13 Feb It’s OK to Love Yourself (Actually It’s Essential)
In February we are bombarded with the message to show your love for that special someone by giving gifts.
And while it can be nice to have a day where we show someone you love appreciation, we don’t have a day where we acknowledge the most important relationship we have… the one with ourselves.
I used to be someone who focused the majority of my energy on wanting to be liked by everyone, wanting everyone to get along and for them to be happy all the time. I thought that maybe by putting all my time into others, by being easy going and by doing what was asked of me, there would be no conflict. However, this was not the case. The major conflict that bubbled up was the one within me.
There is a song lyric by a singer named Ricky Nelson that says:
‘You can’t please everyone, so you gotta please yourself.’
It sounds selfish, but when you try to please everyone, all you have really accomplished is feeling let down because you realize you can’t please every single person all the time. You have spent so much time and energy doing things to please others that you have no time left to do what you’re passionate about. Then you realize you have let down the most important – yourself.
Of course it’s important to help, give and care for others, however, if you’re not taking care of yourself and showing yourself love and attention, not only will you end up getting burnt out, you will soon feel resentment, bitterness, anger and frustration which are detrimental to your emotional and mental well-being.
1. Balance is Key
Creating boundaries and taking a stand for what you want and for what you believe is an essential step towards helping you create balance within yourself. Take time to have quiet moments – journal, take long walks, sit quietly in your room.
Sometimes we may feel guilty when we take time for ourselves. Instead of making choices out of feeling guilty or being afraid of what people will say and think, really listen to what you want and what feels right for you. Turn that guilt into feeling grateful that you are making an important choice to rejuvenate your battery. We all need it. It’s ok and essential to create ‘You’ time.
A fun activity that will help you clarify what it is you want for you and your life is creating a UPower Map. I make a new one every year. Click here to download the instructions.
2. Cultivate Self-Kindness
There is a lot of truth in the saying “our harshest critic is often ourselves”. We are often much more empathetic, compassionate, and accepting of others than we are with ourselves especially when we make mistakes.
No one likes the feeling of failing and embarrassment. But what if we trained ourselves to see making a mistake as an opportunity to grow, to learn and an awesome opportunity to try again? Perhaps then, we would be excited to try something new instead of fearing ‘what if I make a mistake?’
Being kind and accepting of ourselves helps us bounce back from negative opinions, challenging circumstances and tough emotions. But the most important gift of all is that it reminds us that:
‘We Matter. We are Enough. We are Important. We are Somebody.’
Each night as you fall asleep ask yourself this question, even if it feels uncomfortable: ‘What did I love about myself today?’ As the days go by you will find the answer comes more easily and you will begin to see how awesome you are 🙂
3. Emotions – The Elephant in the Room
It’s hard to love ourselves if we are bottled up with unresolved negative emotions.
Being able to release emotions in a healthy way is a key skill that builds self-love, resilience, and healthy relationships with others. Often times emotions are like the ‘Elephant in the Room’. No one is talking about them but they are definitely there. And sometimes the emotion is SO BIG it feels like an elephant inside us.
At times it can be hard to identify what emotion we are feeling. Also, when it comes to emotions, our vocabulary may be limited to a few common ones like anger, sadness, frustration.
Like all skills, learning to identify our emotions needs to be developed with regular practice. For this reason, I created the ‘Elephant in the Room’ poster – it has helped me and my family!
Once you have identified your emotions here are some healthy ways to help you release and move through them.
By loving yourself, you’ll help the children in your life to do the same. And you’ll be happier and healthier!
Until next time,