You are the most important person. Repeat that.
This is something that I didn't figure out until I hit my 40s, people! I couldn't figure out why I was tired all the time. I was constantly taking care of everyone else's needs, which meant my needs were never met. When I started to prioritize things that were important to me, my life changed. I have more energy, which means I have more joy to share with those I love. My quality of life and relationships have drastically improved. The key is to keep saying yes to yourself, even if it means saying no to others and asking for help from time to time. Here are my top 6 things I do to put myself first. You can steal them for yourself or come up with your own list.
I stick to my workout routines. I have them scheduled during low-demand mom hours and make sure they are fixed on my calendar as much as possible. These keep me mentally strong and focused. They are a must. It's easy to come up with every excuse, not to workout, don't do that to yourself. But stick to the routine, get the training done, and you will feel so much better after.
I make sleep a priority. There are endless things that need to get done. I get it. There are also many benefits to a regular sleep schedule. Improved immunity, memory, metabolism, and patience with those around you. Children especially know when you haven't had enough sleep and will get on your very last nerve. Also, everyone looks better when they are well-rested.
I eat well. At least I make a reasonable effort. When I eat well, I can feel it. My energy is better, and my moods are happier. That cranky starving feeling or sugar crash is not worth it. I plan ahead on days packed with activities and have nuts or easy-to-eat fruit and veggies on hand or even the magically simple PB&J to avoid fast food runs. I usually keep these little bags of Archer Farms almonds I get at Target on hand or a Costco bag of pistachios to grab by the handful. I am certainly not perfect. I love my coffee in the morning with a teaspoon of pure maple syrup, and my 17-year-old daughter and I have our secret chocolate stash when we need a piece from time to time.
I make friends a priority. I spend time with people that bring me joy every week. When we can't be together, I reach out with text messages and phone calls. Before, I could go months without having a good conversation with friends. I would see them at kid functions but not have those profound connecting moments we all desire and need. I have a big smile because my friends bring me so much joy and happiness as I'm writing this.
Every day I strive to live a life full of gratitude and find joy. When I am grateful for the little things in life and look for happiness in small moments, I am happiest. When I find something that brings me joy, I take a deep breath to soak up as much joy as possible. It may be the sky is the prettiest color, blue, my child just gave me an unexpected hug, or a friend sent me a sweet text. Make it your mission to squeeze all the joy out of the day.
Meditation centers my soul. Even when I'm busy doing whatever the day brings, I can take a few deep meditating breaths to check in and feel the positive vibes from the universe. But, of course, the best is sitting still for about 5 mins every day, breathing in love and exhaling any unwanted noise in your life.
It may feel overwhelming to make yourself the most important person in your life. Start small. Try to take 5 – 10 minutes each day to do something you love that brightens your soul. You can add in one each week and see how different you feel. You are the most important person! Take care of yourself, and everything else falls into place.