Many of us, especially women, tend to put others’ needs before our own. We neglect ourselves and eventually resent those who have been on the receiving end of our love and attention. What we fail to realize is the importance of putting ourselves first. No, it is not selfish. In fact, it’s impossible to meet the needs of others effectively without first being balanced in our own lives. Loving yourself will not only prove to be a positive experience, but it will improve your relationships with others as well.
If we go through our days neglecting our basic needs, we will become very quickly drained of our energy, too exhausted to spend any time on ourselves. When we realize that our own needs are not being met, we become resentful and ultimately withdraw the help and support we so freely offered to others before. However, by focusing on putting ourselves first, we can regain that lost energy, which will give us endless vitality to direct toward others.
Loving and taking better care of yourself is easy if you implement one or more of the simple helpful tips and ideas listed here. When we are happy with the level of attention we are giving ourselves, our energy overflows and we are anxious to help fulfill the needs of those around us. Everyone wins when we learn to love ourselves. Use the following tips to get you started:
Live a healthy lifestyle – How can we expect to accomplish great things if we cannot meet life’s most basic needs? Eat healthy by replacing excess sugar and refined foods with whole foods and lots of water. Give your body the ability to effectively burn the fuel you take in by getting daily exercise, thereby increasing your metabolism. Make sure to get plenty of sleep as well, as our minds do not fully function if they haven’t been allowed to properly recharge themselves.
Express yourself – One of the best ways to take care of ourselves mentally is by frequently expressing how we feel. This can be done in several ways. Mentally, we can express ourselves on paper. Keeping a personal journal in which you can vent when needed will help keep emotions in check. Creative expression is important too, such as allowing yourself to feel and experience the wide range of emotions in a rented movie, or by working on a hobby that’s close to your heart. Photography and other visual arts are good for this. Remember, expressing ourselves creatively is as important as doing so mentally.
Spend some time alone – In order to appreciate ourselves more, we should get to know ourselves better. Some of you may think this will have the reverse effect, but think positively! You would be surprised what becoming introspective will reveal. Discover yourself and learn to love it. Go for a scenic drive. Take a long bath. Surround yourself with music or just quietly meditate. Not only will you appreciate your own company more, but the relaxation will do wonders for your state of mind. Your relationships are sure to improve if others sense your renewed energy and love of life.
Pamper yourself - Finally, take the time to treat yourself to something rewarding. Get a massage, a manicure, or tickets to your favorite sporting event. Show yourself you care about your own happiness by creating more of it in your life. By allowing yourself to enjoy the spotlight now and again, you’ll realize the goodness others feel when you are able to help them.
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Wendy Betterini is a freelance writer and web designer in New England. Visit her blog at http://www.workathomebalance.com/ for more work/life balance tips for entrepreneurs, home business owners, telecommuters and freelancers.