Have respect for yourself, and patience and compassion. With these, you can handle anything. – Jack Kornfield
I can recall many times in my life where I have chosen to put others before myself. Where I have made decisions that were not the most loving for me or for the quality of my life.
These have included:
- Keeping toxic friends around
- Putting myself in situations where I could be hurt emotionally by unloving people
- Falling into cycles of unhealthy eating, limited to no exercise or poor sleep
- Not making time for my needs or desires
- Not communicating my feelings
- Setting poor emotional boundaries
And every time I have made a decision that goes against my best interests, I have never walked away feeling that great. When you sacrifice your happiness – how can you?
Over time, I have learnt to adopt behaviours and make decisions that are more loving towards myself. I discovered that the best kind of love affair you can ever have in your life is with you.
6 Simple Steps to Take Better Care of Yourself
1. Take Your Own Advice
What advice would you give to your best friend if you heard her talking down to herself? Or putting up with bad relationships or treatment from others?
You would prop her up with loving and kind words and you would highlight what she deserves if she’s putting up with anything less than ok.
Any good friend would want the best for their loved ones so it goes without saying that you should want the best for yourself.
We are often very good at telling others the right thing to do yet we rarely take our own advice. Use the gift of objectivity and try to apply it to your own life. If there’s anything a best friend would tell you to change/get rid of/or stop, consider the merit in that and see if there’s anything in your life that can do with those loving changes.
Be your own best friend. If you have good advice for others start applying it to yourself.
2. Forgive Yourself
If you have made “mistakes” in the past, if you have felt bad about your past choices and things you have done; let it all go.
Anger, bitterness or resentment are draining emotions and serve you no benefit. Use those feelings to fuel your fire for a better life and then leave them burning on the flames.
Don’t hold negativity in your heart. Forgiveness is not condoning the actions you disagree with, nor is it forgetting them, it is letting the heartache associated with that to be free from burdening you. You can’t change the past, it’s done, it’s cemented in history.
Bad choices are not the mistakes; they are lessons. They make you wiser and stronger and who doesn’t want to be that? Forgiveness, whether it is for yourself or towards others, is a gift to you. No one else. Forgiveness allows you to live in the present and not the past.
3. Romance Yourself
Make your space that you live in feel loving with beautiful homewares or personalised touches. Buy yourself some fresh flowers. Cook yourself a three-course meal at home. Write yourself a love letter. Treat yourself to a massage or freshly painted nails.
You deserve to be pampered and showered with love and affection. And the most rewarding of all is when you show love to yourself. Treating yourself this way is empowering as it proves you are in charge of your own happiness. The more love you give to yourself, the more you can receive and share with others. It is a natural flow of energy.
4. Take Action Towards Your Dreams Every Day!
Are you living the life you really want? Do you spend time daydreaming and visualising all the things you’d love to have in your life, yet not put one foot in front of the other to get there?
Visualisation, manifestation and saying daily affirmations are all positive tools to use in the steps towards working on our dreams. But they need to be followed through with actions.
Write down everything you want to have in your life and where you’d like to be. Then map out daily action steps to get you there.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and we sometimes can’t have everything we desire in the form of instant gratification. But if you enrol to learn that language, or start a savings account for that dream holiday, or set yourself a timeline to leave your current job and move into something else you’ll eventually get to where you want to be.
Take action each day towards your dreams. It’s worth it. You are the only one in charge of your happiness.
5. Establish Your Boundaries
Creating boundaries is about striking a healthy balance. Imagine you are a house, which essentially you are for all your thoughts, feelings and emotions. Little or no boundaries mean anyone can walk through your door whenever they feel like it. Too many boundaries can leave you isolated and missing out on good relationships that may come your way.
You are in control of your boundaries and it is safe for you to honour them. Physical boundaries dictate how or where someone can touch you and how close they can be in your personal space. Emotional boundaries dictate where your feelings end and another’s begin.
Eliminate toxic people from your life who are not worthy of stepping through your doors. Listen to your true feelings and respect them with clear communication to yourself and others.
Only have loving, supportive people around you and honour your fences always.
6. Take Care of Your Basic Needs
Taking care of your basic needs really is about the core things we need working in order to survive and do everything else we have to get done. Having a safe home environment. Eating a healthy diet. Doing daily exercise. Getting enough sleep and taking care of our mental, physical and emotional health.
It’s paramount your basic needs are functioning in order to be able to take care of yourself as best as possible. These can be underlying foundations that hinder or enhance your path to self-love.
Flexing your self-love-muscle takes daily practice and conscious awareness. Even if it’s just doing something small for you every day, it is absolutely worth doing. All the little, collective actions we take add up to a stronger more powerful love for ourselves.
At the end of the day, you are the only person who can take care of you. Love yourself. You are more than worthy. And I promise it will be the most fulfilling love affair you will ever have in your life.