What Women Often Forget To Give Thanks For on Thanksgiving…

What a year it has been…

COVID-19. Shutdowns. Job loss. Fear for the health of yourself and your loved ones.

2020 has undoubtedly become a year that many will not forget. 

Thanksgiving is a time to step away for a moment and be grateful — even during this crazy year, there are so many blessings in your life. You have a roof over your head, food in your stomach and love to share with your friends and family. 

But this holiday isn’t solely for praising your loved ones. It’s also a time to give Thanksgiving gratitude to YOU.

Because when you show gratitude to yourself, you…

  • Recognize all your hard work this year
  • Acknowledge the challenges you’ve had to overcome
  • Admire the strength and resilience it took to make it where you are today
  • Remind yourself of the self-worth that resides within you
  • Open yourself to greater abundance that you can share with yourself and your loved ones

Most importantly, each act of self-gratitude is also a message of self-love. You care for and love yourself, even when circumstances become difficult.

And for such a unique year, this special holiday is the perfect opportunity to deliver another message of love to yourself.

This Year Has Been Quite the Ride

With all the challenges mentioned earlier, you may have felt like you were barely keeping your head above water. During the past months, you may have experienced:

  • Feelings of helplessness 
  • Hopelessness
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression-like symptoms
  • Heightened fearfulness

With so much uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and shutdowns, it’s understandable why you may have felt like you were grasping a lifeline throughout this year.

Yet, we’re approaching the end of 2020.

This year has undoubtedly tested your strength, patience and resilience. And you may not have realized it, but it is your resilience and self-worth that has empowered you.

So, now you’ve emerged stronger and even more resilient.

This Thanksgiving can offer a reprieve from the challenges you’ve had to overcome. It can also be a reminder to practice self-gratitude. Here are a few tips to embrace the empowered woman you are on this memorable holiday.

How to Give Thanksgiving Gratitude to YOURSELF And Acknowledge All You’ve Achieved This Year

Step #1  Reflect on Your Challenges

Go to a quiet room with a pen and journal. Sit alone with your thoughts and reflect on the past months.

What were they like?

Stressful? Chaotic? Lonely?

Did anything life-changing happen this year?

You could think about the shutdowns. Maybe you or your partner lost your job. Perhaps you had to transition into working from home and home-schooling.

There were so many changes you might have experienced — many you were unprepared for.

Write about them and how they made you feel.

Recognize the challenges you’ve had to face. Instead of trying to bury an uncomfortable memory, you can see it for what it is and admire what you did to overcome it.

Because the fact is that yes, you may have stumbled starting out. But eventually, you slipped into the new normal and adapted to your unique circumstances. You not only cared for those around you, you also tended to your own well-being.

And this leads to the next step.

Step #2  Identify 3 Things You Value About Yourself

Next, reflect on three strengths that helped you overcome the challenges of 2020. Here are some examples of characteristics you might consider adding to your list:

  • Remaining a pillar of strength and patience for your family
  • Your flexibility in adapting to working from home
  • Your incredible work ethic  
  • Your compassion as a mother
  • Sticking to your self-care ritual and showing yourself that you are worthy of love and care
  • Being vulnerable and asking for help when you needed it
  • Understanding the importance of filling your own cup before you fill the cups of those around you

Whatever strengths you feel helped you weather this storm, write them down.

You can get so caught up in the daily grind that you forget these things — especially when constant media updates keep your mind racing with fear and anxiety, drowning out your inner dialogue.

This small practice of writing down your strengths helps to shift your attention to loving yourself and recognizing what makes you empowered and beautiful.

Step #3  Pause

Our monkey minds often keep us jumping from one thought to another. Instead of appreciating who you are and what this special holiday means, your attention might be jumping to the next challenge:

  • To-do lists
  • Holiday decorating
  • Cooking and cleaning
  • Planning get-togethers

“Regardless of what is going on in your head,” said Kellie Edwards, a psychologist, in Psych Central, “The mindful pause can bring on the relaxation response and enable clearer thinking, opening up more choice and restoring a calmer you.” 

Instead of worrying about what has yet to be done, guide your focus back to the present moment. Take a pause and just breathe.

You are here. You are alive in this moment.

