It may seem selfish, but honestly its something we should all learn to do a little more, sometimes we’re so blinded by everything going on around us that we forget to care for ourselves.

Why is it we forget to put ourselves first?

Maybe because we was always told to be kind and loving towards other people and that it was selfish if we didn’t care for those around us. That everyone around us should be happy and if we make them happy we’re doing something right. Its not to say we shouldn’t give our love to the ones that we care about, but we should never loose love for ourselves.

The problem is, when we’re so used to giving what we have to others, sometimes we can forget to care for ourselves, forget to love ourselves and often help ourselves when we begin to struggle, because we’re so invested in caring for others that need help, which is why we should always come first.

It will make you feel more confident. Confidence is something that many of us don’t feel sometimes and it can honestly ruin the way we see ourselves, if our self-esteem is low, we won’t feel confident at all. If we start putting ourselves first, it will improve our confidence and the way we see ourselves. Having confidence means that we are comfortable and that we value ourselves as much as we value others. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to spend your money on you once in a while, at the end of the day you earned it, but sometimes it may feel like should give it your loved ones, but treat yourself, get a new hair cut, get your nails done, go on a shopping spree, it’s ok to give yourself some self love, don’t be afraid to do so.

We often forget to just take a break and relax. Of course, its hard when we have busy schedules and we simply can’t just sit down for a cup of tea or go to a spa. But sometimes, we just need to detox from the hectic life and take a nice bubble bath, have a beer and tuck in to a yummy cake and just breathe. Sometimes we would rather put everyone else before ourselves, if they’ve got problems, we’re there to sort them, wipe their tears away. It can be that we’re so caught up in the problems they have, that we actually find ourselves becoming depressed because we don’t think about how its affecting us, helping others or the fact that we simply just don’t take care of ourselves.

However, if you’re unhappy, stressed and burnt out, you will not be good to yourself or anybody else. Remember to take care of yourself and your mental health, only when you’re on track and feeling good, then offer help to those around you if they need it.

If you constantly say ‘yes’ to things that you really don’t want to do, you’re letting people walk all over you. Being there for help and being kind is one thing but letting people treat you like a pushover is something that you should never allow. When you are too kind or pleasing, some people will take it for granted. They don’t always appreciate everything you do for them and they might not value you for using your personal time you’re using to be there for them. Some people will take advantage of your kind heart if you let them.

There is a huge difference between being selfish and putting yourself first. Being selfish means you are self-absorbed and that you don’t care about anybody or anything but yourself. By putting yourself first means being as kind to yourself as you are to others. It means taking care of yourself so you can be more productive and organised and a better person in general. It means just loving yourself a little more and thats not selfish, its necessary.

The people around you will actually benefit from it, your relationships and friendships with others will improve because you’re feeling happier and your loving yourself a little more, rather than feeling sad and worn out because you just don’t simply have the ‘time’ for yourself. Just because you’re not always putting them first, that’s ok, if they care about you they’ll understand that you come first.

Its not just all about your physical appearance, it also means taking care of your mental health. Have you ever realised that after a crazy, stressful week of working long hours and feeling overwhelmed, then you finally make it to the weekend only to wake up sick and you’re stuck in bed? This is the outcome, if you do not put yourself first, your body will force you too. Its a bit like exercising, if you don’t take a break from it once in a while, your body will feel so runned down that you’ll have to take a break.

The most important aspect of all this, is that your relationship with yourself will be better. When you learn to put yourself first, only then will you be able to really get to know who you are and how strong you’re and when you’re down, you’ll know how to help yourself. You’ll discover yourself in ways you never thought possible and you will value yourself more. You will of course be there for people who are important to you but you won’t let them take advantage.

You will learn your likes and dislikes because before you did not have the opportunity to do so, because you kept putting yourself last. Be your own priority and remember that the key to happiness and good relationships with others is by taking care of yourself and loving yourself.

Remember to have time to yourself, there’s nothing wrong with needing a day or two to yourself. Don’t ever feel bad for putting yourself first, because you need to in order to live a healthier life. Love those around you, but just don’t let them take advantage, when its you that needs the help the most.

Just remember your worth and that you come first and you’re the only one that matters when it comes to feeling better mentally and physically.

       Journalism Student