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10 Simple Ways to Make Yourself a Priority

Sarah Fader
10 Simple Ways to Make Time for Yourself
The following article is part of a series that was created in cooperation with BetterHelp, one of the company’s listed on our site, to provide information about mental health issues.

You’ve likely heard of the word “self-care.” The idea behind it is to make yourself a priority. It’s not easy to do that with the distractions of the world. But, it’s crucial to put yourself first. If you neglect yourself, it can have dire mental health consequences. Here are some ways to prioritize your needs. 

1. Boundaries

One of the most important ways to prioritize your needs is by setting limits with others. It’s not always easy to say no, but it’s necessary. Friends, loved ones, and co-workers can ask you for favors, and you feel obligated to help. Remember, you can’t say yes to everything they ask. It’s essential to assess what you can and can’t do. You have the right to say no, and you need to when you feel overwhelmed. Setting boundaries will help you prioritize yourself.

2. Set time for self-care

In addition to setting boundaries, part of self-care is a crucial part of maintaining your emotional wellbeing. There are many ways to take care of yourself. Self-care could be as simple as making time to have coffee with a friend. It could be taking a relaxing bath each day. Self-care could be getting a good sleep routine. Your sleep hygiene is crucial to wellness. You need to find ways to take care of yourself that make you feel well. 

3. Eat 

Nourishing your body gives it the fuel it needs to make it through the day. That’s why it’s crucial to eat a balance of food rich in vitamins and minerals. Some people eat meat, while others are vegetarians or vegans. You can maintain wellness with varying nutritional plans. Make sure you do your research and eat well for your body. Try to stay away from eating overly sugary snacks. It’s okay to indulge sometimes, but don’t overdo it. Listen to what your body needs and give it to yourself. 

4. Sleep

Sleep is a crucial part of wellness. You need to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Some people struggle with insomnia. Sleeplessness can be caused by anxiety or worrying. If you can’t sleep because you’re anxious, it’s important to seek help. You need to get a good night’s rest so you can function during the day. Lack of sleep can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. If you’re having trouble sleeping, consult your doctor and a therapist to discuss options to help you.

5. Therapy

If you’re struggling with emotional challenges, you can seek help from a mental health professional. Therapists can help individuals with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or any other mental health issues. You can talk to a therapist about grieving the loss of a loved one. There are many things you can discuss with a mental health professional. Some people regularly see a therapist to talk through their issues. 

6. Do what you love

What brings you joy in your life? Maybe you love running. Perhaps you like to spend time with animals. You could factor in time to go on runs or volunteer at an animal shelter. Take a moment and write down things that you love and factor in some time to engage in activities that cultivate those passions. That way, you’re enjoying your life.

7. Cultivate a support system

A support system can help you feel less alone. It’s crucial to have a network of friends, family, and loved ones that you can count on when times are tough. Not only that, you can talk to these people about your accomplishments as well as your humble brags. A support system is a dedicated group of people who love you and want to be there. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it, and it’s a way of prioritizing yourself.

8. Have fun

We all work hard, and it’s crucial to set aside time for fun. You deserve to do things that you genuinely enjoy. Read a book, go to the movies, or laugh. Play a silly game with your friends, or goof around with your kids. Laughter makes you feel good and reminds you that life can be enjoyable. It’s okay to set aside time to have fun. 

9. Communicate

A crucial part of prioritizing yourself is learning to communicate your needs. That could mean setting boundaries with friends, co-workers, and loved ones. It can also be expressing how you feel. Part of prioritizing yourself is developing meaningful relationships with others. In order to do that, you need to express how you feel and what you need. That way, you’re advocating for yourself. 

10. Feel your feelings

The more you embrace your feelings, the more you’re honoring and prioritizing your wellbeing. Your emotions matter. If you’re hurt or angry by something someone says, tell them. Your feelings matter. It’s not always easy to confront someone when you’re upset, but you can do it. The more you speak up for yourself, the easier it becomes to do.

Make yourself a priority by seeing a therapist 

These are 10 ways to make yourself a priority. Try practicing them and see if they make you feel better. Another thing you can do to help learn self-care is to see a licensed therapist. Whether you work with a provider online at a company with BetterHelp, or in your local area, you can find a counselor who will help you learn to prioritize yourself. 


Sarah Fader
Sarah Fader the CEO and Founder of Eliezer Tristan Publishing Company is dedicated to sharing the words of authors who endure and survive trauma and mental illness. She is also the CEO and Founder of Stigma Fighters, a non-profit organization that encourages individuals with mental illness to share their personal stories. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Quartz, ADAA, Psychology Today, and more.

Natural Intelligence does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or your local emergency number immediately.