Self-Love is Self-Care. How to Make Sure You Prioritise YOU!

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I think I inherited it from my Mum but I have a habit of not thinking of myself first. When I have some extra cash or extra time or extra anything....and I'm not even a wife or mother yet.

Recently, I decided to change that a little. Think of myself more, then think of my family and others. It manifested itself in a different way and I'll tell you some of the ways I started showing love to myself. 

7 Ways To Prioritise 'YOU'

1. Have A Gratitude Journal 

I will admit that when it comes to journaling, I haven't been the best, but when I do put my mind to it, I am forced to think about the positives that have happened. It keeps me grounded and I have a chance to ponder on the things that have happened, the ways divine favour has opened doors for me, the connections I've made as a result of an introduction or a joint project, the opportunities that have presented themselves before me and so many more. 

A lot of times I think having a gratitude journal might be over-rated but when I think of it in the context of having to take notes at meetings because I may forget the important points shared; I think about how writing down the things I am grateful for keeps me grounded in a gratitude mindset and I don't lose track of how GOD manifests in a variety of ways daily on my behalf. 

2. Renew Your Prayer Life

During the pandemic I cultivated a healing prayer routine that helped re-energise not just my spirit but my body and soul as well. 

Let me walk you through it: I'd wake up at 6am daily, pray and read my Bible for 30mins, then I would check on all my brand posts, social media and email updates for the day (I would absolutely NOT pick up my phone until after my prayer time - regardless of how many call or messages came in), shower and then start my day. 

It made me feel invincible. The phrase A prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian comes alive when I stick to this routine. Back in 2020, there were so many things that happened during the WFH period that I literally breezed through because I had started my day by committing it to GOD. 

Prayer for me truly is a part of Self-love.

3. Me first - my savings, my investments, my needs

Being money smart I have discovered is not selfish, it is not being stingy or being irresponsible. Being money smart is a kind of self-love and is even a form of independence in order to save ones self from being a burden to others. 

Previously, all my earnings were spent on fulfilling my financial responsibilites to everyone else apart from myself and it always made me a bit resentful because when I needed financial assistance, I couldn't get it. It seemed as if I was subject to the whims of others. 

But now, I have a percentage of EVERY income saved & invested (yes, I have investments that have failed, but it doesn't mean I won't keep investing). My budget has Savings & investments accounted for and I stick to it. Even when my account is in the red, I don't feel bad or sad or frustrated, because I know what I used it for. 

4. Celebrate the small wins

I never used to know how to 'hype' myself. I would achieve things and treat them as common or ordinary, I underestimated myself and I wasn't my own biggest or loudest hype woman. This led to a lot of impostor syndrome which almost drowned me and even began to look like inferiority complex.

I had to let go of it.
I learned to praise myself - whether I added weight or lost, whether I failed or succeeded (especially when I succeeded), when I got something right at work or was looking gorgeous that day. I celebrated them all. This helped to boost my confidence in myself and in my ability to get it done. 

5. Pursue my Passions & Happiness

There is something that always happens when you put others first, you never put yourself next and never first again. Not because you don't want to, but because there is no room. When you put others first, then all your dreams, desires, passions and the things that matter to you automatically take a back seat. 

This automatically leads to resentment, mood swings, frustration and even angry outbursts. You don't understand why, no one understands why, you are angry all the time and you end up retreating into a shell of self-pity and telling yourself no one cares about you but only about what you can do for them.

But you never told them what you wanted. I never actually spoke up and communicated what I wanted. The moment I decided that I came first and everyone needed to know what I wanted and the things that would make me happy, there was no turning back and there was obstacle in my path.

The first step was to first acknowledge the things I wanted, the next step was to speak up about it and the final and most important was to act on them.

6. Thrash Relationships that Drain & Don't Replenish

This is self-explanatory - get rid of relationships that drain you and use you. 

If you ever listened to my podcast The Speaking About Podcast, you'll have heard about one of these relationships of mine and how it made a dent in my personality, my confidence and who I am as a person. 

I grew my emotional intelligence and learned to analyse my emotions in a relationship. This helped me greatly and I was able to understand my place in the relationships I was in. I separated the relationships - the ones for business, for work, for emotional benefit, for growth and so on. This segmentation made it easy for me to invest the required energy necessary and to totally get rid of the ones that didn't benefit me in any way.

7. Give myself feedback

As a leader at work, I give my team feedback all the time. I tell them when they have done something good or bad or when they need to review something, grow or improve in a particular area. 

As difficult as this is, I had to learn to do this same thing for myself. At the end of every day, or week or even in the middle of the workday, I have a mental conversation with myself and tell myself how I could have done it better or pat myself on the back. 

It helps because no one knows me better than myself. Even when others share feedback, I mentally dissect the feedback and apply any and every part that is for my benefit without holding any of it back. 

These are the 7 ways I've learned to show myself self-love and make myself first. 

Trust me, it isn't a bad thing to put yourself first. It makes you happy and it's easier to be of assistance or be a backbone to others when you are happy with yourself.

The below pictures are from Mrs. Adesuwa Onyenokwe's 59th birthday event when I was just starting work as the Online Editor of TW Magazine. The entire event was a huge lesson in self-care and self-love and I did meet new people too. 

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