Before you are in a relationship with anyone else, you are first in a relationship with yourself. This means that you not only need to take care of yourself but that you also need to love yourself – which is what self-love is all about. But sometimes this can be challenging as we criticise ourselves for the choices we make and things we do. So if you want to show yourself some love, here’s how you can do it.
Spot the behaviour
At one point or another, we’ve all beaten ourselves up with negative self-talk, set ourselves up for failure with unrealistic expectations and indulged in self-sabotaging behaviours. These behaviours actually end up wreaking havoc on our relationships, our careers and on our mental and physical health. So the first step is identifying these behaviours and asking the question, “would I say these things to my partner or friend?” If not, then cut yourself some slack.
Think loving thoughts
Everyone makes mistakes and none of us is perfect. So whenever you feel your inner critic coming out – stop and think about what you are saying to yourself. Then say something positive instead of something negative. You are your own cheerleader and your own best friend, so act like it. When you wake up in the morning look at yourself in the mirror and say nice things about yourself. Write down your strengths and what you like about yourself. Then look back to these whenever you’re feeling down.
Self-love is also about taking care of yourself. Here is how you can go about this. Make yourself a healthy meal every day, and put in a little treat once in awhile to treat yourself. Groom yourself in such a way that makes you feel beautiful by wearing what you want – even if it’s “not for your body type.” Take care of your home by making sure that it is clean and zen. And lastly, make sure that you are also going to the doctor every now and again to do a check-up so you know that everything is alright.
Do what you love
Do you enjoy going on shopping sprees? Getting your hair done? Going on hikes? Reading a book? You can love yourself by doing the things that you enjoy. So make time every week for relaxation and for your hobbies. While work is important, it shouldn’t take over your entire life. Which is why you shouldn’t over-schedule, over-book or over-commit. Make sure that work and leisure are balanced so that you can take some time to do the things you love.
It can be difficult to fully embrace ourselves, the good, the bad and the ugly parts. But these are what make us who we are. So instead of trying to run away from them, we should embrace them. Know that you aren’t perfect, that you make mistakes, but that shouldn’t stop you from loving you.