From the time we are little, there’s a lot of emphasis on us being good to the people around us. We’re told to stand by our friends during hard times or to help the older person next door … but how often is there an emphasis on the importance of being good to ourselves?

There’s this notion that making ourselves a priority is selfish but that can leave us feeling depleted. We can’t give and give without ever replenishing our own reserves—yet, most of us do just that (and then we’re shocked when we burn out). If you can relate to any of this, it might be time to take inventory of your relationship with yourself.

Accountability

It’s important to be accountable for our actions. No, it’s not fun and it can be a truly painful experience but, it’s really important that we own up to anything we’ve done while making an effort to make things right.

This does not mean you have to go through life blaming yourself for everything that’s ever happened to you. It’s also not about allowing others to make you their scapegoat. Instead, it’s about identifying anything that needs to be addressed and then making changes.

Self-Forgiveness

If you’ve made mistakes, chances are there are people in your life who are all too ready to rake you over the coals. Do not internalize this. You can get so caught up in someone else’s judgment of your behavior that you lose the ability to even think straight.

You deserve compassion and forgiveness. Yes, even if you’ve acted like a complete fool and messed up your life, you need to learn to forgive yourself. If the people around you want to continue to hold your feet to the fire, you may need to let them go.

Personal Growth

As we move through life, it’s important that we always continue to grow, even when it’s uncomfortable. Just like we’d give a friend a helpful nudge, we should do the same for ourselves.

Reflect on your life and whether you feel like you’ve settled into a rut. If so, it’s time to shake things up and push beyond your comfort zone. Are there things you need to work on? This is a great time to commit to making changes. It won’t happen overnight but it won’t happen at all if you don’t make the effort.

Fulfillment

While we’re talking about growth, let’s talk about goals. Like most of us, you had dreams that you wanted to pursue—are you going after them or are you letting life pass you by? If it’s the latter, give yourself a BFF-worthy pep talk and get started!

Whether it’s in your career, personal endeavors, or love life, you deserve to feel fulfilled. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense to anyone else as long as it’s what is right for you. Follow your bliss!

Relaxation and Fun

Finally, life can be very hectic and, even under the best circumstances, the daily hustle can take a toll on your sense of well-being. Never underestimate the importance of kicking back and having fun.

It can be easy to get caught up in the frenzied pace of life but, even if you have to schedule it into your calendar, you need to have some downtime. Recharging your batteries makes it easier to push through the hard times.

While it feels good to give to the people around us, we need to make ourselves a priority too. You won’t do anyone any good if you’re physically, emotionally, and mentally depleted. Think about all of the ways that you support your loved ones and then commit to doing the same for yourself. It might feel strange at first but, with time, you’ll come to appreciate your own friendship.