Put yourself first

People that are considerate of others, to the point of putting others before themselves often end up feeling let down.

This occurs when they base their expectations of how others should be on themselves. But not everyone is as considerate as you might be. Not everyone thinks about how other people may be impacted. Sometimes people just think about themselves. They think about their own wants, needs and conveniences.

To someone who is used to putting other people first (often to their own detriment), it can be hard to accept when others won’t do the same. But the important thing to remember is that it almost always has nothing to do with you.

You don’t have to put other people first to prove that you care. It’s actually okay to care about yourself enough to put yourself first sometimes.

The things you don’t want to do

Sometimes we have to do things that we don’t want to do. But it’s important to remember, there are levels to this sort of thing.

You might not want to go to work but you have to. Work could be 9-5 or it could be a 12 hour shift, that’s a lot of time spent doing something that you don’t want to do.

You might not want to leave your house to collect a prescription. That’s not likely to take more than 30 minutes so even though you don’t want to do it, it’ll be over soon.

It’s really important to ensure that you’re not spending spending too much of your life doing things that you don’t want to do. Doing so may lead to a life of misery. And so if you find yourself spending large amounts of your day doing things you don’t want to do, maybe you could do something to change that?

Reasons to log out

Every so often I log out of social media.

I do it to remind myself that I don’t need to use it as much as I think I do.

I do it to free up space in my mind for my own thoughts and opinions.

I do it so that I can spend my free time doing other things that will be more fulfilling.

And when sometime passes and I choose to log back in, I am always reminded that if I’m not mindful I can end up wasting a lot of time and energy.

The best thing I’ve ever written

When you’re sharing your words online everyday there is very little pressure for what you post to be the best thing you’ve ever written.

If todays words aren’t particularly good, I know that I can always write something better tomorrow or the day after.

Sometimes what I consider to be my some of my best work doesn’t gain the numbers that I think it will or should. Other times, the stuff I’m pretty indifferent about ends up becoming the most popular.

I’ve written posts that I thought were my best at the time only to look back months later and realise it could have been so much better.

And so the idea of my best work is pretty flexible. If in 20 months of daily blogging, this post was the best thing I’d ever written, I have no doubt that I’d change my mind a few months later.

Reminding myself of all this makes blogging every day so much easier.

Good in the long run

There will always be things that you need to do but don’t necessarily enjoy.

Often it’s these kinds of things that are good in the long run but in the moment, in the short run you’d rather not bother.

If it’s in a work environment you’ll most likely get it done because you have have to. However, when it comes to your own personal work or projects you might not have a monthly wage to motivate you to get things done.

And so you have to remind yourself of the benefits it will bring in the future.

But also remind yourself that if you don’t do it you’re more than likely to regret it later on when you’re unable to reap the rewards.

Exploring something new

From a young age it is likely that you were taught to figure out what you wanted to do with your life. That in turn dictated the choices you made and paths you chose for many years that followed.

Sometimes what ends up happening is you end up creating a very specific life where you rarely explore something new.

Whilst there is nothing wrong with knowing what you like and what you’re interested in, you don’t want to be so set in your ways that you’re closed off to the unknown.

Exploring something new every once in a while allows your mind to stay fresh. It could lead you to take a new path or just remind you that you’re exactly where you want to be.

Feedback and praise

I think most people like receiving praise. Not necessarily in front of a large crowd with the spotlight shining down but to simply be told you did something well is more than enough.

Many people go around thinking they’re subpar and for them praise serves as a reminder that they’re doing okay. It can be difficult to tell yourself that you did a good job, perhaps it feels big headed or self indulgent.

Feedback on the other hand can be difficult to take from others but easy to give to yourself.

It feels good to be told that you did something well but it isn’t always easy to hear what you need to work on from other people.

Afterall, how could this person know what you’ve been through and have they considered that you’re doing your best.

This observation of how we take in praise and feedback is simply a reminder not to cling too much to opinions and perceptions, not even even your own.

And on the 7th day…

The creator of the habit loop determined that in order to change a habit you needed to change your routine. For example, drinking a glass of water when you crave a cigarette.

For the past 7 days I’ve been working to undo a habit. I didn’t consciously replace it with anything but I suppose I could say I’ve been writing instead.

By the time I got to the 7th day I found I had little interest in carrying out the habit I’d been trying to undo.

It served as a reminder that sometimes we get so caught up in doing things that we believe we’re stuck or that it will be a hard habit to break.

Granted this doesn’t apply to everything but I think it’s fair to say that not all habits are difficult to break.

Reflecting on the past 3 months

The past few months have been something none of us could have ever anticipated. It’s been challenging, sad, stressful and at times overwhelming.

Times like this are perfect for reflection because we’ve all been reminded how short life is and how tomorrow isn’t promised.

Our day to day have all changed in some way. We’ve had to do without things we didn’t even know we relied on and instead had to stay indoors.

I’ve written a few questions below for you to think about. They’re things I’ve been reflecting on as the lockdown rules start to ease up here in England.

What has brought you joy?

How have you been spending your free time?

What do you miss?

What have you been happy without?

What will you change moving forward?

Self help

Perhaps when you were young, someone taught you that when you feel overwhelmed, step away and give yourself a moment.

Maybe you grew up practising that and maybe you didn’t. If you didn’t you might find that as an adult when you feel overwhelmed you don’t quite know how to handle it.

The feeling might end up growing and growing to the point where it’s now unbearable. Then all of a sudden you remember that in the past it helped to give yourself a moment.

Even though you know it could help, you don’t do it straight away because you’re almost skeptical. It might not work, you might end up feeling exactly the same.

But then you do it, you step away, get some fresh air and take a few deep breaths.

It helps.

You feel calmer afterwards.

In that moment you remember that (even though you forget time and time again), you’re capable of supporting yourself in difficult or uncomfortable situations.