The Mating Grounds

Putting Yourself First: The Key to Happiness and Fulfillment

Making Yourself a Priority: Why It Matters and How to Do It

Do you ever feel like you’re always putting others first, neglecting your own needs and desires in the process? It’s a common trap that many of us fall into, but the truth is, it’s not sustainable.

We need to take care of ourselves first and foremost, in order to lead fulfilling lives and be able to give our best to others. In this article, we’ll explore why it’s important to make yourself a priority, and how you can do it starting today.

Importance of Looking After Yourself First

Have you ever noticed that when you neglect your own needs, you start to feel drained and irritable? That’s because self-care is essential for maintaining our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

When we take time to recharge our batteries, we have more energy to devote to the people and things that matter to us. But it’s not just about taking care of our basic needs like sleep, food, and exercise.

It’s also about recognizing and honoring our unique capabilities and limitations. For example, if you know that you need alone time to recharge, it’s important to make that a priority in your schedule.

Or if you have a chronic illness that requires specific accommodations, it’s important to advocate for yourself and make sure your needs are met.

Setting Standards for Others

When we make ourselves a priority, we also set expectations for how we want to be treated by others. When we neglect our own needs, we’re sending the message that our time and energy are not valuable, and others may start to take us for granted.

By taking care of ourselves first, we show that we respect and value ourselves, and we set the standard for how others should treat us. It can be hard to break the cycle of people-pleasing and neglecting our own needs, especially if we’ve been doing it for a long time.

But it’s important to remember that we deserve to be treated with respect and consideration, just like anyone else.

Deserving Happiness

Perhaps most importantly, when we make ourselves a priority, we’re acknowledging that our own happiness matters. We all have unique needs and desires, and it’s important to honor those in order to feel fulfilled and content.

When we ignore our own desires in order to please others, we can end up feeling resentful and unfulfilled. Self-love and self-awareness are key in this process.

It’s important to take the time to reflect on what truly brings us joy and fulfillment, and to make those things a priority. Whether it’s pursuing a hobby, spending time with loved ones, or taking a solo trip, we deserve to prioritize our own happiness.

How to Make Yourself a Priority

So how can we make ourselves a priority in our busy lives? Here are some concrete steps you can take starting today:

Stop Making Excuses

One of the biggest barriers to self-care is time management. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we just don’t have time to prioritize ourselves.

But the truth is, we all have the same amount of time in a day, and it’s up to us to decide how we use it. Make a conscious effort to block out time for yourself, whether it’s a weekly yoga class, an hour of reading time, or just a few minutes of quiet reflection.

And when others ask for your time and energy, don’t be afraid to say no if it conflicts with your own needs.

Take Control of Your Decisions

In order to make ourselves a priority, we need to take control of our own decisions. This can mean being authentic and true to ourselves, even if it means going against the expectations of others.

It can also mean setting boundaries and saying no when we need to. It’s okay to prioritize our own needs and desires, even if it means disappointing someone else.

Pursue Passions

What brings you joy and fulfillment? Maybe it’s practicing a musical instrument, gardening, or learning a new language.

Whatever it is, make time for it in your life. Pursuing our passions not only brings us happiness, but it can also help us feel more fulfilled and connected to ourselves.

Take Care of Your Body

Physical health is an essential component of overall well-being. Make sure to prioritize healthy habits like eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough rest.

When we feel good in our bodies, we have more energy and feel more confident in ourselves.

Nourish Your Mind

In addition to taking care of our physical health, it’s important to attend to our mental and emotional well-being. This can mean practicing positive thinking, cultivating acceptance and mindfulness, and seeking help when needed.

Eliminate Toxicity

Are there negative sources in your life that are draining your energy and happiness? This could be a toxic relationship, a job that makes you miserable, or even a social media platform that triggers feelings of comparison and inadequacy.

Take some time to reflect on what sources of negativity are present in your life, and make a plan to eliminate or reduce them as much as possible. This can be a liberating and empowering process.

Set Realistic Expectations

We all have goals and aspirations, but it’s important to set realistic expectations for ourselves. Recognize that failure is a natural part of the growth process, and that it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them.

Create a Daily Ritual

Having a daily ritual can be a powerful way to prioritize yourself and set the tone for the day ahead. This could be as simple as a morning meditation or yoga practice, or even just taking a few minutes to write down what you’re grateful for.

Embrace Imperfection

Perfectionism can be a major barrier to self-care and self-love. It’s important to recognize that none of us are perfect, and that our flaws and imperfections are what make us human and unique.

Practice Daily Affirmations

Positive self-talk and affirmations can be a powerful way to boost our confidence and self-love. Practice telling yourself positive statements like “I am capable and worthy,” “I am deserving of love and happiness,” or any other statements that resonate with you.

Ask for Help When Needed

We all need assistance from time to time, and asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Whether it’s seeking professional help for mental health concerns, or asking a friend or family member for support, don’t be afraid to reach out when you need it.

Indulge Yourself

Sometimes, we just need to pamper ourselves and treat ourselves to something special. Whether it’s a spa day, a new book, or a favorite meal, indulge yourself in whatever makes you happy.

Ask for What You Really Want and Need

Communication is key in any relationship, including the relationship we have with ourselves. Make sure to ask for what you really want and need, whether it’s from yourself or from others.

Believe in Yourself

Believing in ourselves is essential for self-confidence and personal growth. Recognize your strengths and talents, and trust in your own abilities to achieve your goals.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Growth and fulfillment often require us to step out of our comfort zones and take risks. Whether it’s trying a new hobby, taking on a new challenge at work, or facing a fear, don’t be afraid to take the leap and see where it takes you.

Live, Love, Laugh

At the end of the day, life is meant to be enjoyed. Embrace the moments of joy, and don’t take yourself too seriously.

When we live, love, and laugh, we tap into the essence of what it means to be truly alive.


In order to live fulfilling lives and be able to give our best to others, we need to make ourselves a priority. By acknowledging and honoring our own needs and desires, we set the standard for how we want to be treated by others.

With the steps outlined in this article, you can start to prioritize yourself and live a more fulfilling life today. So take some time for yourself, indulge in what brings you joy, and embrace the possibilities of what lies ahead.

In summary, making yourself a priority is essential for maintaining our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. By recognizing our unique needs and desires, setting standards for others, and pursuing our passions, we can find fulfillment and happiness in our lives.

From taking care of our bodies to eliminating negativity and embracing imperfection, the steps we take to prioritize ourselves can have a significant impact on our overall well-being. So don’t hesitate to take control of your decisions, set realistic expectations, and practice self-care every day.

Remember, you deserve to prioritize yourself, and doing so can lead to a happier, more fulfilling life.

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