Do you ever find yourself going through the motions all day, every day? Realizing you’ve spent days – or maybe even weeks – not living with intention and just going along for the ride? Saying yes to things you don’t *really* want to do and leaving no time for yourself? Yeah, me too.
I think it’s part of human nature to want to please people. To want to agree to do something that someone asks or offer a helping hand when we can, to show those around us that we are kind and considerable people. But when does this go TOO far and start to negatively impact on our mental well-being?
Since the rise of the self care movement, it’s been much more widely accepted to put ourselves first and I think that’s BLOODY WONDERFUL. I’m a big advocate for self care (as you probably know, reading this blog) and I’ll preach self care at any chance I get, if I feel like someone isn’t putting their needs first.
But even the most seasoned self care advocate takes a nose dive every once in a while and I think all of us here will relate to the feeling of just living for others and going through the motions, rather than focusing on our own needs and doing the things we love on a more regular basis.
A couple of years ago, that was me. I would RARELY do anything I loved. I was always focused on other people – a life-long empth, I was hyper-focused on the needs and feelings of other people to the point where mine didn’t matter at all, as long as they were happy.
It took an almighty toll on my mental health and my well-being and I’ve tried SO hard to claw my way back to a place of self compassion.
It doesn’t always involve anything grand or extravagant. Doing something we love every single day can be absolutely anything; from spending 30 uninterrupted minutes reading your favourite book or going for a run in the morning instead of having a lie-in because you know you’ll feel amazing after and you love running.
Seriously, putting yourself first really doesn’t have to mean much.
But sometimes we all need a little reminder to stop trying to please other people 24/7 and prioritize ourselves, even if it’s just for ONE small thing every single day.
So here are 6 convincing reasons to do something you love every day:
It helps you stop living for others so much
There’s always a fine line between living for yourself and for others, especially if you have children or additional responsibilities. But at the end of the day, EVERYONE has things in their life they’re responsible for so it’s important you put things into practice – like doing ONE thing you love every day – to help you maintain your identity and stop living for others quite as much.
It reinforces the idea that you matter
When you completely neglect your own needs and wants and stop doing those little things you love every day – like I did – then you’re subconsciously telling yourself that you don’t matter and what YOU want doesn’t matter and shouldn’t take priority. Which is obviously complete BS. Start doing that ONE little thing every day, especially if you’re struggling with self love.
It’s a form of self love and self care
And speaking of self love, doing one little thing every day that YOU love is absolutely a form of self love and self care. It might not look like it from the outside but who cares? Self care isn’t supposed to look perfect for Instagram, it’s supposed to aid your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health to allow you to be the happiest and healthiest you can be.
It’s healthy to have your own hobbies and interests
Just because there’s other people in your life doesn’t mean that you don’t have a life separate from them. Even if you spend 365 days a year with the same person, you still have your own mind, likes, needs and wants. So doing something small that you love every day is an incredibly healthy thing to do, especially in relationships.
It allows you to have something to look forward to
When our days are long and stressful, it’s SO important to have something to look forward to. Whether it’s on your lunch break or at the end of the day when you get home, adding those small acts of self care into your day can be an amazing thing to do for your mental well-being.
It’s good for your mental health
And finally yes, doing something you love every day is GREAT for your mental health and well-being. For all the reasons listed above and more. Doing things we love make us happy and self motivated, can help us relax and unwind after a long day, enhance our creativity and make us more productive. All things that never go amiss!
I really hope these reasons to do something you love every day have convinced to you to start prioritizing your own wants, to help improve your mental well-being throughout the day. Of course we’re all different, so your thing that you love might look vastly different to mine. But in case you’re struggling for ideas, you might want to consider:
- Reading a great book
- Exercising, practicing Yoga or moving your body in a way that feels amazing for you
- Going for a walk – even just for 10 minutes
- Taking the time to cook yourself a lovely evening meal
- Picking a movie that YOU want to watch
- Having a nap
- A cup of tea and cake afternoon break
Over to you! Tell me one small thing you love that you try and prioritize? Do you need to carve out more time to do something you love every day?
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This is so so true. I’m terrible at doing something I love on a daily basis, I try and write on a daily basis but on days when the weather is nice I like to get a walk in the fresh air ❤️
Sounds perfect to me!
Love this Jenny, and it’s so true. Like you, I used to put everyone else’s needs before my own. I had very low self-esteem and thought my needs didn’t matter. It’s only until recently I’ve started prioritising my needs, and I’m a better person for it. I love the idea of doing one thing you love each day, it’s so effective in raising our happiness levels. Thanks for sharing. Jade MumLifeAndMe
So glad you’ve learned that you need to prioritize your own needs!
Thanks for sharing, I do find that doing things I enjoy helpful when I feel really under pressure, even though others are not always happy with the choices I make 🙂
It definitely shouldn’t matter what others think!
