Mental Wellbeing

5 Valuable Reasons To Make Yourself A Priority (And How To Do It)

woman holding teapot

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. This is at no extra cost to you. I only ever recommend products and services that I love and that I think you will love too.

Sharing is caring!

Do you feel guilty for even contemplating how to make yourself a priority?

Perhaps you are feeling busy and overwhelmed?

I hear you on this.  I’ve been my own worst enemy in the past.

I put others first, worked long hours and ended up having to go off sick from work due to stress and overwhelm.

Did I do anyone any favours?  No, of course not.

It was a hard lesson to learn but made me realise how important making yourself a priority actually is.

There is the old adage of ‘put your own oxygen mask on first’.  It may sound like a cliche, but it’s so true and important!

Here are 5 valuable reasons why.



1.  It Isn’t Selfish

First of all, recognise that it’s seriously not selfish to make yourself a priority and take time for you.  It is an absolute necessity.

Without this time, you will burn out and you won’t be your best for those around you.

If you are still struggling to see this, ask yourself what benefit you would give to others if you were to make yourself a priority?  And on the other hand, what would they get if you don’t change anything?

Compare the two answers.

If you are healthy and happy then you can show up as your best self.


I can work 1:1 with you to help you make yourself a priority.   Book your Power Hour call right now to find out more.


book my call


2.  Stress Is Bad For Us

It is no secret that excess stress is bad for us  

It can have a negative impact on both our emotional and our physical health, manifesting itself in a variety of symptoms including anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, stomach cramps and so on.

Spending even a little time each day on things that are important to your wellbeing can make the stresses and strains of everyday life feel more manageable.


3.  Your Relationships Will Improve

Another benefit from making yourself a priority is that your relationships may well get better.

Being in each other’s pockets all of the time isn’t healthy.

You, your partner and your kids all need ‘me time’, time to spend alone doing something you want to do.

Doing this will rejuvenate all of you, put you in better moods and help make the time you spend together higher quality.

Remember quality over quantity!


couple with two children on beach

Photo by Anna Pritchard on Unsplash


4.  You’ll Have More Energy

If you take some time to do the things that nourish you, it will directly link to your wellbeing.

Take some time to rest your mind, take some exercise and eat healthy foods at regular intervals and more energy is bound to follow.


5.  Your Self-Esteem Will Improve

When you are always putting yourself after others and not seeing yourself as important, your view of yourself may not be that positive.

Recognising how important it is to make yourself a priority, saying no and setting yourself the challenge of making more time for you (then achieving it) can all help to raise your self-esteem.


Why Do You Find This So Hard?


It’s not your fault that you find it hard to make yourself a priority.

Many of us (particularly the female of the species) fall into the trap of being a people pleaser.

We are brought up to believe that spending time on ourselves is somehow ‘selfish’ and that we should put the needs of others before our own.

We know deep down that we would function much better if we did take some time for ourselves, but still, something stops us.

It doesn’t have to be this hard.  I’m here to share some ideas as to how you can take small steps towards breaking this habit of not making yourself a priority.

Be gentle with yourself as you start this process.  Start small and build on your successes week on week.

small steps turn into miles

Image by isi_madrid from Pixabay


OK, So How Do You Do This?


First of all, ask yourself where the pressure is coming from.


Who is telling you that you should do this or have to do that?

Oftentimes the answer will be ‘I am’.  Give yourself a break and stop being so hard on yourself!

Take baby steps.  Set aside a small amount of time.  Schedule it in, even if it’s only 10 minutes a few times a week.


Tell your partner and family what you are doing.


Enlist their help. (It’s OK to ask for help, we all need it).

Give them time back in return.  Offer to take it in turns to look after the kids whilst the other person takes some time for themselves.  Yes, even as a busy mum, self-care is possible.

Another idea is to make two jars.  Write things you would like to do and pop them in the jar.

On a Sunday (or another day of your choosing) both of you pull something from your jar.  Then agree and schedule a time when you will do your chosen activity (or activities) the coming week.


Change the wording to something more neutral.


‘Self-care’ or ‘me time’ might sound a bit selfish to you.

Why not brainstorm and find some wording that you see as more neutral and refer to this important time by that name instead.

For example, ‘recharge time’ or ‘downtime’ could feel less loaded.  These are simply suggestions, make this personal to you.


Stop saying yes.


