If your body had an actual voice, what would it say?
Would it thank you for feeding it nutritious foods and giving it time to rejuvenate?
Or would its voice be faint from the exhaustion and tension it’s enduring?
Sometimes you get so caught up in the daily grind — fulfilling your priorities and chasing your goals — that you forget about your constant companions…
Your body and mind.
When you neglect them, you neglect your needs… I’m talking about needs related to your well-being — sleep, nutrition, self-care.
When you ignore what your body is asking of you, you’ll quickly burn out. The burning fire that motivates you fizzles out and you’re left with ashes.
Instead of reaching the point of (almost) no return, you can build a healthier relationship with your body. When you learn how to honor your needs and desires, you can recognize and fulfill what YOU require to claim a life of greater ease, balance and growth.
What Does It Mean to Honor Your Needs?
Honoring your needs is respecting your mind and your body. You prioritize your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being by:
- Understanding and respecting your limits
- Creating healthy boundaries to protect your time and energy
- Distinguishing your needs from the needs of others
- Grounding yourself in your values and priorities
- Learning how to manage your time, so you create enough space for self-care
When you fulfill the above priorities, you can achieve well-being.
But maybe you already know this…
If so, then what is stopping you from following through on your good intentions?
The One Thing That Stands Between You and Honoring Your Needs
It’s simple, really.
You make self-care negotiable.
Instead, you think you have superpowers and you can just push through the exhaustion.
You believe you can power beyond your limits indefinitely.
You overwork yourself because you believe the ends justify the means.
Yet, think about this.
What happens when you achieve your goals, yet…
- Anxiety wracks your mind
- You feel uncomfortable in your skin
- You suffer from exhaustion and tension
- You’re unable to recognize your self-worth
See, life isn’t about “hustling” every waking hour. Even an ambitious woman, like yourself, needs time to honor the needs of your body and mind.
If you struggle with honoring your needs, these three tips will help move self-care to the top of your priority list.
How to Honor Your Needs: 3 Practical Tips to Make Self-Care a TOP Priority
#1 Be Ruthlessly Honest With Yourself
Self-care is about preserving your well-being and protecting your needs and desires. That means dedicating time — one of your most valuable resources — to care for and love yourself.
However, your time is finite.
Contrary to what mainstream media says, you can’t do it all.
Think about it.
You have 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In order to give 100% at work, at home, in your relationships, and to yourself, it’s essential to be conscious of how you’re investing your valuable time and energy.
So, be honest with yourself when you consider taking on additional obligations, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Realizing that you can’t do everything isn’t necessarily “bad.” And it’s useful to be aware of how you spend your time and energy.
That’s why understanding your values and priorities is essential. While you may not get to everything, you can at least fulfill what’s most important to you.
This naturally leads you to create stronger boundaries. You start distinguishing between meeting the needs and desires of others and fulfilling your own.
And when you clearly understand the moments when you’re caring for yourself and not caring for yourself, you can make decisions about what you allow to enter into your life.
#2 Say “No” to Others, Say “Yes” to Yourself
Saying “no” might not sound like self-care but it is. Because saying no is a gift to preserving your well-being and manifesting your priorities.
Each time you take on a new project, a new task, a new favor that’s outside your priorities, you’re taking time away from yourself.
And this may lead you to feeling resentful, annoyed and frustrated not only with other people, but with yourself.
Because you know better.
You know that you won’t have the time for healing and developing yourself when you’re giving it away freely to other people.
And that is why being ruthlessly honest with yourself is the first tip — your resources are limited and you want to conserve them for healing and self-growth.
Otherwise, you will say yes whenever somebody asks something of you.
“When we say yes to everything and do not set boundaries with people, we can feel stressed, overwhelmed, and burned out,” said Jennifer Rollin MSW, LCSW-C in Psychology Today.
Instead, flip the dynamic.
Instead, start saying “no” to others, so you can start saying “yes” to yourself. Each time you say yes to yourself — even if it’s declining someone else — it’s a vote for honoring your relationships, intimacy, honesty and the truth.
So, which things should you say “no” to?
Look at what’s most important to you.
If your current needs align with giving your body the rest it needs, then you might need to say “no” to drinks and dinner with friends and co-workers after a long day at the office.
If you want to start feeling more energy and vitality, it might mean improving your diet and getting at least eight hours of sleep each night.
Your values and priorities offer a guideline on how to invest your time.
#3 Make Self-Care Intentional
Your time is finite and if you don’t spend it mindfully, you’ll throw it away on activities that don’t align with your purpose.
(That often looks like hours of phone scrolling or staying up late binge-watching your favorite series!)
After creating stronger boundaries, be intentional about when you schedule your priorities into your life. Calendar blocking helps you maximize the precious time you have, so that you’re setting aside time to honor your needs.
Start with making a list of everything you do and the times you want to do it. Your calendar blocks might look like:
- 7:00 – 8:00: Morning routine
- 9:00 – 10:30: Work
- 10:30 – 10:15: Stretches during break
- 10:15 – 12:30: Work
- 12:30 – 1:00: Lunch and ten minute walk
- 1:00 – 3:30: Work
- 3:30 – 3:45: Stretches during break
- 3:45 – 5:30: Work
- 5:30 – 6:00: Commute home
- 6:00 – 6:30: Relax (you deserve it!)
- 6:30 – 7:30: Make dinner
- 7:30 – 9:00: Dinner and spend time with family
- 9:00 – 10:00: Self-care
This is only one example. You might need to make changes to accommodate when you wake up, work, and go to bed.
Calendar blocks are another way of creating healthy boundaries so that you’re creating space and time to honor your needs and priorities. Blocking even one hour for nightly relaxation and “me-time” can soothe your mind and body.
Dissolve Your Limiting Beliefs
Making self-care negotiable… Putting your needs secondary to others… Not valuing yourself…
These are all limiting beliefs that are obstructing your pathway to growth. And they didn’t show up overnight either. They slowly formed over years of…
- Telling yourself that other people’s needs come before yours
- Pushing self-care to tomorrow multiple times
- Not giving your strengths and self-worth recognition
What these things have in common is that your needs don’t matter. With a belief like this, you diminish your potential for growth and restrict your access to the lifestyle you desire.