Your needs are important. But you rarely learn how to honour your needs to the best of your ability when they arise throughout your days, weeks and even throughout entire lives sometimes! In some, it might be a case of always putting other people first (something I’m not unfamiliar with, being an empth) but sometimes, it might just be a case of not truly being able to identify and express your own needs.
We are notoriously bad at honouring our own needs, instead opting, more often than not, to just power through it or put off honouring those needs until tomorrow. I think we’re getting *better* at acknowledging when we might need to step back, step out, give up or slow down. But a lot of us still have work to do. Especially women, saddened to say.
Women are SO good at putting everyone else’s needs before their own. Being there for everyone, all the time, yet failing to notice when they’re feeling stressed, frazzled or close to burnout. I can definitely relate to everything I’ve just said. Of course I’m not saying men don’t do this too. I just think women have a more innate need to be there for everyone – despite their own needs.
So in this post, we’re going to highlight some easy ways to honour our own needs when they arise. But I think the first step here is acknowledging that we can and should put ourselves first sometimes and that it’s not selfish to say “no” because you want to focus on honouring your own needs instead.
So, lets take a look at how to honour your needs when they arise:
Identify what your needs actually are
We often mistake needs for wants. Both important – but not the same. Our wants typically change over time whereas our needs rarely do. Our wants are often in a much larger quantity, as well as being more specific in nature. For example, “I want to get a promotion at work”.
By identifying that want – to get a promotion at work – it will help you establish what your need is in that specific situation. For some, the need that comes from wanting to get a promotion at work, is so that others will recognize your competence and hard work and gain more respect from your colleagues.
Learn to listen to your body
Not always but our needs can often present themselves in our bodies. Some in very obvious ways, like needing a nap when you’re exhausted or having a glass of water when you’re dehydrated. But others are more subtle and require us to tune in to our inner voice to uncover what those needs actually are.
For example when we feel frazzled or when we need to spend some time alone. I often feel that in my body. I get tense and agitated. I feel like my body is curling up into a protective ball and I know I need to take myself away to tend to that. This is often the type of need that requires me to do a meditation session or some restorative Yoga.
Figure out ways to honor your needs yourself
You shouldn’t ever wait for someone to honour your needs for you, like a friend or a partner. Although spending quality time with these people definitely CAN help us honour our needs, taking it into your own hands is the most empowering thing to do.
That’s not to say you can’t bring other people into the mix. If you desperately need some alone time to relax and unwind, you might want to head to a massage therapist or get a facial from a professional.
Set those boundaries
Boundaries are so important in most aspects and areas of our lives but they can be hard to implement. You might want to start by setting polite boundaries, if you’re not quite ready to completely cut things out of your life yet. And that’s absolutely okay – setting any type of boundary is hard and requires the upmost respect for yourself.
Look at your relationships
Looking at how to honour your needs means looking at your relationships. Some relationships are great for helping us fulfill certain needs, others are good for another type of need. And I don’t think any one person in your life should be solely responsible for helping you fulfill ALL your needs.
Some relationships don’t align with us anymore and actively go against us honouring our own needs because we’re continually making ourselves feel worse by trying to maintain a relationship with a potentially toxic person. You need to figure out how to manage your relationships which will inevitably, help you honour your needs.
Manage your time
I recently discovered the book Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman, which I head Leena Norms talking about on a YouTube video and I was instantly intrigued by it. It will completely change your opinion and concept of time, time management, the idea of *wasting* time and much, much more.
But that’s a whole different topic for another time but what I wanted to include here in this point about managing your time when it comes to how your honour your needs, is that you NEED to give yourself time to do so. And stop thinking of it as a check-box exercise.
Create space for self care
Self care is crucial for honouring your needs because it gives you the tools and resources to know what’s right for you and what’s worked for you in the past. Stepping into looking at our own self care practices under a microscope can be a fascinating activity, which can definitely help you honour your needs.
You need to create space and time for self care. Whether that means taking yourself away from your normal environment to avoid distractions to putting it in your calendar. You’re not honouring your needs by pushing away self care until tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after that.
Want some more self care content? Check out these posts:
- Unusual Self Care Ideas To Try If You’re Bored of Candles & Baths
- 30 Self Care Ideas in 10 Minutes Or Less
- Things To Do For Self Care That Fit Effortlessly Into Your Day
When you stop honouring your own needs, you feel it. Perhaps not at first but you will. You’ll feel it in your body (it might get stiff and ache), you might feel it in your mental state (you might start feeling low or burnt out) and you even might feel in spiritually (by not feeling aligned with your beliefs or unconnected to the world around you).
I can say with confidence that over the last few months, I’ve not honoured my needs on multiple occasions and I’ve definitely felt how I’ve just highlighted above, especially the point about feeling disconnected. It’s a horrible feeling. So now you have these tips and ideas, I hope they can give you a helping hand the next time you feel like you need to know how to honour your needs.
Over to you! Do you have any tips to add to this post about how to honour your needs? Let me know in the comments!
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