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Is it Selfish to Put Your Health First?

Tell me if this looks like your typical day:

6 am-7:30 am: Make breakfast, get kids ready for school, get ready for work.

7:30 am-8 am: Take kids to school, and head into work.

8 am-4:30 pm: Work (maybe more than 8 hours).

4:30 pm-5:30 pm: Pick kids up from school and take them to extracurricular activities.

5:30 pm-6:30 pm: Make dinner and organize the house.

6:30 pm-7:30 pm: Pick kids up from activities and eat dinner.

7:30 pm-8:30 pm. Clean up dinner, help kids with homework, get them ready for bed.

8:30 pm-10 pm: Finish whatever work you have for the day and prepare for tomorrow, then bed.

REPEAT

The day I just described is utter chaos, and unfortunately, this is the typical day for most of the clients I work with at the gym. When juggling the stresses of a career, a family, and everything else in your life, it is hard to find time to put your own health first.

Although it is very hard to consider your own health, when you have everything else to worry about, it is absolutely essential to focus on staying healthy.

It is more than ok to put yourself first sometimes. Putting your own health first might seem selfish to you, but it definitely is less selfish than you might believe. When you put your own health first you are setting the rest of your life in order. Being a healthy person will allow all of the following:

  • More productive days
  • Better quality of life, such as mood, sleep, and how you feel overall
  • You will be able to give more to your family
  • You will be there for your family in the future

Some of you might be saying, “I know it is important to put my own health first, but I literally don’t have the time to be healthy.” To that, I say, “Make time for it!”

I am not trying to downplay how busy you all are, and I feel for you 100%. However, think of it this way, we all have the same amount of time in the day, so how do other busy people find time to be healthy?

Our priorities in life will guide the actions we take through the day. Making your health a top priority will make a positive change in your life and will allow you to have time you thought you never had.

Typically, I believe this is what most people’s priorities are like:
  1. Family
  2. Work
  3. Taking care of the house
  4. Work from home
  5. Kids homework
  6. Hobbies
  7. Health
For a person who values their health highly, typically this is what I think their priorities are:
  1. Family
  2. Health
  3. Work
  4. Everything else
There is no magic pill or hidden secret for health, the key is people that want to be healthy make it a priority in their life, just like their work or their family. The key is to plan time in your day to do what you need to, in order to stay healthy. Staying healthy might consist of the following:
  • 7-8 hours of quality sleep a night
  • 30-60 minutes of exercises (movement) daily
  • 3 healthy meals a day
  • Some type of quality time for yourself a day, such as 20-40 minutes of reading, meditating, or a hobby

It might seem selfish to have all of these checks in your life every day, but it is essential to have the best quality of life you can. When considering the quality of life, you must maintain balance.

So, how can you be more selfish and make more time for yourself? Many of the clients I work with have a very hard time saying NO to people. When you refuse to say no, and volunteer yourself for everything you can think of, you end up stretching yourself, and if you stretch yourself too far you end up breaking. There is power in saying no, it gives you the power to take control of your life, and more importantly your health.

Another way to find more time in your day is to follow a strict schedule or find a routine. I recommend that everyone has a schedule that they make weekly and check every day. Everything should be scheduled from the second you wake up, to when you eat, when you work, and when you plan to exercise. When you lay everything out in front of you, you begin to realize how much time you really have, and you begin to see what things you can start cutting to make more time for yourself.

Taking control of your health comes down to you. You have the choice to be healthy or to sabotage yourself. Will you put everyone else before yourself, or will you sacrifice some things in your life to put health at the top of the list? Will you use time as an excuse, or find the time in the day, no matter what, to put your health first?

Remember: it comes down to you. You push yourself so hard in other areas of your life, such as work and family, so why can’t it be the same for your health? You control your life, your time, your stress, and your health. If you don’t like where you are at currently, change it! Make the time, learn to say no, be more selfish, and put your health first.


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