Starting now I’m going to put myself first. I said I would try to write some rules over the next few posts to try to prepare me for the new year. Now the rules aren’t strict and I’m not going to be too hard on myself if I break them once or twice. The idea is that they are more like guidelines, something to focus on, keep my mind in check and if I am feeling low it will be a good reminder of where things started and my want for positivity and change.
Make yourself your primary focus
This may sound obvious but it can be so hard to maintain. It may seem selfish as well, it isn’t. I think when you’re feeling depressed or low it’s so easy to be ‘selfish’ but that is not focussing on you. That is an unhealthy relationship with your low feelings, indulging in misery, believing no one understands or has it as bad and seeing yourself as a victim, not showing happiness for others and not looking after yourself. There are lots of different ways people feel but this was my experience. It’s a terrible feeling. I’ve realised that when I’ve felt like or behaved that way I have put the depression first, not me and for other people who don’t understand mental illness it can seem very selfish but really you are neglecting yourself as well as those around you.
So no more. Starting now I’m first and this means looking after myself.
What do I mean by this? Making sure you’re eating enough, making sure you’re not over doing any habits like drinking, etc. Getting up in the morning, getting dressed. These are all tiny steps that help motivate you to put yourself first. This is a journey about self-love for me, getting back on good terms with myself so for that to happen I have to want to like myself. During my lows I stopped caring about my appearance, my diet, I drank far too much, then I would feel low about my appearance, drinking etc. and I really didn’t like myself. Now for the past month I’ve been trying to make little changes eat better, less alcohol, make an effort with people when I can. Once you start you start to want to do things for you without even thinking!
I bought myself a top today in the sales and that is something I haven’t done in a while because I didn’t really care, I wasn’t going out and wasn’t bothered how I looked. So even this for me was a big thing I started to think about going out somewhere, wearing it etc. which meant I was also looking ahead, it’s was a nice feeling.
to say or write one thing each day that I like about myself. It could be based on my appearance, my personality, the poem I wrote in school when I was 11, the confidence I had to say hello or that I went and bought a top. It doesn’t matter. Just a reminder of the good.
All these little things are what starts to change your attitude. I think it’s important to start small as they are more conquerable and when things move forward these small victories will be what enables me to go after that job I want, or move, or travel, anything! Soon the want for change will grow more and more and then one day that will change from wanting to like myself to actually loving myself. Start small but have an end goal no matter how far away you think it is, that’s my plan.
One final note on this rule is that you should never feel guilty about putting yourself first. This is important and it is necessary, I remind myself of this daily. This doesn’t mean you should neglect others, be happy for them when they’re happy don’t be jealous of it or think that it is unfair (another trait that can occur in depression) embrace it and you will find that it makes you feel better (I am learning this and loving it) but just remember you’re number one. You may have to say no to some people or let go of others if they are not helping you to get to where you want to go but when you do get there you will feel better about yourself and be in a much better position to help others!