I have a friend who is going through a separation and has been beating herself up, blaming herself for causing pain to everyone in her life, and thinking that she is not a good person as a result of following her gut and making this decision that feels authentic to her.
How often do you find yourself beating yourself up over a situation, or thinking that you are not good enough, or not forgiving yourself for something that you had done or not knowing how to say no in a situation when your boundaries have been crossed?
Self-love is such an important factor to help you grow and move forward in life. Only when you take care of yourself and love who you are, you can give love to others, and will attract love and positivity into your life.
What is self-love? It is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from within, appreciating your weakness, and knowing your strengths, and taking responsibility to take care of your well-being.
There are lots of articles around self-love out there and to me, these are the three key areas to practice.
1) FORGIVE AND FORGET
We all make mistakes and there’s no point beating yourself up. Acknowledge the mistake, learn from it, forgive yourself and truly move on. There’s no point in flogging the dead horse. Say it out loud to yourself ‘I forgive myself for….’!
Do you have a grudge that you have been holding on to for many years? It causes pain and grief especially when things are tough. Recognize the grudge, put that and all the feelings that are associated with it in a bubble and blow it away. It’s not worth it to carry this baggage that weighs you down.
2) SET YOUR BOUNDARIES
It’s OK to Say No
Have you ever experienced agreeing to do something out of obligation and instantly regretted it and as a result suffered? Sometimes, it’s necessary to make a sacrifice but it is also important to know when opting out is the best option. You can take your time to evaluate if saying yes is the right thing to do. It is not possible to please everyone. Don’t feel guilty. It is not selfish to say no when it is necessary to take care of your health and well-being.
Avoid Negative People
We all have come across people in our lives that sap energy from us. The friend who only complains and chews your ear off without any interest in how you’re doing or your well-being. People who constantly criticize and undermine you to make them feel better about themselves. Distance yourself from toxic people who are always bringing you down. Spend time around people who support you and make you feel good about yourself.
Let Them Go
We have all experienced finding it hard to get closure and to let go of a failed friendship. You have grown apart, no longer have anything in common or the same values, and the friendship is starting to feel like an obligation. Don’t feel bad. Acknowledge what it has done for you and the fact that it has run its course. It’s time to let go and let it fade out naturally!
3) PRACTICE SELF CARE
Honor Your Body
Build a routine that takes care of your body – exercising, grooming, practicing mindfulness, eating healthy meals, and sleeping well to recharge. Do not make excuses. Prioritize and schedule these activities into your daily life. It is easier to feel good about yourself when you are feeling healthy and grounded. Maintain a good posture – stand up tall, keep your head high, and smile!
Feel Comfortable in Your Own Skin
Accept your weakness and you don’t need others to accept you. Instead, you need to accept yourself. It doesn’t mean that you have to give up on improving yourself. Realize that you have a lot to offer and make a list of your positive attributes. If you do something that makes you happy, add them to the list. Stop criticizing others. Every time you judge someone, it’s a hidden fear of seeing that attribute in yourself. Do not invite that negativity into your mind.
Start practicing self-love today!