It’s OK to say no.  If you find this difficult, here are a few tips:

  1. Wait until the other person has actually asked you to do something.  You might be surprised at how many times you agree to something when you haven’t been directly asked!
  2. When they do ask you, make sure to use the word ‘No’ somewhere in your response.  Don’t say ‘maybe later’ or ‘let me think about it’.  Instead, say something along the lines of ‘I’m afraid I’m going to have to say no’ or simply ‘no, I can’t do that’.
  3. If the thought of doing this brings you out in a cold sweat, try to practice it in some low stake situations to start with!


Schedule in breaks.


kermit standing by sign saying have a break

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay


There will always be more to do.

How many times have you carried on?  Doing and doing stuff without taking a break?

Before you know it you have skipped lunch, not drunk enough water and feel frazzled and stressed.

If you need to, then add reminders to your phone to prompt you that you need a break.  Even if it’s only for a few minutes.

Here are some great self-care ideas to use in your break.

What To Do With The Time


Now that you’ve carved out some time in your busy schedule to make yourself a priority, what are you going to do with this time?

Everyone is different, but you could start by writing a list of 3 things that make you happy.  Then schedule these in.  Here are some ideas to get you started.


1.  Journal


Journaling has so many benefits.  It doesn’t have to take up loads of time either, simply spending 5 minutes writing down what you are grateful for each day can be hugely beneficial.

Benefits of journaling include:

  • Increased self-awareness & discovery
  • A safe place to jot down all your thoughts and feelings
  • Helps you to learn from difficult experiences
  • Allows you time to reflect
  • Gives you clarity and helps you make better decisions

Grab your free printable PDF with 50 journal prompts for self-discovery

50 journal prompts for self-discovery promo blog banner

Choose yourself a lovely notebook and get started!

Related Post:  Mindful Journaling: 15 Fantastic Benefits And How To Get Started


2.  Meditate


If you are new to this then check out my handy beginners’s guide.  Try this for a couple of minutes and then build up.  It has so many benefits.

Mediation can help you to tune into how you are feeling and help you listen to your body and mind.  Let it help you discover what you need right now.

If you are tired, rest.  If you are hungry, make something nourishing to eat.  Or maybe you need to move, get out for a walk or turn on some tunes and dance.


3.  Breathe


Take a few moments to simply take some deep breaths.  Close your eyes and take several deep breaths into your belly.

There are various exercises you can try.  I like ‘box breathing’ where you breathe in for a count of 6, hold for 6, out for 6 then hold for 6 (you can vary the count number if 6 feels too long or too short).  Try to do this at least 5 or 6 times.

You could also try breathing out for a longer count.  Experiment and discover what makes you feel good.


4.  Eat well


healthy food in a bowl

Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash


We are what we eat.  Eat half a ton of sugar and I’ll bet you don’t feel that brilliant?!  Try to plan ahead and have some healthy ingredients and snacks to hand to make it easier to eat well.

If you enjoy cooking, you could use your time to research new recipes, buy the ingredients and experiment in the kitchen.


5.  Be kind


Whilst the focus of this exercise is to make yourself a priority, you could spend a few minutes noting all the ways you have been kind to others.

Refer to this in future if you are feeling guilty and remind yourself how many things you do for others.


6.  Find a support buddy


You could do some of the things on this list together.  For example, find someone to exercise with, make a regular commitment to each other and you are less likely to find an excuse to not do the exercise!


7.  Soak in a bath


Close the bathroom door, fill the bath with your favourite bubble bath, light a candle and sink into the warmth.  Bliss!

Treat yourself to this lavender-scented bath set.  Lavender is brilliant for helping you wind down and sleep.


8.  Read a book


I find reading a good book to be a form of meditation.  It always calms me down.

Pick one you’ve been meaning to read for ages and hide yourself away for half an hour to dive in.

One of my favourite books of recent times – so inspiring!


9.  Sit in the garden and sip on a cuppa


Or if the weather is a bit chilly, sit by the window and look out instead.  Try to use all your senses as you sit to notice what you can see, hear, feel, smell and taste.


10.  Listen to your favourite music


Whether you are in the mood for some upbeat, uplifting music and a spot of dancing around the living room or want to relax with some calming tunes, music is always great for lifting the spirits.


11.  Listen to a podcast


headphones on a table

Photo by Alphacolor on Unsplash

There are so many different podcasts to choose from.  Whether you are in the mood to be inspired or to find something light-hearted which makes you laugh, there is a podcast for you.

Here are some of my favourites.


12.  Declutter


I don’t know about you, but I always find decluttering strangely therapeutic.

Forget Marie Kondo though, I’ve found Decluttering At The Speed of Life from Dana K. White to give me a much more user-friendly way to spend some time decluttering.


