Get Well

How to Give Back to Yourself When All You Do Is Give to Others

by Amanda Smith

If you’re anything like me you tend to give and give and give and give. Sometimes you don’t even realize you’re doing it. It just comes natural to you. You love and care for others so much you just want to pour out everything you have to offer. Maybe it’s to your friends, your partner, your job, your hobbies, etc… but it’s never to yourself. You have to remind yourself to prioritize you. If you’re anything like that, then I feel these next 3 tips will be life changing. 

Remove Unnecessary Energy Vacuums 

This is a weird, but very forward way of saying, take inventory of what (or who) is sucking the energy from your life and see if it’s really necessary. Most of the time, you’ll realize you give way too much energy to things that don’t matter in the long run, people who don’t deserve it, or ideas that are no longer serving you. I did this at the very start of 2021. I had taken some time over the holidays to assess what I wanted differently in the new year. I realized that I wanted to feel energized and motivated more. I saw that the deeply rooted need for acceptance from people around me took a lot out of me, leaving less to give back to myself. Now, I focus (daily) on checking in on myself, asking myself questions like, “Where is my energy going today? Have I given myself love and attention? What mindsets took more from me than it gave?” It’s much easier said than done, but a practice I hope to grow in every day – and you can too! 

Schedule Time For Yourself

Are we all really TOO busy that we don’t have time for ourselves? Look at your calendar (after cutting out some unnecessary energy vacuums) and pencil in “you” time! You deserve it. This could look so different from person to person, day to day. This is a time to give back to yourself – no distractions, no agendas, no people-pleasing, just you. Sometimes for me this means getting in a car and doing things I really love doing, alone. I love getting coffee, going thrifting, aimlessly walking around Target, or the candle section at TJ Max, maybe finding a local bakery. Other days it’s simply Postmating KFC and watching Youtube videos for hours. Whatever it is for you, do it. Schedule it. Don’t cancel on yourself, and most importantly, don’t be late. 

Invest In YOU

This can be a hard one because there is a fine line between investing in your wellbeing, treating yourself to something special, and using retail therapy as a distraction. Only you know where that line is and it’s so healthy to be honest with yourself. When I say, “Invest In Yourself” it could mean a lot of different things. You could invest in yourself by having a monthly membership to HeadSpace (a meditation app), or Better Help (virtual mental health counselors.) It could be having a gym membership, or cooking high-quality wholefoods at home. It could mean purchasing clothing that’s sustainable, high-quality and something you can wear to work. For me, it’s all of that, and more. I also love investing in my learning both financially and in my career. I have a Skillshare membership where I am always growing in my skills and learning new ones. I also love reading new books on finances. I invest in a good book which teaches me how to invest my money. It’s a win-win overall! 

These three tips all sound really great and it’s nothing you haven’t heard of before. The real key here is just doing what works for you. Take it one step at a time, one day at a time, and be patient with the rest. You’ll probably say yes to something you don’t want to do, stay longer at work when you’re not getting paid/or appreciated, and forget a meal here and there. Don’t be hard on yourself. The point is to give back to yourself however you can. The more you practice, the better you become.

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