“The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.” ~Sonya Friedman
Accept yourself fully, treat yourself with kindness and respect, and nurture your growth and wellbeing. It’s not just how you treat yourself but also your thoughts and feelings about yourself. Try to imagine what you would do for yourself, how you’d talk to yourself, and how you’d feel about yourself that reflects love and concern. Have an overall positive view of yourself.
By all this I don’t mean that you feel positive about yourself all the time. You can temporarily feel upset, angry, or disappointed with yourself and still love yourself.
This must be confusing; try thinking of how this works in other relationships. We love our kids even though sometimes we can feel angry or disappointed with them. While in the midst of anger and disappointment, our love for them shows how we relate to them. It allows us to forgive him, consider their feelings, meet their needs, and make decisions that will support their wellbeing.
Self-love is very much the same - If you know how to love others well, you will know how to love yourself.
We can take certain actions to affirm the feeling and habit for self-love. There are certain things that we do unconsciously anyways – however, increasing those things and consciously adding more actions that support self-love can increase our happiness manifolds.
Below are some examples for those actions.
- Forgiving yourself when you make a mistake
- Prioritizing your health, fitness and wellbeing
- Saying positive things to yourself
- Letting go of grudges or anger that holds you back
- Meeting your needs
- Valuing your feelings
- Living in accordance with your values
- Making healthy choices for yourself and others
- Pursuing your interests and goals
- Challenging yourself
- Accepting your imperfections
- Recognizing your strengths
- Spending time around people who support you and build you up
- Not letting others take advantage of or abuse you
Self-love is the foundation that allows us to be assertive, set goal and create healthy relationships with others, practice self-care, pursue our interests and goals, and feel proud of who we are. Without self-love, we are likely to be highly self-critical and fall into people-pleasing and perfectionism. We may neglect our own needs and feelings because we don’t value our self and may self-sabotage or make decisions that are not in our own best interest.
Below are a few ways how you can consciously focus on self-love and celebrate yourself.
- The first step in any self-compassion practice is to do honest evaluation. If you live in denial, you will see no reason to treat yourself with compassion. Acknowledge that you’re having a hard time with something or someone without judgment. Struggling isn’t weakness or failure. It’s simply humanness.
- Just like how a good friend lifts you up when you’re down and congratulates you on your promotion and gives you a high-five for making it to the gym – Praise yourself the same way and say, “I’m so proud of myself for getting to work on time” or “Yea me! I made it through that meeting without losing my temper.” We do a lot of things right. We just have to pay attention and celebrate!
- Don’t think asking for help is bad. Remember that friends and family actually like to help each other out. Allow them the privilege of helping you. You will feel better finding out that people care for you more than you think.
- Stop trying to be perfect, stop trying to prove your worth to others by doing more and being who you think everyone wants you to be. When you make a mistake, acknowledge and experience failure, note your own shortcomings and give yourself some love.
- Don’t avoid your feelings; don’t avoid saying “No,”; don’t avoid making decisions. Slowing down allows you to turn inward and listen to what your body, heart, and mind are telling you. This will help you to understand what you really need right now. It’s hard to meet your own needs when you don’t know what they are.
- Do not defer your opinion to others for no reason, your opinions and thoughts are just as important and valid as everyone else’s. Thoughtfully expressing your opinions is a reflection of self-respect. If this is hard for you, start small and with safer people until you build up your confidence.
- Setting boundaries are a way of loving yourself. Healthy boundaries demonstrate self-respect by setting clear expectations for how people can treat you and how you will treat them.
- Writing is a great way to understand feelings. You don’t have to keep a formal journal - write notes on your phone - write down your thoughts on a piece of paper and discard it - use an app, etc. Simply check-in with yourself and find out how you’re doing. It’s amazing how rarely we do this.
- Calm yourself. Try a warm bath, a soft fuzzy robe, a cup of tea, essential oil, massage, walking, swinging, reading, music, or self-talk such; whatever you prefer. Spend time with you.
- Many people have a habit of dismissing compliments because they feel uncomfortable with the focus on themselves and doubt whether the compliment is true. Accept the compliment and enjoy it. People generally give compliments because they care about and respect you. The compliment-giver is offering you kindness and positive energy that you deserve to benefit from. When you dismiss compliments, you’re also denying the compliment-giver the pleasure of giving you this gift.
- It is very common for people to take their bodies for granted. We know that everything really is much harder when your health is suffering; therefore, taking care of your body is one of the most basic ways to love yourself. You’re probably aware of your physical ailments or limitations - Instead of focusing on them, try being grateful for what your body can do. Caring for your body also includes eating nutritiously, getting enough sleep and exercising, but it can also mean soaking in a bathtub or asking your partner for a foot massage.
- Treat yourself. Do nice things to yourself for no reason. Treats don’t need to be earned by good behavior; the only rule is that these treats need to be good and healthy.
Hope you enjoyed readying; I really look forward to your thoughts and comments.