13.  Play with pets


tabby cat touching persons palm

Photo by Jonas Vincent on Unsplash

It’s been shown that spending time playing with your cat or dog can boost your mood.  It’s also a good way to get some exercise.


14.  Sew or craft


Dig out your sewing machine and make something.  Pick up some knitting or do some embroidery.

You could even spend the time learning to sew or knit if you don’t already know how.

This can be a lovely relaxing thing to spend your time doing as well as giving you a creative sense of satisfaction.

15.  Watch something funny


Nothing beats a good old belly laugh!

I love watching box sets of old comedy series.  There are loads of different ones on Netflix and other streaming services.


16.  Take a nap


Taking a short nap (20 to 30 minutes) can help you feel more relaxed and alert.

Be careful not to nap for too long though or too close to bedtime or you may feel groggy and find it harder to sleep at night.


Overcoming Barriers To Making Yourself A Priority


I hope that I’ve inspired you to find some time to make yourself a priority and given you some ideas of things you could do in this time.

If you are still thinking to yourself that this is all very well, but how exactly do I find the time when I have too much to do and issues with childcare, then let me say this.

Have you ever noticed, however busy you are and however little time you have, that when you REALLY want something, you somehow squeeze it in?  If you make yourself a priority, then it will happen, you will find the time and way to do it.

If you are still struggling to find the time, then try logging as you go along what you do each day.

Do this for a couple of days and then look back over what you are spending your time on.

I’ll bet there are some activities in there that aren’t adding value and that you could stop doing?  You may need to be brutal and cut out anything that isn’t providing any benefits.




To sum up, taking the time to make yourself a priority really isn’t selfish.  There are so many benefits that doing this will have for you and your family.

Take a little bit of time to work on any barriers and limiting beliefs you may have around doing this.  Enlist help and then schedule the time in.

Start small and be gentle with yourself.  It takes time to break old habits and to build new ones.

Record your successes and be consistent and I promise you will reap the rewards.

Finally, ask yourself what is one small step can you take RIGHT NOW to make yourself a priority?  Tell me in the comments and commit to doing it!

Sharing is caring!

  1. Chloe Chats

    Great post, I often feel guilty if I’m just sitting down not doing anything, especially if I know theres a room in the house that could do with a clean, or there’s something on my to-do list that needs to be done! Especially with whats happening now, I think its important to tell yourself that it is okay to have a break and do something relaxing or fun that you want to do. Although I do also find decluttering quite therapeutic!

    Chloe xx

  2. Jen

    Yes!! I absolutely cherish my time to myself after the kids go to bed. Even just that couple hours is so restorative

  3. Cate

    This is such a great article and reminder! It’s one of my biggest flaws, I always forget to take care of myself until I am at the end of my rope… It’s really not selfish to take care of yourself, it’s actually the most important thing you can do. We definitely can’t perform as our best selves when we are not well taken care of. Thank you for the reminder.

  4. Charity

    Wow, this is such a great post! In this crazy busy world of ours, it is so easy to forget ourselves. These tips are so helpful. I am guilty of “saying YES to everything” and I should really try to do a better job of saying “no”. Thanks for these tips 🙂

  5. Lucy

    I forget this so much and it’s hard for me to take breaks! To me it seems like there just isn’t enough time in the day but I know I just have to do it. Thanks for this much needed reminder!

  6. Monica

    These are great tips. I meditate and exercise daily. The days I miss one of them, I don’t feel like myself. Self-care is essential for your physical and mental health. The busier you are, the more critical it is. Thank you for sharing these ideas 🙂

    1. Alison

      Thanks Monica, I know what you mean about not feeling yourself if you miss out on self care. It’s so important! 🙂

  7. Shaun

    Great Post Alison

    I really needed this post a few years ago.

    I think your tips at the end are invaluable for all sorts of personal Maladies that stop us from being our ‘best selves’ .
    (oh god, i don’t believe i just typed that – it’s up there with ‘my time to shine’)

    Thanks for sharing.

    Hope youand yours are doing weill


    PS – really loving your writing style and structure of your posts. Lots to learn from!

    1. Alison

      Thanks Shaun, we are all good here thank you. Glad you enjoyed the post – ha ha, best selves – know what you mean though 😉

  8. Lori

    I was always a tremendous people-pleaser, until I finally came to the realization that I was not pleasing myself – at all! Now I am much better at setting boundaries. It’s hard, but it gets easier with practice! And then you have “recharge time” – and don’t know what to do with it! You have compiled an EXCELLENT list right here, that everyone can find activities to fill that space and give themselves the care they need and deserve. Thanks for another great post, Alison!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.