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4 Tips to Prioritize Your Health and Happiness

Putting others first all the time takes its toll on your mental and physical health.

POSTEDBYCONTRIBUTING AUTHOR

In a world with high-stress levels and responsibilities that feel never-ending, it’s easy to lose sight of your personal needs. It can feel like there’s never enough time in the day to get everything done, much less take time for yourself. To be the best version of yourself, you need to put your own needs first. However, this can be easier said than done. You may have been raised by parents or caregivers who put everyone before themselves, or maybe you have friends who constantly put others first as a way of life. But putting others first all the time takes its toll on your mental and physical health. Check out these tips on how you can prioritize your health and happiness:

Make time for exercise

Exercise is a surefire way to improve your mental health. Whether you take a yoga class or hit the gym, exercise increases serotonin and dopamine production in your brain, both of which are associated with feeling happier and have been shown to help with anxiety, depression, and mood disorders. Exercise also releases endorphins, which help improve mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.  Even if you don’t like exercise at first, there are many fitness hacks that you can try to change your mind. 

Make time for self-care

Self-care is so important, yet many people don’t prioritize it. Self-care is varied; it can look different for everyone and include anything from taking a bubble bath to going on a walk alone, sitting quietly, or reading a book you love. The important thing is that it is something that brings you joy and relaxation. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or overworked, it’s easy to forget to take time for yourself. However, when you prioritize taking time for yourself, you can reduce anxiety and build resilience to stress. You can also lessen feelings of guilt or shame about not being able to do everything for everyone. While you want to be helpful and tend to those around you, you must also make sure you can meet your own needs first. Make taking time for yourself a priority, and you’ll notice a difference in your mental health and well-being.

Set firm boundaries

Setting firm boundaries is essential because it helps you take care of yourself and prioritize your needs. It can be challenging to set boundaries because people around you may get offended or feel like you don’t want to spend time with them. However, firm boundaries can help you take care of yourself while creating more healthy and balanced relationships. When you set boundaries, be it at work or with friends, you let others know your needs and what you’re willing to do for them. Everyone has different needs and desires, so it’s important to respect others’ time and your own. For example, if you must leave work at a particular time each night to make time for yourself, you must let your boss know. This allows you to meet your needs while showing your boss that you are responsible and dependable. Establishing boundaries can help you meet your needs, reduce stress, and build better relationships.

Stand up for yourself

Standing up for yourself is something that many people avoid. It’s easy to feel uncomfortable with confrontation, especially regarding your own needs. However, if you don’t stand up for yourself, your mental health will likely be in danger.  You should especially stand up for yourself if someone or something has physically affected your health under circumstances that weren’t your fault.  For example, suppose you are involved in an injury at work. In that case, you should stand up for yourself even if you feel intimidated by your superiors and look for professional help, such as from a personal injury law firm. Even in less critical circumstances, like asking for a raise, asking for help around the house, or setting boundaries with your friends, it’s important to let those around you know what you need. Otherwise, they may walk all over you and take advantage of you, leaving you feeling resentful and not taking care of yourself.  

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