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All The Things I Learned When I Started Putting Myself First

It's not selfish.

POSTEDBYALISHA CADOGAN

Until recently, I spent a lot of my life doing things I didn’t want to in a bid to be a good friend. However, since the beginning of summer I have learned that putting myself first doesn’t make me selfish or even a bad friend.

I decided to start putting myself first after I was diagnosed with depression, and after I realized that a lot of what I was doing was negatively impacting my life. However, making the change was hard, and it wasn’t until I lived on my own for the first time that I realized that putting myself first not only made me happier, it actually helped me to become a better friend and person.

The first thing I had to learn was how to say no. Ever since I started to say no, I enjoy myself so much more, as I get to do the things that I want to. It was difficult at first, and I was often told by my friends that I was ‘being selfish’, and was often accused of ruining their lives, which also made me realize that taking a step back from these people could only be a good thing for me. Honestly, I have yet to feel any FOMO from turning things down, as I have been using the time to do activities that I love, and which no one else would want to do with me, such as going to galleries or museums.

I found out that by taking a "me" day or even spending a couple of hours doing my self-care routine, which involves yoga and having a bubble bath, actually made me a nicer person to be around, as I felt more at ease with myself. 

I also had to learn that helping and comforting my friends are super important, but that help and comfort shouldn’t be at the expense of my own feelings and mental health. Everyone needs friends to rely on, but not all friends are made equally. And sometimes taking a step back is what's healthiest for you.

So please put yourself first from time to time.

Next up, The Impact Of Illness On Mental Health

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