already a few ideas throughout this article but here are a few more.

  • Order yourself or cook yourself a delicious mean you’ve been craving.
  • Take a trip to somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit.
  • Start that new hobby you’ve wanted to try.
  • Buy that new dress you’ve been eyeing.
  • Take a hot bubble bath and relax for half an hour.
  • Ask for that cuddle from the little ones when you feel less than great. Hug them tight and savour the moment.

There are many ways that you could put this in to practice, you know what things might feel a bit selfish but in reality are just things you’d like to do. Most importantly, remember the people around you love you and appreciate you, even if they don’t show it. Life can be tough at times, a struggle even, these moments you create just for you will help you conquer those and continue to be the best person you can be for the ones you love. Love them and love yourself!

You will be able to find all manner of self-care ideas this year on The Wonderment. Don’t forget to join the conversation over on social media too. You can find us on TikTok, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and Twitter.

About Author

Erika is bright, bubbly and friendly. Studying to be a counsellor, she is committed to helping others in the pursuit of better mental health. Having suffered from mental health issues herself including severe anxiety and PTSD, she wants to show others that the light at the end of the tunnel is not just a cliché!
Erika enjoys spending time with her little one, friends and family, crafting, reading, writing, music gaming, cooking, creating art, cacti and llamas.

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