Many men and women haven’t yet learnt to put themselves first. This means putting your needs in front of others, not at all times but enough to know that when you need to – you do it. The consequences of not putting yourself first are such that people end up in our clinic with health problems that have manifested over the years. What we teach you in clinic is to do things {make lifestyle changes} that turns this around and you start to learn how to put yourself first – even before your kids, husbands, wives, friends, work and addictions.

Lets break down all of these things and look closer at why:

Children – Children are demanding and need you to be present – if you put them before yourself every time, you will eventually snap and feel resentful and then guilty and then sorry and then want to make it up in some way. You need to face the reality that kids do need you and if you are burnt out, you aren’t able to be a balanced human being for them in the long run. This isn’t intended as a guilt trip – put your self-care first and your kids second – they will be better off and so will you.

Husbands/Wives/Partners – Same goes for husbands and wives, boyfriends or girlfriends. You both need to make time for your relationship amongst all the other pressures in life – doing so will give you pleasure so make time for it. If you don’t have the energy to give to your partner, or if your libido is low then you may need to make time for yourself first so that you have the energy to give to your partner at the end of the day.

Friends – How many times do you do something just because your friends wanted you to but you really didn’t? You know you needed to rest but couldn’t say “no”. Sometimes putting yourself first will mean going out with your friends and at other times it will mean saying no. Just put yourself first and it will all work out.

Work – How many times have you worked late, got too stressed over work, skipped lunch, skipped breakfast, had to have stimulants or relaxants at the beginning or end of each day just because of work etc etc. In the long run this will affect your health. Work stress is a major reason we see people in the clinic for burn out. Families and partners miss out on your special energy because of work and usually your loved ones can see it before you do, so stop breaking their hearts and slow down. Work will still be there tomorrow – there will be times when you do need to be there after or before hours, but don’t make it a habit. And remember, there are laws in place to stop this!

Addictions – This is one that we fight with ourselves – how often do we put that drink, cigarette, electronic device, gaming console, pub, gambling, work, whatever yours might be {and we all have one} ahead of our families and friends – the ones who truly care about us . How often do you put it ahead of yourself? You know you need to go to bed or save money or quit for your health but you still do it because you put it ahead of yourself. Try doing it the other way around and see how it feels.

At the Apothecary we give you lifestyle changes to make, nutritional tips, supplements and herbs to help you to feel better. Don’t stop doing or taking them if they help – keeping on these herbs and supplements and keeping up the diet and lifestyle changes is what keeps us well. It is not a one stop shop – it is a lifelong journey of self-care.

Simone Reddington is the founder of the Apothecary, a Medical Herbalist and thinker. She holds a degree in Psychology and is a professional member of the New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists.