Putting yourself first is not selfish

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I was standing across my colleague’s desk one morning, when she pointed out that there was a hole in my shirt. I looked at it and I couldn’t believe the size of it and how I could have missed it when ironing the shirt that morning because it was quite visible. I even wondered if that’s why the doctor at my appointment that same morning, asked me where I worked…

I was so embarrassed and I felt so depressed that day not because my colleague mentioned it (I am glad she did) but because It dawned on me that I wasn’t taking good care of myself. I wasn’t even paying attention to what I was wearing, I was busy taking caring of others.

From then on, I decided things would change, I need to take care of myself before I can take care of others. They say ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’, so this cup that has been empty for a while, needs a refill.

To friends and family, forgive me if I won’t be as available to you as I have been in the past. I’ve put myself last for too long, now it’s time to take care of Doreen.

Steps I am taking to better take care of myself

Start the day with prayer and reflection – I feel calm and at peace when I start the day in prayer. It gives me assurance that God has already taken care of what lies ahead of me

Workout – I always workout in the morning before I go to work. When the weather is good, I go for a run or go for a long walk (on Saturdays when I have more time) but in winter I do a home gym with workout videos because I am not a fun of gyms plus they are expensive. Working out energies me and makes feel like I can conquer the world on my own.

Eat health – I am not planning on counting my calories or not eating bread for the rest of my life (which is impossible anyway) but eating everything in moderation and not overindulging. I don’t believe in denying myself cake or chocolate but I am not going to eat it everyday either, once in a while is okay.

Keep a journal – I started the blog because I was looking for a place where I could my express myself and share my thoughts without bothering my friends but I realise that I can put on my blog, so I am thinking of keeping a journal. I used to keep one a while ago but stopped at some point but I think it’s time to get another one. It’s very interesting to read your own journal years later.

Read – I love reading but I started a lot of books that I didn’t finish, so this year I am challenging myself to read at least one book every month.

Listen to podcasts – I have listened to one or two but  this something I want to make a habit of.

Turn off the phone – I’ve started turning off my phone for a few hours everyday, to read and just sit with me, myself and I plus my thoughts. Sometimes those notifications every  second of the day can be overwhelming and most of the time they are silly forward chain letters or stupid videos that don’t even make sense.

Take myself of dates – I don’t have to wait for someone to take me out, I can go to the movies on my own, I can go for a pedicure, a facial or a massage and I can go and eat alone…..In Zambia there’s a saying, ‘Insansa Niwemwine’, meaning, you create your own happiness or happiness comes from within you. You don’t have to wait for someone to make you happy.

Use affirmations – I am writing notes on Post-Its and post them where I can see them throughout the day…. ‘My favourite being, I am who God says I am’

Vision Board – I’ve never made one before but this year I want to create one as a reminder of the goals I would like to achieve this year.

Friends – I am narrowing down my friendship list to just a few genuine friends who I know I can count on. I am not going to make myself available to friends who aren’t available for me.

Putting yourself first is not selfish, it’s very important and very necessary. Don’t neglect yourself or forget yourself, you matter too!

Are you taking good care of yourself? Have made some ‘alone time’ for yourself? If not, start now because no one else will do it for you.


Stay blessed!




  1. I loved this. It’s these simple reminders of the importance of self care. Recently, I’ve become a little “stingy” with my time and the need to protect my energy. Thanks for sharing the tips. I’m struggling with a few of them, especially turning off the phone. Baby steps! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are very welcome! Its very.important to take carenof yourself. Yes indeed baby steps! When I started turning my phone off, I kept staring at it but now I am getting used to it. Yiu will get there..

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Doreenh73,
    I love your new year’s resolutions! 🙂 I love to read too, and I pledged to read 100 books this year. I also think turning off the phone while you read is a fantastic suggestion that I will do. Thank you for this post because it reminds me to take care of myself. (It is hard when you are busy, but you are right that it is important. I wish you health and joy this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this post! I should do this myself… put myself first. We tend to get overwhelmed sometimes and almost lose ourselves… so this is very important. I’ve also decided to create a vision board for the first time this year… let’s see how that goes 🙂 Thanks for the lovely post Dee xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this! I am a firm believer that in order for me to take care of you I have to take care of me. I learned that the hard way, but I’m glad I finally understood the meaning of it. Thanks for sharing! People need to hear this more.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fabulous article! I love taking myself on dates and I absolutely agree that we should always put our own needs first. Not an easy task when you have a family. And I won’t give up bread either 😬

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you…I also have a very demanding extended family that’s how I ended up forgetting myself. But I realise that its been like that for a long time and it might continue, so I need to do things for myself too!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is powerful sis. I am resolving to take care of myself too. Especially reducing the number of friends because it is stressful when you are the only one trying to communicate with everyone. I love this. Make myself happy then others..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is such a great list of ways to take care of yourself. And you are so right that we need to take care of number one before we can take care of anyone else. I especially like the suggestion to turn off your phone – I often leave mine somewhere else and swear I won’t answer it, but it makes so many noises, that I find it distracting, and I actually start to get irritated! Take care 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also get irritated with the constant beeping or buzzing phone and most of the time its friends sending silly videos on Whatspp, so I turn off the phone for a few hours a day and I am enjoying it and even when I go to bed, I only leave the calling option on just in case an important call comes through but the rest can wait and it can really wait. Thank you so much for making the time to read my post and I am glad you like it.


  8. If you wait for someone to take you out and make you feel special you may be waiting for a long time. I never got that concept. I plan to spoil myself rotten this year. Dress well, eat well and achieve most if not all of the things that I dream of . I love this post. It is a great reminder that putting yourself first is not selfish. My horoscope said the same thing this week. I will take this as a sign from the Universe 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree! I learnt not to wait for anyone to make me happy, I learnt to do things for myself, otherwise I would still be waiting. It is a sign lol. Make yourself a priority this week😉. Thanks again for reading


  9. These ideas are fabulous! I’m a firm believer that self care is vital to being a happy and healthy person. Unfortunately as women we need to consciously remind ourselves to turn off the guilt when caring for ourselves. We’ve been bred to put other first always and it’s so bad for our mental and physical health. Thank you for sharing these great suggestions for self care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! We tend to focus more on others and forget ourselves. Its very important to take very good care of ourselves first to be able to take care of others. Thank you for reading


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