1. Listen to What You Need
There are so many people in the world and in our lives asking something from us that it is easy to lose ourselves in the desires and wishes of those around us. While it is important to acknowledge and respect the emotions of others, it is also important to value your emotions on equal terms to everyone else’s and not lose them. Self-love. Don’t suppress how you feel, even if it is not what others want to hear or if you’re trying to please someone else.
Tip: Next time someone asks you to do something, ask yourself; Why am I doing this? Does it bother me that I am doing this? Am I suppressing how I feel in order to please someone else? What consequences would there be if I didn’t do this?
2. Forgive Yourself
It is impossible to have as in-depth knowledge of someone else’s life as your own. We can remember all of our own mistakes in graphic detail, making it easy to believe that we are the worst human being that has ever lived. However, others that we cherish or idolise have made similar mistakes yet this doesn’t change how we feel about that person. If we can still appreciate our loved ones even when they have made mistakes, why shouldn’t we have the same attitude towards ourselves? Most mistakes are not bad enough to sentence yourself to the guilt that stops us from self-love. Accept that you are human, learn from your mistakes and then move back to compassion.
Tip: When you next make a mistake, ask; How would you react if one of your friends had made the same mistake? Try and embrace this reaction instead. If they would laugh at you, laugh at yourself and your own stupidity. We all have flaws and we should embrace these as a part of being human. If they would tell you to go and apologise to someone, go and apologise to that person, but then move on as they would.
3. Self-love Is Treating Yourself
Our lives are hectic, where we have so many things to do that we exhaust ourselves by doing things that “have to be done”. Sometimes, it is important to take a step back and remove yourself from the endless list of duties. Spend some time with yourself without others distracting you. Go for a walk or go to the cinema and watch a film that you have wanted to see but couldn’t persuade anyone else to go with you. This can be difficult due to a perception that “enjoyment” isn’t permissible, particularly if you have a long list of things to do. However, you should bear in mind that you can give more to the things you do in your life by taking breaks and doing the things you enjoy.
Tip: Right this second, think about your week. Are there any days that are giving you anxiety? Find something that brings you joy and book it for the following day.
4. Removing Toxic People
This is hard, particularly if you are surrounded by toxic people or you have known certain people for a long time. However, if a person is constantly bringing you down then they have no place in your life. You deserve people in your life who celebrate your successes, comfort you when you’re upset and stay by your side even when life is difficult. You may think that you can’t do this as you will be left on your own. However, there are other people out there that would value you far more than the toxic people in your life.
Tip: Think about five people in your life. Do they make you feel happier when they are around? Or do they make you uncomfortable and breathe a sigh of relief when they leave? Does someone constantly let you down? If they do, do you really need them in your life?
5. Self-love Is Expressing Yourself
Sometimes talking isn’t enough to emotionally engage with yourself, particularly if you have no-one around you that you would feel safe talking to. If this is the case, it is important to find other ways of expressing your emotions. Diary writing would be good way to remove negative emotions from your mind and separating them from you. You could also try a more creative route; writing, drama, poetry, dance and music are all great ways of expressing yourself.
Tip: Sit with a piece of paper in front of you. What are you feeling right now? How could you express it on the page? Would they be words or pictures? Would you use colours?
Read more about treating yourself right on our mindfulness posts.