Life is a delicate balancing act between giving and receiving. With all the demands on our time and attention, we’re forced to make tough choices every day—sometimes many times a day: Should I sacrifice for others or take a moment for myself? Be generous or draw boundaries? Stay in a relationship or say goodbye? How do I balance what I need with what others need from me?
One reason why these decision points become a tricky tightrope walk for so many of us is because we tend to feel guilty when we’re not giving to others or meeting their demands. We’ve been told that “it’s better to give than to receive”. But we forget that to keep on giving our best to others, we must also give to ourselves—and see ourselves as worthy of receiving.
Admittedly, when we ignore our own needs, it’s not a pretty picture. Not only do we become grouchy and unhappy but the people around us become miserable too. Instead of nagging, complaining, and blaming others when you feel off-kilter, try these 10 strategies for honouring yourself so you can free up your energy and focus on what’s really important.
1. Be honest
We cannot honour ourselves unless we are first honest with ourselves. Quite often, we do not take the time to care for ourselves because we don’t even realise we are hurting ourselves.
The busyness of the day can drown out our inner voice. Check in with yourself regularly, even if it’s once a day, and ask yourself: What am I feeling now? What are those feelings trying to tell me? If they could talk, what would they say? If you have a hard time identifying your true feelings and needs, buy a journal, take some quiet time, and start writing down the answers to those questions. Writing can be an effective way to bring hidden feelings to the surface.
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