“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” -Buddha.
There is nothing more important when it comes to living a fulfilling and rewarding life than self-love. While most people know this from a logical standpoint, it is sometimes a very difficult thing to do. Good questions to ask yourself are, “What are my obstacles to finding self-love?” “What does it take for me to actually show myself the love I know I deserve and crave?”
Below I offer some tips to start your journey to truly getting the love you want from the most important source of all.. yourself.
1. Take yourself out on a date. What do you like to do? What kind of movies do you enjoy? Do you even know? Going on a date with yourself is a great way to find out. Learning about your likes and dislikes is one way to show yourself love.
2. Put down the bat. Stop beating yourself up about past mistakes. Ruminating over them now will not do anything positive and instead will make you feel worse about yourself. Worrying about things in the future will also do you no good. Try to be present for yourself and enjoy the moment. The time you spend worrying and stressing about things of which you have no control is time you will never get back.
3. Change the conversations you have with yourself. Be nice to yourself. Give yourself compliments. Make yourself a list of all the good qualities you possess. If this seems difficult for you, first think of someone you admire and write down the positive attributes about that person you like. Then see how many of them you possess as well. You might be surprised to see how many you share!
4. Take time for you. Make sure you schedule some “me” time. Days can get hectic, especially when you are a single parent running around taking care of your kids, errands, carpools and work. Scheduling downtime for yourself is a great way to show yourself some love. Spend the time doing something you are good at or that you truly love to do. It will make you feel much better about yourself.
5. Plan a getaway. It doesn’t have to be an expensive Caribbean vacation (although that would be nice!) but try to plan at least a few days away, if you have someone to watch your kids of course. Taking a break from your daily grind can give you something to look forward to and also give you the rest you surely need and deserve!
6. Spend time with friends. Make time to see your friends who make you happy. Laughter really is the best medicine. When you surround yourself with people who love you and “get you” it can be infectious.
7. Take care of yourself. Eat right, get enough sleep and exercise. These are three staples we must all strive to do. When you are tired, hungry or lethargic you will have more difficulty feeling any positiveness towards yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself first you will have an even harder time taking care of those who depend on you and who you love. Find some inner spirituality.
8. See your doctor. Make your check ups far in advance. Don’t forget about all different parts of your body to check; skin total body scan once a year, mammogram once a year, gynecologist and internist once a year. Get a Flu shot!
9. Make a mantra for yourself. Think of a good catch phrase that works for you and repeat it to yourself every morning when you wake up and every night when you go to sleep. You can also find your “happy place” and visit often. This could be the beach, for example, and you can transport yourself there in your mind and experience all the different senses you have when there (what do you smell, hear, see, taste and feel?)
10. Remember, you are only human. Be kind and forgiving to yourself when you make a mistake. You have spent a long time denying yourself the self-love you deserve and need. It might be difficult to see that you are not being selfish when you do for yourself, but instead, you are making sure you are healthy and available to the others in your life who depend on you. You will make mistakes and that’s okay. Take the good advice given by Elsa from Frozen when she tells you to “Let It Go.” Holding on to grudges does nothing for you and certainly does not affect the other person for whom you are holding the grudge. You will feel lighter and freer once you do this.