And when you’re ready, smile and tell yourself…

I love you and thank you for all you’ve achieved this year.

That’s right.

Thank YOURSELF.

Because this year hasn’t been easy… yet you were able to summon the resilience and strength to step up and provide for and protect your family.

That deserves recognition.

YOU deserve recognition.

So take a moment to say thank you to yourself and feel it. If it feels awkward at first, keep repeating it to yourself until it feels natural and sinks in.

Step #4  Treat Yourself to Some Gratitude and Self-Love

While it’s nice to receive gifts from others, have you ever considered giving yourself a gift?

A little self-love can be a kind gesture that shows you appreciate yourself for all you’ve achieved this year. And it doesn’t have to be extravagant. 

It could be treating yourself to a pedicure. Or a vase of fresh flowers. Or it could be as small as 30 minutes alone in a warm bubble bath as the winter chill settles in.

This Thanksgiving, take an opportunity to treat yourself.

Because each act of self-love is a message to yourself that you are grateful for all you’ve achieved.

Each act of self-love is a message to yourself that you are grateful for all you’ve achieved. Click To Tweet

Experience All the Love, Joy and Ease You Deserve This Thanksgiving Holiday

Thanksgiving is a time of family, appreciation and joy.

While you’re giving away your love and gratitude to your precious loved ones, remember to share some of it with yourself.

Because you deserve it.

This Thanksgiving, I pray that you stay safe, healthy and peaceful. And I also want to thank YOU for doing your part in filling your own cup so you can better support those around you.

Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Holiday Self-Care: How Better Time Management Can Bring You Greater Ease This Holiday Season

A Healthline survey showed that 62% of participants felt stressed over the holidays. 

Why is that?

Shouldn’t the holidays be a time of joy, relaxation and bonding?

You might be wishing it was that way.

Instead, the holidays feel more like rushing, driving around, waiting in long lines and meticulously planning your finances. You feel anything but joy — you’re stressed, overwhelmed and it feels like you need a personal holiday from the actual holidays!

But what if I told you that the holidays could actually be a time of peace, intimacy and joy? 

That’s right.

You can get your priorities done and still feel empowered day-to-day.

The secret is holiday self-care — but not the type of self-care you might be thinking. I’m talking about time management.

Time Management and Self-Care: How They’re Related

Time management and self-care seem unrelated — managing your time seems more relevant to business or getting your degree.

Yet, time management and self-care are intertwined.

See, time management is about spending your time on things that align with your purpose and priorities. And when you don’t manage your time well, you don’t have enough time to do the things you love and that are important to your well-being — like hobbies, exercise and downtime.

When you do manage your time well, your life shifts in a more positive direction:

  • More work/life balance
  • More time (and space) to breathe 
  • More appreciation for the blessings in your life
  • More clarity around your priorities and vision
  • More energy through physical self-care (good nutrition, enough exercise and quality sleep)

Yet, self-care during the holidays is something we often leave on the back burner. Instead of feeling the above benefits, you may feel overwhelmed and burned out. Worst case, you may compromise your immune system — the last thing you want in today’s circumstances.

The holidays don’t have to be a source of dread. Following these tips can help you manage your time better so that you can stay empowered and enjoy yourself during the holidays.

Holiday Self-Care: 3 Tips to Better Manage Your Time (So You Can Enjoy Time for Yourself and With Your Loved Ones)

#1 Plan Early and Prioritize

Planning smart and early is key to keeping the holiday season as stress-free as possible — especially with the new COVID-19 guidelines around crowds and gatherings. 

Creating a list of things you need to do keeps you focused, safe, and helps prevent anything from slipping through the cracks. Here are some items you may want to include on your holiday checklist:

  • Make a list of all the people you need to buy gifts for
  • Compile recipes you want to cook (and be sure to factor in time for trial runs if it’s a new dish)
  • Pick a day to set up holiday decorations 
  • If you’re traveling, make sure your passport is up-to-date
  • If you’re hosting, pick a date to send reminders
  • Dedicate time for wrapping gifts
  • Regular self-care
  • Consider multiple smaller parties or online parties (via Zoom or Skype) instead of larger gatherings, in light of COVID-19 regulations

Next, look at your calendar. Women often feel unnecessary pressure if they wait until the week before to get through their holiday tasks. Instead, spread your tasks throughout the upcoming weeks. 

