1. It’s not selfish to put yourself first. You’re allowed to take care of your own wants and needs before you start working toward fulfilling the wants and needs of your family and friends. As much as you love and care about them, you’re not in charge of their happiness.
2. You’re not going to be able to give your all to your loved ones if you burn yourself out. You have to be careful when it comes to your own mental health. You have to be careful not to exhaust yourself.
3. Their problems are not your responsibility to solve. You can’t always play the hero. Sometimes, people need to deal with their issues on their own. Sometimes, they need to learn how to problem solve without any outside help, because you aren’t always going to be around when they need you.
4. You’re putting your loved ones first because you love them. Because you believe they deserve the best. Because you are serious about their happiness. Now take a second to think about why you don’t put yourself first. Do you love yourself? Do you believe you deserve the best? Are you serious about your own happiness? If the answer is no, that needs to change. You need to realize you are worth just as much as your family and friends. You deserve the same things they deserve.
5. Your friends and family aren’t going to care if you take a step back for a while. They’re going to understand if you need some time to focus on our own wellbeing. If they cannot handle your new boundaries, if they make you feel guilty about ditching them, then they’ve probably been using you (whether or not they realize it). They probably only want you around because of what you can do for them, not because of how you make them feel. You don’t want people like that in your life, so you either need to reinforce your new boundaries and hope they learn to respect them, or you need to find new people to surround yourself with.
6. Your kindness is not a weakness. It’s a strength. It’s beautiful. You should never be ashamed of how much you care about people. You should never feel like you have to change the core of who you are. But you should be careful about how much you’re willing to give compared with how much you’ve been getting back. You don’t want to fall into one-sided relationships. You don’t want to end up giving every little piece of yourself to a person who doesn’t appreciate you, a person who barely gives you anything in return.
7. It’s okay to do nothing. You don’t always have to be running around with a million different chores to do and a million different people to take care of in order to feel like you’re being a productive member of society, to feel like you have value. You’re allowed to relax every once in a while. You don’t have to keep go-go-going in order to prove yourself. You deserve a break. Take one.