As I was preparing for this blog post, I asked myself “What does it mean to love me?” As I thought about what it means for me to love me, I came up with a few ideas about how to love yourself.
1. Put time aside to be alone. I encourage you to either take daily time to be alone, even if it’s the 5-20 minutes you take to stretch or meditate each day, or to dedicate an hour or two a week all to yourself. No kids, no partner, no coworkers, no family, no working, cleaning or stressing. It’s so important to care for yourself and to give your brain the quiet time it needs to tell you all it can’t tell you while you’re planning schedules, doing work or contemplating the future. You could walk outside, sit on a rock or swing, be sitting on your bedroom floor or relaxing in the hot tub. Whatever you choose, make that time to relax, rest and listen.
2. Be kind to yourself. So many people go around telling themselves and others the ways they screwed up, apologizing for personality traits and crucifying themselves for little, rather insignificant mistakes. Don’t do it. Give yourself a pat on the back and a hug each day. Eat that mini chocolate bar. Add meat/fish to your salad at lunch. Give yourself extra time to do things so you’ll not have to rush. And don’t forget to forgive yourself for things you’re holding against yourself from the past.
3. Not judging but growing. It’s a guaranteed fact that you will make mistakes throughout your life. But we’ve all got the opportunity to learn from the mistakes, not be ruined by them. Even if the mistake happens to cost us a relationship, friendship, job, money or something else, your attitude towards life doesn’t have to be ruined. Take each happening in stride and learn what you can. Then move on. Dwelling on problems, and not learning from them not only hurts you, it hinders your opportunities to be helpful to others and live a full and happy life.
4. Doing what’s right for you. This is something not many people do. Take responsibility and make the best decisions you can that support who you are, what you like and who you are made to be. Learn how to say no and when to say no. Look into opportunities and doors that open to you. Open your mind to new things and learn what possibilities are available today for you. I encourage you to live with values, guidelines and a plan. Let those be your guide, and make sure that the people and opportunities are right for you, not right for all the people who think you should take said opportunity.
5. Balance. Above all, do your best to balance your life. Eat a little sweet and a little healthy. Walk every day, and if you feel like it, run or swim. Spend time with friends and alone. If you strive for 1 month to set a balance in your life, and do your best to keep that up, you’ll be very comfortable saying no and saying yes to opportunities that come along in the future, and you’ll be better at scheduling the good opportunities into your life.
Are there other ways that you show love to yourself? Share them below.