Proud2Bme | 5 Reasons to Put Yourself First

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5 Reasons to Put Yourself First

By Kim Drastal--You’re the kind of person who would do anything to make a friend smile, who would sacrifice something you wanted to do to help a relative and who would take care of everyone else before even thinking of yourself. Being a compassionate, thoughtful and empathetic person is something to be proud of; the world needs people like you. But there is a fine line between selflessness and ignoring yourself completely. So for all of you who believe that you are the last person that needs taking care of, here are five reasons why you need to start putting yourself first.

1. Because you are worth it.

You may not believe it all the time, it may not feel that way every day, but it’s true, always. You are deserving of recovery, of happiness, of success, of whatever you want in life. You are worth the fight. You are worth the effort that it takes to wake up every morning. The strength it takes to get back up after a fall. The tenacity it takes to be completely you. Though you may be weary, unsure, scared or tired, just remember you are worth all the blood, sweat and tears it takes to get to the best place for you.

2. Because it is imperative for your mental health.

It’s easy to forget about ourselves. To disregard our own feelings. To take care of others before we take care of ourselves. To ignore the little voice inside our heads that says, “I need help.” If you build a skyscraper on an unstable foundation will it ever stand tall on its own? No, each crack will weaken it just a little bit more, until suddenly, it comes crashing down. It is so important to put yourself first on your daily to-do list, to care for yourself instead of only thinking about other people. In the short run, it may seem easiest to put yourself last, but if you keep doing that then ultimately the cracks in your foundation will catch up with you. Go to your doctor’s appointments, take a mental health day, skip your friend’s party for a movie night in—do whatever it takes to make yourself your biggest priority.

3. Because it sets an example for how others should treat you.

By putting yourself first, you demonstrate the acceptable way for others to treat you. In whatever relationship—with a family member, a friend or a significant other—you determine what is okay and what is not. If you make yourself a priority, the other person will see you as someone worthy of respect and consideration as well. No matter how scary it may seem, sometimes you have to be your own advocate and say, “This is the proper way to treat me.”

4. Because you deserve to thrive, not just be alive.

You have this life. This one life. It should not be spent on the sidelines, off the stage or in the background. Life should not be about just staying afloat. If you put yourself first, you will see that doors open up, lights shine brighter and the possibilities are truly endless. You deserve an extraordinary life, everything you imagined and more—but first, you need to make yourself the heroine of your story.

5. Because the world is a better place with you in it.

You are like a snowflake: unique in every way. There is no one else quite like you. So guess what? That means you’re important. The millions of atoms that make you up formed a complex pattern that is completely irreplaceable. You can’t just throw all of that away or treat yourself like a second-rate knock off. You are so much more than that, so you should start acting like it.

I know that you must be thinking, “Kim, I get this but it’s just so hard to actually do.” And yes, it is extremely difficult. Many of you have lived your entire lives putting others before yourself. I know, because I did too—but that is what kept me unhappy and sick.

Once I started putting myself first I realized that doing things for yourself is not so terrible; it is actually one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. Take it step by step, day by day—at first, just try being more aware of your needs, then try actually acting on them. You are so important—the most important person in your world—and you deserve to come first in your life.

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

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