‘I don’t have time to eat healthy… I have other priorities, when do I have time for exercising or planning my meals, I cannot focus on eating healthy, my family takes up all my time and energy’ …

Sound familiar? In this competitive world where we strive to have it all, be the best parent, be a career achiever, and also have a picture-perfect aspirational Instagram or Facebook life, it’s not uncommon to run ourselves into the ground. All that effort to be the perfect wife and mother, or husband and father, while striving to live up to so many expectations, self-imposed and external, can really take its toll.
And unfortunately the person that suffers first, and most.. Is yourself.

So, do we need to learn to prioritize ourselves?… or is that selfish?

Self care is not a luxury, it’s a must.
As we all struggle to keep up, learning to prioritise yourself and taking the time to care for yourself is absolutely essential.
Self-care is not selfish… If you prioritize your health and fitness, everyone benefits.

So how (and why) do you prioritise yourself and ‘self care’ ?

If you are not healthy and well, how will you have the energy for everyone and everything else?
You may be able to carry on for a while, but eventually you will burn out and everything will suffer.

Here are our top tips to prioritise self care:
-Dedicate at least 15 minutes a day to you. This won’t take away from your productivity, it will increase it.
-Take time to connect with yourself and pay attention to what you need. Is it a workout? Sketching? A bubble bath? Incorporate it as a key part of your day (ideally not 15 minutes before bed).
-Be kind to yourself. Acknowledge that you are doing your best. Don’t compare yourself to others… run your own race.
-Be realistic
If your to-do list for tomorrow is too much (whether work or personal life), identify the top three things you want to achieve the next day. Breaking it down into small, achievable steps will ensure you see progress and feel a sense of achievement.
-Watch how you talk to yourself
For a day focus on the way you speak to yourself. Is it in a positive, loving way? Or are you constantly beating yourself up? You are your own best friend, start acting like it.
-Get off social media
The constant bombarding of filtered lives are not good for you. It leads to negative comparisons. So switch off and have some face-to-face interactions instead.
-Prioritise yourself
When last did you schedule in something special in your calender for you? Pencil it in now! A manicure, a consultation to finally start your TLC-Program, or some reading time… and stick with it.
Set yourself up for 7 to 8 hours of high quality sleep, you will be rewarded with so many benefits!
-Treat yourself!
Just as you’re now going to begin talking to yourself like a good friend, treat yourself like a friend too. Buy yourself some flowers, praise yourself, pamper yourself.
-Discover what matters to you
It is easy to get swept up in striving for what everyone else is looking for. A designer bag? A new car? A thigh gap? These things are great if they matter to you, but just because they matter to someone else does not mean you need to add them to your priority list. Spend some time determining what makes you most happy, and go after those things instead.
And very important…
-Plan to Eat healthy!
You feel awful… You eat the wrong foods… You feel Worse… Break that cycle! Get on your TLC-Program, plan for your meals, choose the foods that nourish you best, as per your TLC-Program,…. you will be at your best.

These should be your new mantras, repeat often so it sinks in:
-If I ignore my health, it’s difficult to be there for my family, both mentally and physically.
-My TLC-Program helps stabilize my mood, gives me more energy, and prolongs my life. This is why I will prioritize doing it properly.
-When I focus more on my own health my new healthy habits will benefit my family.
-when I prioritize my health by planning healthy meals, I not only help myself, but I teach my family the importance of healthy eating and living.
-My children will also benefit from my healthy habits because they will grow up with an example of parents who prioritize health and fitness.

Finally, don’t misunderstand what it means to “put yourself first.” It doesn’t mean doing what you want to do all the time.or ignoring the needs of others. It’s all a matter of priorities and understanding the balance between taking care of yourself and others.

So to start of this new self-care mode right now …
-Make a list of your priorities, including taking the time to plan TLC meals and exercise. Make sure YOU are at the top of that list… Your health, your wellbeing, your happiness.
-Keep it short.
-Ask for help if you need it, from your family and your community.
-Keep a balance between treating yourself and giving to others.

Remember, putting yourself first ie folllowing a healthy diet and planning proper meals, sometimes involves doing things that are difficult, but benefit you in the long run. When you take time for you, you’re creating the space you need to live a well, full life.