Why it's okay to put yourself first

There comes a time in your life when you need to reevaluate and think about what’s really important.

As baby boomers, most have spent the majority of your lives putting the needs of others first. Whether it’s your children, your partner, your boss or friends, a lot of people find themselves saying ‘yes’ to everyone else and pushing aside what matters to them.

While it might seem like the easy option at the time, experts say it can actually do a lot of damage in the long run.

Your health will suffer

Although we spend most of our lives thinking being selfish is a bad thing, this isn’t exactly true. Denying yourself the things you want and need can affect your state of mind and your physical health, too. Things like depression and anxiety can develop when we’re not doing the things that make us happy. Over-committing yourself and constantly putting the needs of others first means you’re not leaving time for the things you want despite the fact that your needs are just as — and maybe even more — important than anyone else’s.

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You’ll find your real friends

It’s when you start saying no to people that you really learn who your true friends are. If you’re the kind of person who usually says yes to everyone, some of those closest to you may get a rude awakening when your start turning them down. Don’t worry. At 60-plus its’s time to bid farewell to anyone who’s not in your life for the right reasons. Saying no isn’t always easy, but don’t be swayed. Freeing up your time by ditching the chores of others is both liberating and satisfying and anyone who isn’t okay with that should really get with the program quick smart.

You’ve earned it

Don’t you think that after a lifetime of sacrifices it’s time for a little ‘me time’? Raising children, working hard, committing your relationships, they’re all important things. But they’re all things that require you to give, give, give and not always get much back in return. More and more people in their 60s and beyond are coming to the realisation that it doesn’t always have to be like this. If you want to travel the world, go out and do it. If you want to dial back your responsibilities, start today. If you want to sit at home on the couch and do nothing for an entire day, go for it.

When it comes down to it, the one person you really owe is yourself and it’s better late than never to start treating yourself the way you deserve!

Do you find yourself always putting the needs of others first? Do you find it difficult to say no?