How to Stop Neglecting Your Own Wants and Needs

Far too many of us undervalue ourselves and neglect our own wants and needs as a result. Because we give so much of ourselves to other people, we come to view personal fulfillment as a luxury of which we are entirely unworthy.

If any of this sounds familiar, it’s high time you start realizing your true worth and regarding self-care as one of your foremost priorities. Should the very notion of self-care strike you as an alien concept, put the following pointers to good use.

Become Comfortable with Saying No

Trouble saying no is among the foremost cornerstones of people-pleasing. Since people-pleasers often believe that friends and family members will come to dislike them if they ever refuse a request, they tend to be all-too-willing to do everything that’s asked of them.

However, while there’s nothing wrong with lending a helping hand to a loved one in need, doing favors for others should never come at the expense of your self-esteem or mental health.

So, if your propensity for people-pleasing frequently compels you to fulfill requests that place a strain on your time, energy or finances, it’s imperative that you become comfortable with saying no.

Your wants and needs are just as important as those of your friends and family members, and if anyone in your life refuses to acknowledge that, they’re unworthy of your time and attention.

If you’ve grown accustomed to granting every request that comes your way without a second thought, learning how to say no may take some adjustment. Furthermore, people in your life who have never heard you say no may prove less than amenable to having certain requests denied.

Again, anyone who expects you to consistently go above and beyond the call of duty without any sort of reciprocation probably isn’t someone for whom you should be doing favors in the first place.

Take a Stand Against Overwork

Being uncomfortable with saying no is unlikely to serve you well in the modern workplace. If your bosses and coworkers are given the impression that they can saddle you with insurmountable workloads, they may not hesitate to take advantage of your obliging nature. Unsurprisingly, persistent overwork can prove rather taxing on one’s mental health and leave them with no time to focus on themselves.

So, if you’re constantly contending with enormous workloads and unmanageable deadlines, make your bosses aware that the current situation is unsustainable. After all, if you’ve never turned down extra work in the past, there’s a good chance they don’t even realize how overwhelmed you are.

To help ensure that you don’t get stuck with exorbitant workloads in the future, make it clear how much work you’re willing and able to do within a given workday – and a given workweek.

Additionally, if you have any coworkers who are constantly foisting their work on you, now would be the time to nip this in the bud. Inform these individuals that while you’re willing to offer advice and guidance whenever possible, their jobs are not your job – which already provides you with more than enough work.

Talk to a Therapist

Attending to your mental health needs is among the highest forms of self-care. For example, working with a knowledgeable therapist can help you get to the bottom of various long-standing issues and come to terms with important events from your past. A good therapist will also provide you with a plethora of practical advice and recommend a number of positive life changes.

To help you better understand your wants and needs, a therapist may recommend that you keep a journal, get out of the house more or participate in charitable causes, like the Arizona Food Bank Network.

Many of us equate tending to our own wants and needs with selfishness. Since we’ve grown so accustomed to accommodating other people at the expense of our own satisfaction, it’s easy to see how such a mindset would take hold.

However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take measures to correct your thinking on the matter. Paying attention to your own wants and needs is an integral part of self-care, and you matter just as much as anyone else. So, if you’re ready to stop neglecting yourself, simply put the previously discussed tips into practice.