It took me a long time to come to the realization that my own personal happiness is equally important to the happiness I strive to provide others. I find myself to be a very giving person. I am often the first person to offer a listening ear to someone who might need it. For as long as I can remember, I have always prioritized satisfying the needs of others. Despite it taking a long time, I have finally realized that my own personal happiness and well-being is just as important, if not more so than others.’ I say “more so” because if I am not prioritizing my own self-care, it will be difficult or impossible to continue to provide for others.
Self-care can be defined by each individual. For some, it’s needing to take time out to binge-watch a good TV show. For others, it’s taking a relaxing bath. For yet others, it’s a movie or game night with friends. There are times when I forget to prioritize my self-care, and therefore, my own happiness begins to suffer. However, I am now more aware of the importance of self-care and am quick to get back on track, prioritizing these good habits. A good friend once said to me, “If you don’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of others?” Because helping others is something I hold so closely to my heart, those words emphasize the importance of self-care and monitoring my own wellness that much more.
Having not prioritized my own happiness for so long, getting in the habit of doing so was a long process. The process was so worth the journey, though. I could feel immediately how many areas of my life it affected. I find myself actively searching for the good in negative situations. I find I can help others more easily if I use the example of something I went through specifically. Being able to share experiences with someone you’re helping allows them to feel less alone or concerned about how the person they are sharing with may view them. My self-happiness has become a priority just like my work, my health, and my social life.
This journey has not only been helpful for me, but also for those around me. We so often forget that we are just as important as others and that we are the sole individuals responsible for our internal happiness. People feel like prioritizing their own happiness is something they should feel guilty about. They may feel that if they are looking for happiness within themselves, it can come off as blow to their support system and carry the message that they are not providing enough for their loved ones. However, this is typically not the case. Self-happiness is an entirely different journey.
I hope that everyone who is reading this article has already prioritized or will begin to prioritize self-care and happiness within themselves. Taking time to do this shows that you value your life and what you bring to those around you just as much as they do. It shows that you know your worth. When you and your support system are in harmony, it creates a larger sense of peace.