For example, let’s say you’re hosting a small holiday party one month from now. Your upcoming weekends might look like this:

Weekend 1: Make a list of gifts to buy (don’t forget to get something special for yourself!), send invitations to party guests, plan recipes for the party and indulge your sweet tooth with a seasonal drink (remember to support your local businesses!)

Weekend 2: Put up Christmas decorations, test recipes, purchase gifts and enjoy your favorite holiday movie with the family and a warm beverage!

Weekend 3: Deep clean your home (hire a cleaner to save time and energy!), set hand sanitizers next to the front door, wrap presents and treat yourself to a massage.

Weekend 4: Remind your party guests of time and location and soothe your body with a warm bath and face mask so you’re rested for the party.

Naturally, the holiday season brings more responsibilities on top of your day-to-day obligations. If you want to tackle the holidays with greater ease, prioritization is essential. And sometimes, prioritizing means saying no.

You’re already so busy.

Declining things outside holiday-related tasks and taking time for yourself helps you stay grounded and productive.

#2 Ask for Support

When you have a long list of tasks, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. There’s so much to do… How will you find the time?

The great thing is: you don’t need to do everything yourself.

A lot goes on during the holidays and sometimes it requires a team effort so everyone can enjoy their time together, while staying safe and healthy.

Start with delegating certain tasks. 

  • If you have children who can drive, have them run errands for you. 
  • Ask your partner if they can put up the Christmas lights. 
  • If you’re hosting this year’s holiday gathering, consider making it a potluck — that way, you’re not overwhelmed with handling the entire menu.

So often, women feel like they’re holding their breath just to get through the holidays, waiting for a moment to breathe and collect themselves.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Loosen your grip on the reins and let those who care for you help you.

#3 Dedicate Time to Yourself

Undoubtedly, the holiday season is a lot of hustle and bustle. And making arrangements to accommodate COVID-19 regulations may be causing more stress and grief.

Even with planning and prioritizing, you might feel like you need to sacrifice your “me” time just to make it through the holidays.

Yet, that doesn’t have to be true.

Yes, you may find yourself busier than normal, but that doesn’t always mean regular self-care gets thrown out the window. Effective time management helps you make time for YOU.

Investing just 15 to 30 minutes per day on yourself can help you feel grounded again. Within that time, you can practice meditation, go for a walk outside or take a warm bath to fend off the winter chill.

Even a few moments of mindful deep breathing throughout the day can center your focus. This is especially helpful when your monkey mind is jumping between all the things you have to do. 

The holidays are a time for giving — so give yourself the time and energy to love and care for yourself.

The holidays are a time for giving — so give yourself the time and energy to love and care for yourself. Click To Tweet

The Holidays CAN Be a Time of Joy and Rejuvenation

While you’re bound to feel some stress during the holidays, it doesn’t have to worsen into overwhelm and burnout — even when adapting to guidelines related to large gatherings.

With the right time management skills, you can knock out all your holiday responsibilities and still create time for yourself.

Because that’s what time management is all about — investing your time the best way you can and making the most of current circumstances. 

Yet, I know that the holidays can be a time of struggle, and that’s why I stress the importance of my third tip — dedicating time to YOU. When you set aside intentional time for your well-being, you can reverse your stress and start feeling well-rested and balanced again.

This holiday season, I give you the gift of self-care — 15 minutes dedicated each day to loving and empowering YOU! Click here to claim your copy of 24 of My Favorite Holiday Self-Care Activities That Take Less Than 15 Minutes.

Self-Love is NOT Selfish: Dispelling the Myths that Block You From Loving Yourself

Is it selfish to love yourself?

This is a question you may have wrestled with in your mind.

At times, you may feel that it is.

You may take a day off to replenish your energy, only to feel shame and guilt settle in.

Or you may have said no to doing a favor because you’re over-extended, but you tell yourself that you should’ve done it anyway.

When you start associating self-love and caring for yourself with selfishness, it affects how you move through life:

  • You feel unworthy of care
  • You don’t take care of yourself first
  • You put other people’s needs above your own

Because you don’t want to feel shameful or for others to perceive you as selfish, you stop taking actions to love yourself. This leads to feelings of frustration, resentment and exhaustion.

