As a person who wants everyone to be happy all of the time, I find myself always putting other’s needs before my own, and I know that I am not alone in this. It’s a really admirable trait to have, but it often comes at a price. In making sure that everyone else is happy and fulfilled, our happiness is sacrificed and put on the back burner. We will run ourselves ragged to make other people feel good, and we know it’s not always healthy to do that, but we simply can’t help it.
The thought of disappointing someone or being looked at as if we can’t be counted on weighs heavily on our minds, and it drives us to go above and beyond for those that we love. We hate the guilt that comes with saying the word “no,” and that’s because we don’t see our needs as being more important. However, sometimes our needs really are more important, but we aren’t trained in communicating that to ourselves or to others.
Once we say out loud, “My happiness and overall well-being matter,” we have to believe it. It’s no point in trying to convince others of this if we can’t even convince ourselves. Only then can we begin to take ourselves seriously, and therefore, allow others to take us seriously. Family members and friends may try to make you feel bad for choosing yourself over them, but hey, sometimes you have to make time for yourself. It’s okay to be a little selfish sometimes; it’s okay to think of yourself first before others. How do you expect to be the best you that you can be if you’re too busy making everyone else happy and not yourself? How do you expect to grow when you’re not giving yourself the time and energy that you need to focus on yourself and learn about yourself?
If you’re like me and struggle with these things, I want you to try something with me. For seven consecutive days, try to do one thing each day for yourself that makes you happy. It helps to write a list and stick to it! Treat yourself. Enjoy yourself. No one else matters at that moment except you. Afterward, stop and think about how you’re feeling at that exact moment. You’re going to feel free and happy, and for once, let yourself feel this way. You deserve to feel happy more often, and that starts by putting yourself first every once in a while. It’s going to take practice; this is not some major change that’s going to happen overnight. But continuously working towards this will make you a happier person, which in turn, will make you a better person.
I’ll provide my list below as an example of what I’m going to do. I hope you all make a list that is personal to you and stick to it!
- Monday: Turn your phone on DND for a couple of hours.
- Tuesday: Once you’re finished with homework, RELAX. You’ve earned it!
- Wednesday: Take that 30min. nap!
- Thursday: No social media for a day; don’t feel obligated to stay connected.
- Friday: Treat yourself to some ice cream; you’ve made it to the weekend!
- Saturday: Don’t feel pressured to go out. Stay in and play some video games!
- Sunday: Sleep in!
“When you start loving yourself and respecting your time and energy, things will change. Get to know your worth, and your value will go up.”