When life throws you poop bombs… you gotta have an arsenal of strategies to recover. In my early twenties, I was a participant in a coaching program where the facilitator used to say, “When in doubt, focus out.” I loved that phrase… and still use it today with my clients.

If I was walking through fear about a goal or feeling down, I’d refocus my energy on someone else, and it would distract me from my own negative thoughts. I’d feel a bit more empowered after giving someone else my attention.

It’s the same now. I could be having an emotional breakdown, and then a client calls in for their coaching session, or I lead a mentor call, and I’m forced to shift gears. When I focus on my clients, I get over all my mindset junk in a hurry. I don’t have to try… it just happens.

I’m also a big promoter of “paying it forward.” Giving to others with no expectation of receiving something back, except for the joy it gives you from the act of giving—big mood shifter.

But there is something that many people forget to focus on when giving. They forget to give to themselves.

Putting yourself first is not necessarily looked upon as a “good” thing in our culture. Our parents told us many things about making ourselves the star attraction.

“Share. Don’t be selfish. Don’t ask for too much. Don’t be greedy.”

This advice actually works against you. People who don’t pay attention to their desires, needs, and values end up depleted of energy, sick, stressed, and resentful. And often financially broke!

Hmmmm… wouldn’t you rather fill yourself up so that you can feel great in both your heart and your head? The bonus is that you’ll end up being of more value to others in your life when you’re putting yourself first.

Here are some simple things you can do to practice making YOU your number one priority so you can avoid a funk:

Take time in the morning to decide what your intentions will be for the day. What are the top 3–6 actions you feel inspired to take? How do you want to feel?

Listen to your body. Sleep, eat, move, be creative, breathe, relax, and do whatever it tells you to do when it tells you to do it.

Say no. If you don’t want to do something, don’t do it. No is a VERY empowering word, and if you don’t use it enough, you can’t blame anyone else.

Say yes. Do the things that bring you peace and joy. Take time to play with your kids, the pets, read, stare at nature, take walks, and do projects that you enjoy. Put these types of things before chores, have-tos, and shoulds.

Exercise. Don’t do this because you “should.” Move your body because it makes you breathe more deeply, allowing yourself to feel more relaxed and centered. Only do physical activities you enjoy. Let go of exercising for the sake of burning calories. Move because it’s good for your overall well-being.

If you make a commitment to treating yourself well, your family and community will experience a joyful person. It is the best gift you can give to them. And it’s the best medicine for a funky mood.

Don’t forget, happy people attract more clients. It’s a thing.

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