We spend so much of our lives looking for a partner we can fall head over heels in love with or a best friend who’ll always be there for us.
While those things can bring us happiness, the longest and most important relationship is right in front of you.
All the choices we make in life are to make us happy in some way or another (even if it doesn’t always work out that way). We care about how we feel, and so we should care about ourselves as a person, too.
It’s easier said than done but here are some ways you can start building on your relationship with yourself:
1) Give yourself permission to love your body
It’s so easy to pick out the things you want to change about your body, particularly as you grow older and it naturally changes. But remember, your body is not just for looking at – it’s for dancing, laughing, hugging and all the other things you love doing. Take a moment to appreciate your body for whatever it does for you.
2) Celebrate, don’t commiserate
Do you find yourself going over past failures in your head at night? Or thinking about what you did wrong that day? Give yourself a break from criticism. Instead, think about something you did achieve that day, even if it’s only small. Or, perhaps you can find a new way of looking at a past mistake, such as what you learned from it.
3) Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to a loved one
Think about the way you speak to yourself in your head. Would you be friends with someone who spoke to you like that? Probably not. Be kind to yourself – use your mental dialogue to talk like you would to a loved one – with encouragement, kindness and positivity. Sometimes just changing the way you say something can make all the difference. Instead of saying ‘I’m not good enough, I always fail’ – say ‘I haven’t succeeded yet, but if I do X, it’s likely that I will.’
4) Give yourself a compliment, every day
It can be something really small such as ‘well done for not getting stressed about that’ or something specific like ‘your hair looks lovely today.’ You might need to look for something at first, but giving yourself a compliment every day, can boost your confidence and build a healthy relationship with yourself.
5) Be kind
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is facing a battle you know nothing of."
Being kind to other people is a great way to feel good about yourself. And you often find that when you are kind to others, it reflects back to you.
6) Do what you love (and don’t feel guilty)
-Have that take away on a weeknight if you’re really craving it. Let the kids watch TV for the day so you can have some time to yourself or maybe take it easy one afternoon at work. You should never feel guilty for doing what’s best for you. More often than not, taking care of yourself is more important than your to do list.
Loving yourself is hard, especially if it doesn’t come naturally to you, so don’t be hard on yourself if you find it challenging or you forget.
Just gently remind yourself to be kinder to you and with time, you’ll find your relationship with yourself starting to grow stronger.