I’m here to tell you that it’s a myth that self-love is selfish.

And when you learn how to build a positive and loving relationship with yourself, you cultivate an enhanced sense of self that not only benefits you, but the loved ones around you.

When you learn how to build a positive and loving relationship with yourself, you cultivate an enhanced sense of self that not only benefits you, but the loved ones around you. Click To Tweet

Why Do We Think that Self-Love is Selfish (And How Can We Shift These Beliefs?)

Before you can embrace self-love, let’s debunk three misconceptions you might be holding:

Myth #1: Self-care is lazy and self-indulgent

Self-love and self-care are strongly linked.

When you love yourself, you show it through self-care.

But when you’re so used to working every moment, rest and relaxation can sound indulgent. It may feel like you’re slacking off.

But, here’s the thing about self-care.

Its sole purpose isn’t about feeling good or indulging yourself.

Self-care is about nurturing your well-being – physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. It’s about loving yourself so you can manifest the life you desire and share your gifts without burning out.

Also, self-care isn’t only taking time off to relax. Self-care is also about daily acts of love for yourself.

Each time you make a commitment to get enough sleep, take steps outside your comfort zone and make sacrifices to achieve your goals, you show yourself that you love YOU.

Myth #2: Love is a finite resource

You may mistakenly believe that love is limited…

That the love you give to yourself detracts from what can be given to anyone else. And, following that logic, there isn’t enough love to go around. So, you might believe that your love should be given to others before yourself.

But love doesn’t work the same as time — they may be related but with key differences.

See, time is a finite resource. When you spend time here, that moment is gone. You can’t rediscover it and spend it elsewhere.

Love, however, is abundant. When you direct love toward yourself, you also enhance your capacity to share it with the people around you.

Self-love makes it possible for you to better love and support others. Because when you love yourself through acts of kindness and care, you experience:

  • Increased energy
  • Greater vitality
  • More motivation
  • Clearer thinking
  • More emotional mastery

Self-love is what enables you to love yourself and others more deeply.

Myth #3: Self-love is negotiable

You believe that you can survive without loving yourself.

You’ve done it for so long, so why start now?

Yet, this belief only traps you in a dangerous cycle.

Because when you don’t love yourself, you don’t care for yourself. And when you don’t care for yourself, you burn out.

You swing back and forth between overworking yourself and recovering out of sheer necessity.

Before you know it, it’s too late.

If you want a life filled with abundance, ease and joy, then self-love is the pathway. By loving and caring for yourself fully, you open yourself to greater passion and inspiration.

You no longer second-guess your worth. You simply love and care for yourself and this reflects in the daily acts of self-love, like:

  • Making time for your priorities
  • Balancing work and play
  • Being totally immersed in the present
  • Giving your body what it needs
  • Being grateful for your blessings

Learning How to Embrace That YOU Are the Most Important Person in Your Life 

That’s right.

And I know your brain might be telling you how selfish this sounds, but hear me out.

Everything that you do, every thought you think, and every emotion you feel starts with YOU.

Without a foundation of self-love and self-care, you wouldn’t have the resources for personal growth or even to help others. Instead…

  • You’re strapped for time because you clutter your schedule with non-priorities
  • You’re exhausted and overwhelmed
  • You’re emotionally drained because you’re not respecting your mind and body

Remember: before you fill the cup of another, you must fill the well of love and compassion within yourself. By empowering yourself first, you gain the capacity to contribute to others.

Therefore, self-love is the key to not only helping yourself but also helping others. How, then, can self-love be anything but a selfless act?

So, how do you embrace that you are the most important person in your life?

By showing up for yourself… Every. Single. Day.

It sounds hard. It’s a huge commitment.

But chances are, you already show up for work and for other people at least five days a week. Surely, you can devote at least two hours for yourself daily.

