When I was younger, I was on fire. I wanted to get things done, please other people, and be a great initiator of change. There were times when I kept pushing myself and I lost who I am on the process.
In those days when I had my own personal struggles, I still tried to be out there, to be available to those who needed because I always want to help others. Then, one day, I just knew I broke down.
A friend told me, “Don’t be too hard on yourself.”
I realized this great quote from the Dalai Lama, “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”
From there, I profoundly wanted to give myself a break. And, I did. I worked on my personal needs and slowly felt healed from the inside.
When someone needed me, I felt much better and much open because I have filled in the empty spaces of who I am before saying yes to another person out there. So, through the years, I have discovered these 4 ways to fulfill your needs while helping others.
1. Recognize the need to take a break and go for it
Oftentimes, we push ourselves too much that we can’t listen to our body anymore. We get too busy with work and with being busy that we tend to overlook the value of slowing down and being quiet.
Being busy and tired tend to make us irritable. It seems that we can’t think clearly and feel clearly when we are all beat up. Remember to take a break and let yourself just relax.
What is your favorite way to unwind? Do it. Take some time off and just take care of yourself. Don’t push yourself to the brink of becoming a stress machine.
Listen to music, take a long aimless walk, sit in nature, sing in the shower, take a much-needed nap… whatever way you feel so you can release stress and feel relieved, go for it.
Taking a break will surely help you be refreshed, clear your thoughts, be productive, be able to produce quality output, and most of all, be present when others need you.
2. Be committed to yourself, be your own friend
With the advancement of technology, it is easy to over-commit these days. You tend to say yes to every invitation because you feel that it’s a must to be with people all the time.
It’s time to spend time with yourself. Learn to find some quiet time just being alone and enjoying the sweetest treats of life. This time alone is the perfect moment to hone new skills and to focus on self-development.
You’ll notice that the happier you become for yourself, the easier it is for you to be happy for and with others. As you enjoy your “me” time, you also provide more space for yourself when you are with others.
3. Remember to reevaluate your external commitments
Before saying yes to offers and invites, it is best to give yourself more time to ponder on the essence of one social commitment to another.
Without you knowing it, sometimes all these commitments make you feel in a rush and it complicates your time and schedule. It is valuable to determine whether one external commitment is really something you feel sincerely connected to or not.
We love to keep bonds but it is not helpful for you if you keep all. For sure, there are those external commitments that you are just afraid to turn down but in fact, you don’t find them interesting and nourishing at all.
Remember that each external commitment requires time and energy and if you surround yourself with YESes that do not really mean much to you, you are not really “present” for someone else. You are just there, indecisive as ever.
On the other hand, when you are sincere with your external commitments, each experience makes you feel good and it is contributory to your growth and happiness. Thus, allowing you to share quality moments with others.
4. Be understood by others
Communication is very important for all our bonds. If you want to keep that balance between fulfilling your needs while helping others, be honest in communicating.
In case you are not available to heed an invite, you can clearly say “I am sorry but I think I need some time off for now. I’ve been pretty busy.” Remember that it is alright to be honest and to let people know that you do need a break.
Do not be afraid of letting people down by dealing with your commitments more wisely. As you communicate better, you’d get understood more and you’ll be building and keeping better relationships through time.
All these 4 ways to fulfill your needs while helping others will surely go a long way. When you follow these, you give more rooms for yourself to stay healthy, stay connected, and stay loving.
It is really necessary to look after yourself first so you can fully, generously look after others.