There is a damaging belief circulating throughout society that taking care of yourself first is selfish. Women are particularly hard-hit by this belief. Expectations that a woman should always put her children and spouse or partner’s needs above her own are common. If a woman does make the choice to take care of herself first, then she often faces harsh judgment from others. As a result, most women feel guilty for spending time and money on their own physical and mental health needs.
Do you struggle to put your own health needs first?
If so, you are not alone! We have been conditioned from a young age to put the needs of others ahead of our own. Because of the perception that focusing on ourselves is “bad” or “selfish” we often feel a sense of fear or even shame when taking care of ourselves. There may be a belief that by focusing on ourselves we may be taking money or time away from our loved ones.
But when you make your health a priority, it carries over to every aspect of your life. Here are five reasons why you must make your health a priority!
5 reasons to start putting your health first
You will feel better
If you’ve been focusing on everyone and everything except yourself, then most likely you are experiencing some health issues. They may be minor, or you may even be facing chronic illness. Unmanaged stress, poor sleep habits, too little exercise and a bad diet may have thrown your body out of balance. These illnesses and symptoms are the body’s way of trying to get your attention to let you know that things aren’t going as well as they should be.
Look at it this way…you value the vehicle you drive. You regularly put gas in it, get the oil changed and have maintenance done, especially when the warning lights come on. Without caring for your vehicle, eventually it will break down and stop working. Your body is very much like a living vehicle. Without regularly maintaining it, eventually it will break down and stop functioning the way it should. Your symptoms are the body’s warning lights, telling you that it’s time to do some maintenance!
The good news is that your body does have the power to begin healing and to reverse symptoms and chronic conditions. When you choose to focus on supporting your body, you start on the path to rebuilding your health. But the benefits don’t just stop with your body! As you begin to make yourself a priority, not only will your physical health improve…but your mental health will improve as well! Your moods will change for the better and you’ll feel happier and more confident.
You will have more energy
One of the top complaints that our clients face daily is fatigue. It is hard to get things done when you are always tired. You may even find yourself relying on caffeinated beverages or junk food to keep you going all day. But as you begin to heal, your energy will naturally increase! You won’t need to rely on caffeine or sugary snacks to help you make it through the day, and that benefits your waistline too. You’ll have plenty of energy to get things checked off of your to-do list, increasing your productivity at work and at home!
You will save money
Healthcare is expensive! And that cost increases significantly each year. The expenses tied to chronic illness can be overwhelming financially. When you make your health a priority, you have an opportunity to prevent serious chronic illness. Prevention is always the easiest goal. But, even if you are facing chronic illness now, it is possible to restore good health. But that cannot happen if you allow yourself to continue putting yourself last. Taking the time to manage your health now will help to protect your finances by minimizing expensive medical bills as the result of long-term, chronic illness.
You will save time
Not taking care of your own health will ultimately cost you time. It’s easy to take for granted how much time is spent dealing with chronic illness. Or how much time is wasted struggling with symptoms like fatigue. This is valuable time away from family, friends and life, all because you don’t feel well. Taking the time now will protect that precious time later!
You will have more to give
There is a popular quote that says, “You can’t pour from an empty cup”. If you aren’t taking care of your own physical, mental and emotional health, then you will become so depleted that you’ll have nothing to give to others, much less yourself. This is perhaps the best reason to invalidate the belief that putting yourself and your health first is selfish. When you are healthier, you have more to give to others. More time, more energy and more of who you really are. When you are healthy, happy, feeling good and energetic, you will naturally be able to do more for your family, friends and for your job. Putting your health first allows you to be the best “you” possible. And when you are at your best, you can share that with those you love. They deserve the best you…and so do you!
Give yourself permission to make your health a priority. Take the time you need now to do the things that will allow you to reclaim your health, without feeling guilty. Allow yourself to spend money to make that happen. Your health is an investment, not an expense! You are worthy of feeling good again. It’s time to become the best you possible!
If you are interested in taking the guesswork out of reclaiming optimal health, our FDNThrive Coaches can help! Learn more here!