So dedicate time to creating a daily self-care practice. Because the quality of your self-love depends on what actions you take. “Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth,” said  Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., President of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation 

You might commit to self-care in the morning when you wake up:

  • Enjoy the morning silence
  • Put your attention on 5-10 things you’re grateful for
  • Journal for ten minutes
  • Do outdoor yoga for thirty minutes
  • Eat a nutritious breakfast

Or maybe you focus on self-care in the evening after work or before you go to sleep:

  • Give yourself a massage with essential oils
  • Listen to soothing music as you rest your head and close your eyes
  • Do some light exercises to shrug off the day’s stress
  • Take a long warm bath to soothe your aching muscles

Self-care can even occur in the small decisions you make throughout the day:

  • Setting boundaries to protect your time
  • Choosing a healthy lunch
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Stretching during your work breaks
  • Honoring your emotions by speaking your mind

Showing up for yourself via your daily routine is one of the greatest acts of love for yourself. And with time, you will see your daily efforts bear fruit.

Do You Need Guidance in Your Journey to Self-Love?

One of the scariest things about self-love is taking responsibility for loving and caring for yourself.

You might feel like shouldering other people’s problems is your cross to bear. You might even identify as someone who selflessly puts others’ needs before your own.

But when you start loving yourself and taking responsibility for your priorities, health and well-being… everything shifts.

Now, you are responsible for taking the daily actions that manifest ease and growth in your life.

Where do you even begin? How do you start?

Fortunately, your journey to self-love doesn’t have to be a solitary one. If you’re willing to receive support, I’m here to offer it.

 

Special note: Join my brand new 6-week online group coaching program for women and go From Struggle To Ease.

During this group program, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the powerful cutting edge tools that have allowed me to let go of struggle and live without stress and overwhelm! 

As a result of taking this program you’ll experience a life-changing transformation. This means that you will… 

  • Enjoy increased peace of mind by quickly dissolving conflict, upset, and intense experiences.
  • Access more energy and enthusiasm for your business than ever before.
  • Achieve your goals more quickly and easily.
  • Say YES to yourself and what matters most, rather than the stuff that over-extends you.
  • Have greater ease and flow in your relationships, work, finances, health, and more.

Click here now for more details and to claim your spot for From Struggle To Ease: A 6-Week Online Coaching Program for Type-A Women Who Want Results Now.

 

Are You Asking for What You Need? 4 Tips to Help You Speak Up and Respect Your Needs

I can do it myself.

How many times do you tell yourself this — even when it feels like you’re drowning in overwhelm and endless responsibilities?

Sometimes you push yourself to your limits because you feel like you’re advocating for your power and independence. But here’s what happens:

You try to quietly power through your exhaustion. You stay and work late, overextending yourself. Tasks pile up, your priorities fall through the cracks and then you’re left picking up the pieces…

See, advocating for yourself isn’t about showing yourself that you can do it all.

Advocating for yourself is about realizing when you need support and asking for what you need. It’s about feeling comfortable with telling yourself, “I can’t do this alone. I need more support” and then asking for what you need from those around you.

But communicating your needs to others can feel like the hardest thing to do.

Why is this?

Perhaps, you avoid asking because you fear judgment. Or you’re a people-pleaser and don’t want to “rock the boat”. Or maybe it’s because you don’t want to feel exposed and vulnerable.

Getting Comfortable With Vulnerability

Asking for what you need leaves you open to rejection and criticism.

The other person might say no.

They may even judge you, just as you feared.

But some will say yes.

And those who do are the people with whom you build powerful support systems. You give and take and share with each other, creating beautiful life-long relationships in the process.

When you self-advocate and ask for support, you are practicing self-love. 

Because you care about yourself enough to get help when you need it, instead of letting yourself shoulder the weight of the world alone. And you will learn that other people actually want to contribute to you.

But what would happen if you tried to do everything alone?

What Would Happen if You Didn’t Speak Up?

The consequences go beyond your needs being unmet.

Let’s say you’re unhappy with how you and your partner communicate. When you share a frustrating experience, your partner immediately goes into problem-solving mode. Yet, all you want is someone to listen and empathize. 

Yet, you don’t speak up about how you feel.

Over time, you feel resentment. There’s a disconnect between what you desire (empathy) and what you’re receiving (solutions). And you feel frustrated because you’re not honoring your needs and being authentic with your emotions.

See, we often stay silent because it feels easier… in the moment.

Yet, if you ignore your needs and let your problems fester long-term, they can lead you to feel isolated, alone and unsupported.