I absolutely loved this post! It has been a post I just needed to read right about now. I’ve regrettably had moments like this recently, putting other things first and not really living for myself. It’s just became really hard now to get back into the flow I once had. But thank you, this post has motivated me into thinking what I need to do to put myself first. Thank you, Jenny, for sharing this post! ~Jayne
I’m so glad this has given you some motivation!
Love this! I think it is so important to have that time to yourself and to have something to look forward to as you said. When I did my mental health first aider training the one thing my trainer said was to “schedule 1 hour of time just for you” and this could be doing anything and any hobby. For me I love gardening and exercise so those I tend to focus on at the moment x
Love that! It’s an easy thing to do but often the first thing to go when we’re feeling low x
I love this! I get stuck in a rut about thinking nobody really cares about me, when the only person that truly matters is myself ☺️
Excellent thing to remember!
Reminding ourselves that we matter and deserve to feel this is a great point; that really struck me as I don’t think I really do that. Thanks for this!
I totally agree with you, we should all do something everyday that makes us happy! It’s easy to get yourself into a rut so I love making sure I do something for me daily. I find it gives me motivation and something to look forward too. Thank you so much for sharing this with us lovely, it’s a great post! Xo
Elle – ellegracedeveson.com
Absolutely, even something as small as planning to have a bath can lift your spirits!
I’m all for this. Luckily I don’t have to try too hard – blogging I love, and I always read too.
That’s good! I’m always reading as well 🙂
Yes, we all deserve some self love. Thanks for this wonderful post!
Thank you 🙂 x
I love this post sooo much! I prioritize reading or watching something fun every day. No matter how busy or tired I am, reading or watching something always makes me happy and allows me to forget things that make me sad or helps me to reduce the stress from working xxx
That’s great to hear! 🙂 xx
What a fabulous post, and I love that you share some simple ideas at the end of it! Honestly, picking out a movie I want to watch makes such a big difference in my mood. It truly makes me happier. 🙂
It’s the little things sometimes, isn’t it!
I love this so much! I’ve been swamped with school recently but now it’s all over and I’m so glad I can have some much needed me time. I always find my mental health is so much better when I’m doing things I love! Thank you so much for sharing x
Hope you can fit in LOADS of things you love now you’re not so busy with school!
This a great reminder for us to make time for the things we love. One of the things I enjoy doing is just spending time in my bed, watching a movie. I enjoy writing too or just being on Amazon, placing things in my shopping cart. I love taking the time to read books which I’m getting back at doing and I’m grateful for this season. When we love what we do, our need to do it, is not motivated by what people inquire of us but rather it comes straight from our hearts. Thank you for sharing 🤗
Oh yes that last point totally hits the nail on the head!
Love this ❤️
Thank you x
Yes some days I definitely feel like I am just going through the motions. This post is helpful. I definitely need to start doing things everyday that I love. Thank you for sharing Jenny.
I think we all feel like that at times!
This resonates with me. Oftentimes, even by doing the simplest thing, like drinking a coffee without distraction allows me to enjoy the beverage. I’m always multi-tasking and that takes away from the enjoyment of the activity.
Crystal | http://www.amazingbaby.app
Oh yes absolutely 🙂
Self care is a priority for me now. When I become too focused on others (especially their health) it starts me on a whirlwind of anxiety. Great post with plenty of great self care ideas.
Oh same I can totally relate to that.
This is a great post. Thank you for sharing! We typically prioritize walks and reading as ways to relax. Don’t forget to check out our latest posts on productivity, personal growth, and open-mindedness!
I loved reading this Jenny, I think we all need to start doing something that we love every day! As you say, it definitely helps with mental health and is a form of self-care x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
It definitely is!
I think this post is particularly important for those with busy lifestyles or responsibilities. Once work or life gets busy, it’s always the little things we love that are the first to go. We need to learn to prioritise those things as much as possible. For me, it would be going swimming. I love it, and it’s really added happiness to my life 🙂
Oh yeah they totally are aren’t they, which is such a shame! I absolutely LOVE swimming. I try and go once a week it does absolute wonders for my MH too!
This is a great post! I have got into the habit of putting three things on my to do list that are just for me each week. Writing, reading and volunteering all make me feel good so that’s what I try to do. I used to live for others and it didn’t do me any good at all. My ME team allows me to recharge and be the best person I can be when I do let others in now and again 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
That’s amazing that you prioritize those things so much now!
I totally believe in doing things that make me happy. It is really healthy. Your post is really an important one.
It really is. Thank you 🙂
I really need my ME time and I want my time for reading fiction novels of different genres. I really enjoy reading. I love watching movies and TV shows too.
All great things to spend time doing!
Thank you Jenny 🙂
Thank you Jenny😊
Love this! It’s so important to do things for ourselves.
Thank you 🙂