“If you love yourself you’re selfish”, “You should love others more than yourself”, “Your family must always come first”, “Live like a candle, burn yourself for others”. These were some of the misconceptions I had. Growing up in a culture of sacrifice and self-denial, I lived ignorant to the power of self-love for so many years. My pursuit in trying to be the ‘perfect‘ wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend and employee left me heartbroken. No matter how hard I tried or how much I did, I always felt ‘not good enough‘. My agony led me to counselling. In few sessions with a life coach I was introduced to a new world, the world of self-love, self-respect, acceptance and peace with imperfection. Reading and learning about self-love afterwards, I started practicing 10 ways that helped me live happier, turn into a sunshine for people around me instead of remaining as a demolishing candle. 1- Recognise your four dimensions.
You have a heart, mind, body and soul. Nurture the four of them, don’t leave any part neglected.
2- Listen to your needs.
Ask yourself at the beginning of each day what does it need today? To have fun, to relax, a good laugh, a walk in the fresh air, a massage, a cup of coffee with a friend..etc
3- Connect to your feelings.
And most importantly the reasons behind your ‘negative’ feelings. Identify the reasons and urge yourself to change what it can’t accept and to accept what it can’t change.
4- Lift your mood.
Listen to your favourite music, dance for five minutes, draw a mandala, colour, cycle, play cards with your children and beat them :)… Etc
5- Pay attention to your self-speech.
Listen to your self-talks, if you’re using a negative approach, repeat your speech using a positive and kind one. Yesterday I was working for long hours, I caught myself saying “Are you stupid?” I paused and told myself “I am sorry. I know you’re tired. You’re about to finish. Stay strong. You can. I trust you.”
6- Tap on your shoulder.
Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you, do it for yourself. It’s so simple and so effective.
7- Praise yourself.
Look at the mirror and admire yourself the way you are, don’t wait to have the perfect body or the outstanding tan. Look yourself in the eye and compliment yourself for any little progress you’ve done or any good aspect in you; your brown eyes, your soft skin…etc
8- Laugh at your mistakes.
Laugh, make sure to laugh out loud. You’re human, you aren’t a machine. Your mistakes are living proofs that you’re a human being.
9- Create a cheerful environment.
No need to spend a fortune. A vase with a flower, a scented candle, a photograph of a cherished memory.. Etc
10- Care for your future-self.
Whether by cutting down the cigarettes you consume per day, by exercising for 10 minutes, by napping during the day. You are the only companion who’s guaranteed to remain with you till your last breath, honour it.
Share with us in the comments your strategies for self-love.