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10 Tips to Prioritize Yourself

Living in a fast-paced world, we often forget how to take care of ourselves. Work, school, family, or other responsibilities, leaves us with little energy for self-care. However, giving ourselves the energy we deserve is essential to our happiness! Here are ten simple ways you can prioritize yourself:

1. Manage Your Time

Burnout is real. One way to combat this is through planning, and identifying how we can make the most of our time. Make To-Do lists, and prioritize the assignments that are most important. Ensure that you aren’t over committing yourself by saying ‘no’ to any activities that don’t align with your priorities or values. It is important to set boundaries so that your time and energy are respected, not taken for granted. Finally, it is important to set intentions and establish time for ourselves each day, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

2. Meditate

Take time out of your busy day for pure calm to enjoy the present moment. While many guided meditations exist online, technology isn’t always necessary. You may find it more effective to meditate “unplugged”; without any distractions from technology. Meditation is an opportunity for us to be more mindful, and increase connection with ourselves. Try to diminish busy thoughts by practicing gratitude and focusing on the positive aspects of life.

3. Listen to Music & Walk

The “Hot Girl Walk” is popular for a reason. The idea behind this mindfulness walk is to keep in mind your goals and what you’re grateful for, all while feeling like your best self. It might be the perfect way to end a long day, or to get it started on the right foot. You can take a “Hot Girl Walk'' anywhere and if you live in Blacksburg, try the Huckleberry Trail. Listen to whatever music fits your vibe, or perhaps even try out a podcast/audiobook!

4. Increase Exercise

Exercise has been shown to reduce stress, improve mood, and boost overall health. Find an activity that you enjoy, and try to make time for it regularly. You might go to the gym, go for a hike, or play a sport. Yoga is another great option to practice mindfulness while being active.

5. Prioritize Your Hobbies

Take time for your passions and the activities that make you happy. This is your opportunity to build skills, be creative, and connect with others who share your interests.

6. Cook a Fresh Meal

I know you’ve seen those tasty dishes blowing up on social media. Pick one out, blast some tunes, and get to work! Cooking a homemade meal can be relaxing on your own, or a fun activity to do with your friends. It’s an opportunity to choose healthy ingredients and learn some new skills. Eating a fresh meal can help you feel better physically and mentally. Plus, it’s satisfying to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

7. Prioritize your Loved Ones

Don’t forget to lean on your support system. Take time to build and grow relationships with the people who support and encourage you; this includes your furry friends! Playing and cuddling with our pets increases dopamine and serotonin, which helps us calm and relax. These connections also improve our mental health and emotional wellbeing.

8. Personal Development

Invest in yourself! Identify and pursue areas in which you want to grow. Pick up a book, attend a workshop, or take a course that interests you. There are always opportunities to better ourselves. When creating goals, make sure that they are realistic, and try breaking them down into achievable steps. As you go, acknowledge your failures. Learn from them and view them as an opportunity to grow. Equally important is celebrating your successes. Acknowledging your accomplishments, big or small, can be a boost of confidence and improve your self efficacy.

9. Take Time for Rest and Relaxation

Relaxation is defined differently for everyone. Perhaps it is taking a nap, reading a book, taking a relaxing bath, or spending time in nature. No matter what it is, take time for activities that nourish your body.

10. Develop a Sleep Regimen

Sleep is perhaps the most important part of your routine. It is when your body rests and your mind refreshes. It is recommended to get around seven to eight hours each night, and to wake up at a similar time each morning. Some have also advised to avoid screens before going to sleep. You may enjoy developing a night time routine to assist in this regard. This could include a shower, music, meditation, a hot cup of tea, journaling or reading a book - whatever works best for you!

Prioritizing ourselves is important for our overall happiness and well-being. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily hustle and bustle of life, but taking care of yourself isn’t selfish, it is necessary.

By Katie Brintle

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