4 Tips to Help You Ask for What You Need

Instead of struggling alone with the weight of the world on your shoulders, ask for support. You may be surprised to learn that other people want to help you succeed and thrive. 

Following these four tips will help you break the silence, ask for what you need, and finally respect your well-being.

#1 Stop Asking If You “Deserve” What You Want

One reason why you might refuse to ask for help is because you feel undeserving.

You don’t think you’re worthy of help or affection.

I’m here to tell you that you have incredible self-worth and that you deserve to claim a life where you feel heard, respected, and loved.

If you need more support from your partner when you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask for it. Don’t feel like you need to “deserve” it before you can make such a request.

If you’re overextended at work and need a personal day, ask for it. Preserving your health shouldn’t be something you have to question.

You deserve it.

#2 Create and Respect Your Boundaries

In Psychology Today, F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. said, “Boundaries represent your values and beliefs.” Thus, the first step to creating healthy boundaries is to identify your values and priorities.

Your values and priorities lead you to manifest the life you desire. They also set natural boundaries — things and activities that are aligned with your values and priorities. 

Let’s say you want to make quality time with friends and family a priority. If you’re burning the midnight oil at work, then your actions are incongruent with this priority.

See, boundaries aren’t just for other people to respect. They’re also something for YOU to respect.

Asking for what you need isn’t something you only ask of others. It’s also something your values and priorities ask of YOU.

Asking for what you need isn’t something you only ask of others. It’s also something your values and priorities ask of YOU. Click To Tweet

#3 Be Assertive When Communicating Your Needs

When asking for what you need, you might feel embarrassed.

Instead of clearly stating what you need, you may hide your request in filler “pleasantries”:

  • When you have time, could you…
  • … but only if it’s not too much of a bother.
  • I know you might be busy, but…

You might find yourself doing this at work when asking something of a co-worker or communicating with a superior.

Yet, what you’re communicating is that your needs are secondary and can be attended to “when they have time” or if “it’s not too much of a bother.”

However, your needs are essential, just like anything else.

If something is not working for you, communicate it clearly: I’m feeling this way. And I need this to help me feel better or resolve this challenge.

#4 Learn When to Ask for Help

If you struggle with being able to fulfill your priorities and honor your needs, you may need to rely on your support systems.

Instead of shouldering everything yourself, you can ask for help.

If you feel yourself burning out, you can ask your children to pitch in more with the house chores. Or you might want to talk to your boss about taking a few personal days to heal your body and mind.

If you have the resources, you can hire some help. For example, you can sign up for a food delivery service or pay somebody to regularly clean your home — even if it’s just once a month, it can make a difference.

Asking for help lessens the amount on your plate and frees up your time so you can do what’s truly important…

Enjoy life, honor your needs, and fulfill your goals!

Are You Able to Ask for What You Need?

You may tend to hold your needs close to your chest and hide them from the world.

But, if you hide your needs and don’t communicate them, other people won’t know how to support you.

It’s possible that you do this because you feel a sense of shame. You don’t want to ask for help because you think this will appear as weakness. Perhaps you’re afraid it’s an admission that you’re incompetent.

If these thoughts cross your mind when you think about seeking support, you may be dealing with limiting beliefs.

This may surprise you.

Asking for help requires self-awareness and self-confidence that may feel uncomfortable.

 

Special note: I’m so excited about my brand new 6-week online group coaching program for women to go From Struggle To Ease! It begins on Monday November 9, so make sure to act now.

During this group program, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the powerful cutting edge tools that have allowed me to let go of struggle and live without stress and overwhelm! 

As a result of taking this program you’ll experience a life-changing transformation. This means that you will… 

  • Enjoy increased peace of mind by quickly dissolving conflict, upset, and intense experiences.
  • Access more energy and enthusiasm for your business than ever before.
  • Achieve your goals more quickly and easily.
  • Say YES to yourself and what matters most, rather than the stuff that over-extends you.
  • Have greater ease and flow in your relationships, work, finances, health, and more.

Click here now for more details and to claim your spot for From Struggle To Ease: A 6-Week Online Coaching Program for Type-A Women Who Want Results Now

Honoring Your Needs: You Already Know It’s Important So What’s Standing in Your Way?

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. Click To Tweet

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.

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