YOU First! Why Taking Care of Yourself Should be a Priority

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Sometimes it’s important to make yourself #1.

There are plenty of excuses out there for not taking care of yourself.

“I need to help my husband/wife get her business off the ground.”

“My kids need so much of my time.”

Or just the usual:

“I’m too busy!”

Whatever. We all have the same amount of time in the day and you need to make the most of what you’ve got. If you’re not eating well, sleeping enough, and exercising, you’ll never get the most out of your day. If you stagger through a day full of to-dos and never give yourself time to take care of your body and mind then you’ll never really be successful.

Sleep First!

Theoretically you’d get a lot more done if you only slept 4 hours a night, but it’s false economy. If you short-change yourself on sleep, every one of those other 20 hours will be a lot less productive. You’ll need a steady supply of caffeine just to keep awake, you won’t feel enthusiastic about working out, you’ll be tired during that afternoon meeting and grab a muffin to perk yourself up, and you certainly won’t feel like having sex with your spouse at night and you’ll probably plop yourself down on the couch to watch TV instead. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Skip sleep and you’ll be missing out on the energy to enjoy your life.

Eat Nutritiously

Yes, it takes a bit more time to prepare some chicken and steamed veggies for lunch than it does to get that takeout near your office, but what are you costing yourself in terms of energy and health?

Take time to plan meals. Figure out how to get good sources of protein into each meal. Find out how you can add more veggies to your favourite dishes. Food is your fuel. Don’t fuel up with the cheap stuff.

Move Regularly and Exercise

Most of us are desk-bound for the majority of the day. Incorporate more movement (walking to the store, climbing stairs) into your daily routine and make time for regular workouts most days of the week. Sparing 30 minutes 5 times a week for exercise can make the rest of your hours more energetic and productive.

A Better You to Share

Taking time to sleep, eat right, and exercise will give you more energy. You’ll be in a better mood, be less likely to argue, and get tasks done with more efficiency. With more energy, you’ll have a better version of yourself to share with others. If you were willing to neglect yourself because you care so much for other people, think of taking care of yourself as a way to give more to others.

That’s a win-win.

Ivana Chapman 

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 5-year-old boy. She is a writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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