Episode 77: Make Yourself A Priority to Improve Your Mental Health

Episode 77: Make Yourself A Priority to Improve Your Mental Health

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Choosing to walk a spiritual path means regular reminders to prioritize self-care. As we enter a new year, it’s a great time to reset our routines and schedule some time for the activities and pauses dedicated solely to filling up our cups so we can pour into others.

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MAKE YOURSELF A PRIORITY TO IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

TAKING CARE OF YOU

Making yourself a priority is more than another task to add to your to-do list. It’s an essential part of your spiritual growth. When you make yourself a priority, you are telling creation, yourself, your friends, and your family that you are important. When you take terrific care of yourself, you invite the universe to bless you with more opportunities.

When you make yourself a priority, you also get to function on a level that feels good, and you deserve to feel good. You deserve to be thriving and not just surviving. As you move into this new year, how will you make yourself a priority?

GET MOVING

As we prioritize self-care in our lives, we want to look at how we can improve the ways we are feeding our bodies physically, mentally, and spiritually. Physically you have to get up and move!

When you exercise, invite movement into your body, and are out in nature, you send a beautiful chemical message to the brain that says, “I feel great!” That dopamine hit does wonders for your mental outlook and spiritual peace.

The food you eat, the amount of water you consume, and the quality of rest you allow your body to enjoy are equally important. Listen to your body, ask what it needs, and then make a plan! You can brainstorm, research, ask for support, or even hire a helper to get you started toward better health. If you can’t hire a helper, take advantage of the vast array of free resources available to help you move in the right direction. A physically happy body has a domino effect on all areas of your life!

SOUL FOOD

When we seek food for our souls, having a spiritual community is where it’s at. Being in a like-minded community where you can be free to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences is one of the most potent ways you can connect with your spirituality. A sense of belonging as you seek your truth rather than hiding in your spiritual closet is a sure way to boost your joy and mental outlook.

Dedicating yourself to a spiritual practice will keep you in touch with this essential part of your being. Even if your schedule is cramped and you are hard-pressed to find time to dive into meditation, journaling, or mindfulness exercises, you can find a few minutes here and there to pause and reflect on your journey and connect with the oneness that is your birthright.

REST IS NOT LAZY

It’s terrific to be ambitious and celebrate all the milestones in your life. You work hard, and you should be proud of yourself! However, especially for those driven to go, go, go, rest is vital in experiencing optimum mental health and clarity. As the saying goes, you cannot pour from an empty cup.

I know when I am not taking time for fun and leisure, everything else I’m trying to accomplish feels harder, longer, and more taxing. When I am not pausing to enjoy life and have fun, I can see the effect in every aspect of my life. We must recognize that self-care is not a luxury; it’s a necessity.

CREATE THE HABIT

It takes at least 21 days to create a habit. So instead of trying to change everything all at once, you tackle one aspect of your life and build it into your daily routine for at least three weeks. Once that change has been integrated into your routine, you can add another. You can make significant changes in your life by tackling them incrementally and watching those new habits built upon each other one decision at a time.

As one change becomes a habit, you can see what change should come next to support the overall shift you are trying to make. For example, if you integrate a morning workout routine, you can start focusing on going to bed a bit earlier to support your continued efforts to work out in the morning.

As you make these changes, put yourself on the schedule. Pencil yourself in before you make any other commitments with your time. Ask yourself what you need to do to make yourself a priority, and then make it happen by putting yourself first!

Stop wishing you had more time. Just make the time.

VALUE YOURSELF WITHOUT COMPARISON

A profound way to take yourself to the top of the priority list is to value yourself. Don't look at yourself in comparison to others. This life is your journey, and every accomplishment is yours to celebrate and enjoy, not compare it to someone further along. While we can find inspiration in the stories of others, we can't compare ourselves to anyone but a previous version of ourselves.

You are in control of your destiny. Start looking at the decisions you're making and how they have a ripple effect on your life. If you want to say no to something, start saying no. If you want to say yes to something, start saying yes. Trust that your heart is guiding you in the right direction. If you desire to do something, take action because you deserve to have it.

Look at people for inspiration, not comparison.

EXPRESS GRATITUDE AND HAVE FUN

When you take the time to express gratitude for the things in your life, it makes you feel better. It also allows you to say something that you're grateful for and actions that you're doing to make yourself a priority.

Lastly, take the time to have fun! We are not supposed to be like hamsters, running endlessly on a wheel of work, work, work. We're created to have fun and enjoy this human experience. If you're not enjoying your life, why? What can you do to bring more enjoyment into your life?

Asking yourself these questions will allow you to move from surviving to thriving. Making yourself a priority, coming back to you, figuring out who you are, what you want to do, and why you want to do it is crucial for thriving.

Remember, you're meant to thrive, not survive, and you deserve to make yourself a priority.

