This week on the “word of the week” page, I would like us all to focus on how to really win at prioritizing your life. When life is busy, it’s easy to lose track of what’s important to us and we tend to make less time for ourselves. Each person’s priorities and values in life are different – right? Try this: below is a list of 10 common (general) items that people are asked to choose from. Rank them 1-10! Write it down or at least remember your top 3. (1=most important 10 = not much of a priority)
______ Making time for my friends
______ Making a comfortable living
______ Having a education
______Making time for my family
______Taking care of my physical health/exercising/getting enough sleep
______ Traveling to new destinations
______Owning my own property
______ My safety and security
______ Chasing after my dream job
______Raising my own family
What are your top 3 priorities that you ranked? Comment below with what you picked and why!
Moral of the story is: All of the priorities listed above are important and there is not a right answer as to the way that you weigh them in your life. The importance of identifying which ones are most valuable to you is so that you can get a better understanding of what kind of goals you can set for yourself and what you truly want to obtain in life to be happy. In fact, the ones listed above are things that everyone should be entitled to, no matter the situation or path to obtain them. However, no matter what your #1 priority is, your mental health should be one bullet point above that on the list of priorities. Don’t agree with me?
Let me ask you, if your mental health isn’t “in-check” or you are feeling unstable, can you:
- Succeed in school or comfortable get your dream job?
- Raise a healthy family?
- Feel safe in your own mind?
- Happily spend times with friends or family?
Trick question: The answer is NO! I’m going to come out and say that it is impossible to take care of your physical health, let alone other aspects of life, if your mental health is deteriorating. Depression makes it difficult to get out of bed each day and you lose interest in things you used to enjoy. Anxiety causes you to constantly live in the future, overthinking all of the ‘what-if’s’. Bipolar disorder makes you on edge about what mood you are going to be in next, worrying about irrational decisions you might make. Schizophrenia makes you see, hear, and feel things or people that aren’t even there. Bulimia makes it hard to even eat anything to get enough energy to hangout with friends/family. Body distortion disorder makes it impossible to feel good enough to be seen in front of others….
With all of this going on, don’t you think it’s important to make your mental health the top priority now? Without it, we would not be able to be successful in other important aspects of life.
The first steps to prioritizing your mental health are:
- Accepting and understanding that you need to tend to your mental health more often and educating yourself of the benefits.
- Identifying activities/hobbies that you find meaningful and uplifting.
- Contacting a support system that will help you through your journey to restore your mental health and peace of mind.
- Making appointments to meet with professionals, if needed (I do encourage it).
Prioritize your mental health before anything else and the rest of the priorities on your list will naturally fall into place. -ap
It’s OK not to be OK! As long as you accept it and are willing to act on it with some self-care. What are you going to do today to put your mental health above all else?