We have always been told to put others first and rightly so as to conquer selfishness. However, you cannot give what you do not have.
Esther Nsubuga, a counsellor, says taking care of yourself is more of self-care rather than selfishness.
“While we are social beings, and are programmed to give, we ought to be well to do so. On several occasions, we pray for others, feed and dress them while all we have are leftovers or nothing at all. You should be strong enough to support another, because just like you cannot milk a cow without feeding it, you cannot continually give without filling your cup,” she says.
You are important
The level of importance here is not in regards to the world, but your spouse, children, and friends. “They are better because of you. Thus, your well-being is important to them. However, are you important to you? You matter and you are important thus the need to take care of you,” Rita Kisauzi, a counsellor, shares.
Do what you love. Apart from the mandatory, there is always an opportunity to do what you love. The activity does not necessarily have to be financially rewarding for you to continue loving and gaining from it. You can consider the non-financial gain from it for example, how it makes you feel about yourself thus boosting your esteem,” Nsubuga shares. Learn a new thing. There are some things we have wanted to learn but have never made time for them. “It could be joining a cooking class or learning a foreign language,” Kisauzi says.
Prayer. For many, prayer is a big part of their lives and while it is great to pray for others and intercede for them in prayer, you need not to forget about yourself. “Before doing anything, commit your day to the Lord in prayer and let Him lead. This will give you plenty of success for your day,” Nsubuga says.
Practice gratitude. An ungrateful person is so toxic because they never take time to internalise and appreciate what they have. While it is good practice to appreciate others, there is no harm in appreciating oneself as long as it is done genuinely with no ill intentions of pride and pulling others down.
“You need to take time and give yourself a pat on the back for what you have done well. This will help you improve your image, how you relate with others and can boost performance,” she says.
Exercise. Your body needs to be active to thrive and exercising is a sure way to do that. However, there is no one size fits all- your ideal workout is not a shared taste. “So if you love running, pilates, strength training or skipping a rope, go for it. There is no need to feel pressured to do what everyone else is doing. All that matters is that you are active, and will be more rewarding when done before you start your day’s activities,” says Bob Kiisa, a fitness enthusiast.
Nutrition. We are what we eat and our fate lies on our plate, so what you eat matters. “Treasure your body as you would your prized car thus giving it foods that will build, preserve, and strengthen it,” Kiisa adds.
This journey is better walked with your partner to remind you about the need to take care of you, at least until it becomes part of you. “You must believe in it more than your partner to keep on course lest you make excuses for yourself,” Esther Nsubuga, a counsellor, says.