5 Practical Steps to Prioritize Your Needs Today

What do you need RIGHT NOW?

How many times have you found yourself in a moment of distress, unable to articulate what you need? It's a common experience, but one that can leave us feeling not only overwhelmed but also disconnected from ourselves. 

I'm Rachel Tenny, a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC), dedicated to helping individuals navigate their emotional landscapes with understanding and compassion. 

As a mental health therapist, I've seen firsthand the importance of identifying our emotions (if you don’t know your 6 core emotions, check out my other blog here) and prioritizing our needs for emotional well-being. In this blog post, I'll explore what our needs are and offer five practical ways to help you start prioritizing them TODAY. 

What are Emotional Needs?

Before we can prioritize our needs, it's important to understand what they are. Our emotional needs are fundamental to our well-being and can vary from person to person. Here are nine common emotional needs:

  • Security: Feeling safe, both physically and emotionally, is essential for thriving.
  • Volition: Having a sense of autonomy and power over our own lives.
  • Attention: Receiving attention from both ourselves and others.
  • Emotional Connection: Feeling emotionally connected to others through friendship, love, and intimacy.
  • Connection to Community: A sense of belonging and connection to something greater than ourselves.
  • Privacy: Time and space for reflection and boundary-setting.
  • Sense of Self: Having a defined identity outside of our relationships.
  • Sense of Achievement: Accomplishing tasks that hold personal value.
  • Meaning: Connecting to something greater than ourselves, often rooted in our values.

Take some time to look at each of these emotional needs and ask yourself, "Is this need being met?” Use my FREE “Are my needs being met” scale to help with this!

If the answer is NO or not very well, then it’s time to start exploring how you can get them met and prioritize yourself. 

5 Ways to Prioritize YOUR Needs

Now that we've explored the types of needs we have, let's discuss how we can prioritize them in our lives. I understand that life can be hectic, and sometimes we may lack the resources or support to meet our needs. Additionally, various barriers may stand in our way. 

However, it's crucial to recognize that if we don't prioritize ourselves, no one else will. Even taking small steps forward can have a significant impact on our emotional and mental well-being. Are you wanting just a little more help in understanding your emotions and making a plan? Check out my “What Do I Need” worksheet to give you some more guidance.

Below, I've outlined five simple yet impactful steps that you can begin implementing today to prioritize your needs:

1. Clear Your Schedule: Carve out intentional time for yourself by eliminating distractions and unnecessary commitments. Creating this space allows for introspection and self-care, which are vital for meeting your needs.

2. Identify What You Need: When you experience discomfort or distress, take a moment to pause and identify the underlying emotions. Understanding these emotions is essential for recognizing and addressing your needs effectively.

3. Determine the Priority: Assess which need is most pressing and deserves your immediate attention. Prioritization enables you to allocate your resources effectively and focus on what truly matters.

4. Make a Plan: Once you've identified your needs, develop a concrete plan to address them. Consider potential obstacles that may arise and seek support from trusted individuals who can help you navigate challenges.

5. Stick With Your Plan: Consistency is key to meeting your needs over time. Continuously evaluate your progress and adjust your plan as necessary to ensure that you're consistently prioritizing your well-being.

Prioritizing your needs is not selfish; it's an act of self-care and compassion. By understanding our emotional needs and taking proactive steps to meet them, we can cultivate greater resilience, well-being, and fulfillment in our lives. 

If you're interested in diving even deeper into this topic, check out my Emotions and Needs Guide for additional support and resources.

Remember, your needs matter, and you deserve to prioritize them. Start today by taking one small step towards meeting your emotional needs and watch as your well-being flourishes.

Stay tuned for more insights and guidance on emotional wellness.

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