If you enjoyed this episode with Amy Robeson, we would love to invite you to check out other inspirational episodes by clicking here. Enjoy!

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Full transcription of the episode:

Hello, and welcome to today's episode. Happy New Year, first and foremost. I am so excited you are here. It's the new year. It's time to take very good care of yourself. You deserve to take good care of yourself. And I want to talk about why making yourself a priority today is going to help you improve your mental health.

When you make yourself a priority, you are telling creation, you're telling yourself, you're telling your friends, you're telling your family members that taking care of me is important. Because when you take care of yourself, the universe blesses you back with more opportunities. You also get to function on a level that feels really good, and you deserve to feel really, really good. You deserve to be thriving and not surviving. Let me say that again. You deserve to be thriving, not surviving, thriving. As you are moving into this new year, how are you going to make yourself a priority?

First off, you want to look at what and how you want to take better care of yourself. So you want to look at how you're going to take care of yourself physically, mentally and spiritually. Physically, you got to take care of your body. When you exercise, when you move your body, when you're out in nature, you're going to send beautiful chemicals into the brain that says, "I'm happy, I feel good.' You get a dopamine hit. You stress out your body in a positive way so that your stress hormones go down. And so physically, it's really important to move your body.

Also, physically, how are you going to take care of your body? The food that you eat, the water that you put into your body, and the amount of sleep that you're getting is all important. And so these things become a priority. And if there's something going on with your health, how can you make your health a priority on a physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental level? Because that's also very, very important. And you can do this by talking it out. You can brainstorm, you can write down ideas, you can do some research, you can ask for support, you can ask for help, and you can hire someone. These are all very, very good things to do.

I know that when I didn't know how to use weights, I hired a personal trainer because it was really important. Maybe you can't hire someone, YouTube it. There's so many free things out there now that you can do research on. There's so many free resources. Take advantage of those free resources because they will really, really help you physically.

Spiritually how you want to take care of yourself is through spiritual practices, and through community too. I think really being in a like-minded community where you can share ideas and concepts and not worry about hiding in your spiritual closet is really important. I know when I found my first spiritual community, I was like, "Oh, this just feels so good to be able to talk about things that I don't even know what I'm talking about. But it feels good because I'm in this community." And you don't feel like you're a fish out of water. You feel like you belong. So having community is going to be really important in terms of spiritually, mentally.

What do you notice in your life that creates mental disturbances? So for me, I know that my mental health does not go well if I am not taking time out for fun and leisure. If I'm hyper-focused on work or I'm hyper-focused on different various projects, and I'm not taking time out for myself. I'm not taking time out for my physical care, and I'm not taking time out for my spiritual care, and I'm not taking out time for fun and leisure. Your mental health you want to see and look at. Where are you not taking care of yourself in terms that's going to be affecting your mental health? And then you make the changes around that.

So other ways to make self-care a priority is also recognizing it's not a luxury; it's a necessity. Self-care is an absolute necessity. It feeds your body, mind, and soul. It allows you to function at a different level in life, and you do not have to wait for it. And it does not have to take as much time as you think it has to. Because taking 1 minute out to do a ten-second breathing exercise just to center yourself is a great starting point.

So remember, time is also one of the things that a lot of people say, "I don't have enough time to take care of myself. I don't have enough time or hours in the day." And you do. Look at the areas in your life that are time sucks for you, and be honest with yourself. I know for me, I had to be really honest with myself in terms of how much screen time I was having and how that was affecting me, and how much of a drain that was.

I also realized that if I am resting, that is not being lazy. I'm going to say that again because this is a big one for all you perfectionists out there. If you're resting, if you're relaxing, let's say you are watching something on Netflix and you're like, "You know what? I've had a long day. It feels good. I'm going to watch this show." Perfect. That's not being lazy; that's resting. What's not healthy is if you're doing that on a consistent basis for hours and hours and hours and hours at a time or hours out of the day. That's when it's not healthy. And so you can feed your soul in different ways when you rest as well. But watching a show at the end of the day is no big deal. But if there's something else that you're neglecting to do, like physically take care of your body or maybe prep for the next day, so you have a healthy meal or a healthy dinner, then that's where you have to get honest with yourself about those decisions.

Your self-care practices are a part of your daily routine. This is going to be really important in terms of prioritizing is when you realize it's a part of your daily routine and that it's something that has to happen. Not a dream. Not a wish. Then you start taking care of yourself in a different way. And it takes 21 days to create a habit. And so instead of going, "I got to make all these changes all at once," you can just do small incremental changes that build upon each other one decision at a time.

So let's say you're like, "I want to change my workout routine. I want to start working out in the morning." That's what's going to be the change for the first three weeks. Then focus on changing what you're eating or focus on making sure that you're getting to bed on time. Getting to bed on time and working out in the morning are going to be hand in hand with one another. But you'll see, and you'll notice what plays into one another and what decisions you're making and how that's going to influence you.

