Creative Commons/add1sun

10 From GEM:
10 Cool Ways To Put Yourself First


There is only one person responsible for the quality of the life you live. That person is you.

–Jack Canfield

No doubt about it, if we women don’t make ourselves a priority, nobody is going to do it for us. Between fulfilling our kids’ needs, our partner’s requests, or our boss’ demands, it’s an uphill struggle to find time even to take a shower. Yet, finding time to take care of ourselves is exactly what we should do to more fully enjoy life. Since we love keeping it simple around here, read on for 10 easy ideas to put yourself first in your own life.


Creative Commons/Moyan_Brenn

Creative Commons/Moyan_Brenn

Why do so many women feel guilty about taking much needed “me” time? Maybe it’s because some of us—whether we realize or not—are striving for perfection when good enough will do just fine. Turn that guilty feeling on its ugly little head and feel gratitude instead. The next time your partner puts the kids to bed while you put up your feet and read a magazine, instead of thinking, “I should be doing that” say to yourself, “Thank goodness! Now I can relax.” Make a conscious effort to find the good instead of the guilt.

Read more: Life Lessons: Susanna Macomb



 Single Mom Slice Of Life: Finding My "No"

The need to please prevents many women from using the word no. Such a shame, too, because think how many things we could cross off not put on our to-do lists if we had simply said, “Sorry, I can’t do that.” Putting ourselves first starts with not wasting time doing things we don’t want to do. You might have to take your son to soccer practice, but that doesn’t mean you have to be the team mom.

Read more: Hey Mom.. How About You Just. Say. NO?



Creative Commons/Steve Koukoulas

Creative Commons/Steve Koukoulas

Let’s be clear: family support for putting yourself first is a nice-to-have, not a must-have. But if your family is used to you catering to their every need, it’s okay to put them on notice that you’re taking time out for yourself. Let them know a date and time when you have a non-negotiable appointment with yourself. You won’t be available by phone, text, email, or tweet. If you were in a job interview, you wouldn’t allow interruptions; don’t let anyone interrupt the short amount of time you need to recharge your batteries.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 Lessons To Teach Kids Of All Ages


Creative Commons/erinzam

Creative Commons/erinzam

Planning your day before it happens gives you a chance to plan your “me” time. Spend a few minutes before bed or wake up a few minutes early to write down what your day will look like. If you want to spend some time reading, write it down. Even if it’s just 10 minutes before you cook dinner, putting pen to paper (or finger to touch screen) solidifies the importance of what you’re doing.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 Ways To Brighten Your Day



Creative Commons/JT INK

Creative Commons/JT INK

Putting yourself first is something that should be done at some point every day, so create rituals where you do just that. Meditating, exercising, having a meal/snack alone, journaling, and enjoying a cup of tea are just a few of the hundreds of rituals you can do every day to make time for yourself.

Read more: Mediocre Mom Manual: My Panty Sniffing Shame!


Creative Commons/lettie95

Creative Commons/lettie95

You are your own best friend. For that reason, it’s essential to enjoy your own company. Going out by yourself gives you space to think and reflect. It’s a great time to find out who you are and to understand your way of thinking. Every person on earth is constantly growing and evolving. You should never be able to say that you know all there is to know about yourself. Spending time alone allows you to discover new things.

Read more: Life Lessons: Michelle Reece


Creative Commons/Boots&Hearts Music Festival

Creative Commons/Boots&Hearts Music Festival

Getting together with good friends is therapeutic. Think of the laughter and good feelings that ensue when you have conversations with people you don’t get to interact with as often as you’d like. Go out with friends to hear your “grown up” name a few times and to remember who that woman really is.

Read more: Single Mom Slice Of Life: Teaching The Good Choice Of ‘Good Enough’




Creative Commons/Radicalccs!

Creative Commons/Radicalccs!

Who do you really want to be? What is your mission in life? Try taking this insightful quiz as a starting point to learn more about what drives you. Think about the things that excite you. What do you love? When you love something, you are likely to be engaged in the activity, and this makes you feel energized. Discovering your passion is one of the most important ways to prioritize your needs.

Read more: PLAY NICE! And 9 More Life Lessons From Disney


Creative Commons/Trim Down Club

Creative Commons/Trim Down Club

Eating well, exercising, and getting a full night’s rest are the trifecta of prioritizing yourself. They’re not the only things, of course, but they are an excellent start. You don’t have to do everything all at once, either. If you’re not ready to give up fast food, limit it to once a week instead of every weekday. Walk a few more steps each day by parking further away and taking the stairs. See if you can turn off the TV and go to bed even 15 minutes earlier than usual. The physical and mental gains of taking care of your body outweigh whatever you have to give up to get there.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 Tips To Fit Exercise Into Your Busy Day



Creative Commons/Arty Guerillas

Creative Commons/Arty Guerillas

A friend complained to me recently about another friend who drops by her house unannounced—children in tow—and expects her to drop whatever she’s doing to entertain and have lunch. My friend can stop this problem by saying something like, “I can’t have company right now. So sorry you made the trip over. Next time, please give me a call first.” If you have friends like this, there’s no need to be angry with them. After all, their boundaries are not your boundaries. If you don’t teach them how to treat you, they’ll treat you the way they want to be treated! That’s not always to your benefit.

Read more: Life Lessons: Fran Meadows



So what are YOU doing to put yourself first?  Which of these ideas are you going to try right now?  Let us know!

More From GEM:

School’s In Session! 5 Life Lessons From Disney’s Monsters University (VIDEO)

Happy Birthday Cole! 15 Things I Learned Raising This Boy (So Far)

Life Lessons: Rissi Palmer



picmonkey alexis

 Alexis Trass Walker lives in Gary, Indiana, with her husband and four children. She is a stay at home mom and writer who loves all things chocolate. Read more about Alexis on her blog, email her at, or follow her on Twitter @LillieBelle5.