It doesn't take much for life to start getting busy, perhaps a little too busy. You've got things to do, deadlines to meet, and you feel like you're being pulled in different directions as you try to accommodate everyone's wishes. You're doing so much, and yet the stuff you would really like to be doing winds up falling by the wayside.
This is so common, it's almost more of a surprise to come across someone who isn't stressed and overwhelmed by everything they have going on. The sad reality is that far too many people find themselves in a place where they're busy catering to everyone else's needs, meanwhile they struggle with recognizing and attending to their own needs.
Finding a healthy balance in relationships
Whether you're dealing with family or friends, there will likely be times when you need to stretch yourself a bit to accommodate situations that are less than ideal. That's completely normal. You're willing to go the extra mile for the people you care about, even when it's a bit inconvenient, and hopefully they're willing to do the same for you.
The key is finding a healthy balance where you're not ignoring your own needs entirely. Some questions to ask yourself:
There's a big difference between a healthy give and take within a relationship vs. a situation that has become uncomfortable or exploitative. Deep down, we know when something doesn't feel right, or when we're going along with a situation that doesn't leave us feeling good about ourselves.
Prioritizing your own needs is essential
Some people are great at taking care of themselves. And because they keep themselves healthy and strong on every level—physically, mentally, and emotionally—they're well equipped to give to others in a healthy way, too. They know where to draw the line and how to set boundaries so as not to jeopardize their own well-being or allow themselves to be taken advantage of. These people understand that prioritizing their own needs isn't selfish; it enables them to better serve others without becoming overwhelmed, resentful, or unbalanced.
Prioritizing your own needs is essential for keeping yourself strong and healthy on every level. You then have a clear and solid point of reference to operate from, so you can make better choices when dealing with the needs of others. When you're clear on what you need, you can identify when a situation is threatening to violate those needs.
For instance, let's say you know you need to be in bed by a certain time to wake up feeling well-rested. However, you have a friend who likes to call late at night. If you only focus on your friend's needs, you'll be on the phone with her until well past your bedtime, and wake up the next day feeling tired and resentful. Whereas by prioritizing your own needs, you can let your friend know you're committed to being in bed by a certain time, and you'll call her back when it's more convenient to chat.
When it comes to attending to our own needs, many of our attitudes are formed in childhood, based on how we were raised and what we observed. We often bring these attitudes into adulthood without ever examining them. If you find yourself struggling to accept that your needs matter as much as everyone else's, it's worthwhile examining some of those attitudes that you've been carrying around. It may be time for you to rethink things, so you can truly function at your very best.
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