Also blocking time off in your calendar will also help you make yourself a priority. It will also keep you on track daily as well. And so, let's say you want to go for a weekly hike. Put that in your calendar. Let's say you want to go and get some body work done monthly. Put that in your calendar. Schedule it. Don't put it in there and not actually schedule it. Schedule it. Also, maybe you want to go to a workout class. Schedule that. Maybe you just need time to meditate. Schedule that. Whatever it is, schedule it.

I know for me, I love putting in if I'm going to decide to go do a yoga class or a bar class or something like that; I'll put that in my schedule, so it's instantly in there before anything. Also, vacation time in there before anything. If I have anything that I know that I really want to stick with, have a schedule with, that goes in my calendar first before I go and decide other commitments that I'm going to make. Because I know that if I make those commitments, I'm not going to make it to that class, or I'm not going to go and do that very thing that I want to do. I also do this with any routine checkups or practitioners that I go and see. I will schedule it ahead of time, so I'm not wishing I had an appointment at the last minute. That's really important too because that support helps you feel better.

The next way to make yourself a priority also is to set very healthy boundaries. Having boundaries is important in relationships. It also helps you stay on track. I'm not going to talk a lot about boundaries today just because this is a topic I have covered in a previous episode. So if you want to check out that episode, you can click on the show notes and check out that episode and find out more about having and setting healthy boundaries and taking a great pause. I call that the great pause from people that you need to take a pause from in your life.

Another thing that allows you to make yourself a priority is valuing yourself. I know that you have a lot of responsibilities and people depend on you. And you are enough, and you deserve to feel really good. And if you don't take care of yourself, it's hard to take care of others. And so if you take care of yourself on the next level, you can take care of them as well.

And so value yourself. If you have a hard time valuing yourself, then you probably also have a really hard time setting boundaries. Start looking at the decisions you're making and how they have a ripple effect on your life. And if you're wanting to say no to something, start saying no to it. If you're wanting to say yes to something, start saying yes to it. Trust that your heart is guiding you in the right direction. If you have a desire to do something, take action on it. Because you deserve to have that very thing. You deserve it. You deserve it. You deserve it. You deserve it. Trust that.

Also, stop comparing yourself to others. We live in a very, I'm going to just call it a very strange time. It's cool that we can connect on the internet, but there's lots of things that are so fake. The Internet's fake. There are a lot of things that are fake. And the AI that's out there now is insane. They have these new AI things out there. It's hard to tell if it's fiction or real. And this causes some major imbalances in comparison. So please don't compare yourself to anybody else.

Please note that some of the things that you see on social media and on the internet, a lot of it's smoke and mirrors, and especially like Instagram feeds, you're only taking a snapshot. It's a snapshot in time that is not that person's entire life. That is maybe the person's only one area of their life. And so you're not getting the full picture. And you might be comparing yourself to someone that's been doing something for years and years or decades, and you just got started. You never know where that person's at on their journey compared to your journey as well. So don't compare yourself to anyone.

Look at people for inspiration, but not comparison. And if it gets to the point where you're devaluing yourself or that person makes you jealous, maybe that person is not a good person to be following or to be looking at their feed for whatever reason. It could be the person not doing anything wrong, but it's just not good for you. And that is okay. Sometimes we need to take a break to evaluate, like, "Oh, what is truly going on for me? Why do I feel that way?" And then, if we cut the source off where the comparison is happening so you can take a step back and work on yourself because you are in comparison mode. Then you can maybe go back to that person or go back to that thing that you were enjoying without any of that comparison that's occurring because it's just not healthy. And I'm a big believer that if that thing is just creating disturbances in your mental health, it's not worth it. It's truly not worth it.

The next one I want to share with you that's going to help you make yourself a priority is to be grateful. When you take the time to express gratitude for the things in your life, it makes you feel better. And then it also allows you to say things that you're grateful for and actions that you're doing to make yourself a priority too. So it's acknowledgment as well.

And the last and final thing is to have fun. Take time to have fun. This is a priority. We're not meant to be hamsters working and doing this little thing on a hamster wheel all day long, where we're just going, going, going, going, going. Do the same thing over and over. We're not meant to do that. We're meant to have fun. We're meant to enjoy our lives. And if you're not enjoying your life, why are you not enjoying your life? What will make you enjoy your life more? And making yourself a priority, coming back to you, figuring out who you are, what you want to do, and why you want to do it is really key for thriving.

Thriving. Remember, you're meant to thrive, not survive. And you deserve to make yourself a priority. And you deserve to feel really, really good. Count your blessings. Schedule time for you to make yourself a priority to increase your mental health.

I hope you've enjoyed today's episode. I look forward to seeing you. Next one. Please make sure you like and subscribe. I'm sending you a big hug and Happy New Year. Bye.

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