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Lesson Learned: Discovering How to Prioritize Myself

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at LUM chapter.

I’m sure by this point in your life you’ve come across the idea that mental health is important and you should love yourself. And it really is, you really should. But sometimes amidst our jam-packed schedules, we might find ourselves putting work/school, friendships, family, and relationships before ourselves when we list off all our priorities. Personally, I can find myself doing great in school and socially, but once I stop making sure I am okay and truly happy, I can kiss all those nice things goodbye.

The ideas of “self-love” and “self-care” aren’t just bubble baths and eating a salad. To me, “self-love” is seeing my priorities shift and not putting everyone else’s needs above my own. It’s not to say, “put yourself on a pedestal”. It’s more of an acknowledgment that, “I’m spending too much time focusing on everything and everyone else to the point where I’m forgetting to focus on myself.” Who wants that? Not me.

I know that these are some really big ideas though, so here is how I avoid losing myself amidst my hectic schedule!

Positive Affirmations

I have found that when I look in the mirror, the way I see myself all depends on the mindset I have that day: Do I feel like I am beautiful? Do I feel like I need a break? Do I like my outfit?

All of those questions are so important and even more important when paired with positive affirmations. For instance: when I look in the mirror and ask, “Do I feel beautiful?” I remember that my opinion is the only one that matters, and no one is like me! We are beautiful inside and out, I don’t let anyone tell me otherwise.

Turn Some Upbeat Music On

I find myself in a better mood when I turn on music that’s literally telling me that it’s going to be okay and I’m a queen. If you’re like me, maybe make a playlist of your favorite songs that always make you smile and feel your best! Whether I’m going on a run or just dancing by myself, music can totally boost my mood when I’m feeling down (bonus points if the song is a positive affirmation in itself).

Click here to listen to my go-to “Getting My Priorities Straight” playlist! Complete with 65 self-love anthems.

Put the Phone Away

Like many college students, my phone is my lifeline. My friends, music, social media, and movies are all on my phone and I’d be lost without it. With that being said, my phone has become an unnecessary distraction when I’m trying to focus on myself. Sometimes I find myself feeling down because fo the things that I see on my Instagram feed or what people are saying and doing on Snapchat. Understanding that it’s okay to get away from social media and it’s okay to take breaks is a game changer! One way to take breaks is by limiting time on social media and what times you go on it during the day. I remember that I know my limits better than anyone else so when I need time away from social media, I’m not afraid to take that break.

Find a Creative Outlet

I’m an artsy girl all the way. I love to scrapbook and paint so when I’m really feeling upset and have some free time, I find myself saying, “You know what? I’m not gonna cry and eat that pint of ice cream, I’m going to go paint a masterpiece.” Does it end up being a masterpiece? Not at all. Am I feeling better when I finish my ‘masterpiece’? Definitely. It’s so good to find a creative outlet to put your energy into. It could be singing, writing (songs, poetry, journaling), coloring in a stress-relief coloring book, or even just doodling.

Probably the most important lesson of them all: Everyone has bad days, but not loving yourself is not something to push aside and ignore. I know the opinions I have about myself matter more than what anyone else thinks of me. In the same sense, you are you. There is no one like you and that is amazing. Know why? Because you are amazing.

So go out there and if you find yourself falling down on your list of priorities, it might be time to pause and go dance in the mirror, sing in the shower, and do what makes you happy because you deserve to smile against (and I’ll be right there with you). Girl, it’s time to focus on you. Life is short – you deserve the happiness the world is offering you.

Lesson Learned,


Gracie Flach

American '24

Gracie is a sophomore studying Business Administration. She recently transferred to American from Loyola Maryland and joined HCAU's eboard as an editor. Her interests include sewing/embroidery(anything fashion-related), exploring DC especially the museums, and gardening.
Peyton Skeels is a senior at Loyola University Maryland studying Economics with a minor in Entrepreneurship. She is an RA, member of Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society, and currently serves as a co-Campus Correspondent and the Editor-in-Chief for HC at LUM. When not studying, you'll find her gazing through her camera lens, listening to a podcast, or working on her blog, Patience and Pajamas.