You might have seen the title of this article, or the sentiment it contains, echoed throughout many inspirational posts online. But no matter how much it’s repeated, it never ever stops being profoundly true. You can’t love anyone unless you can love yourself.
But most of us don’t know how to love ourselves. Most of us just wake up in the morning, head to work, do our best, come back, and try to tend to any duties we have waiting. Where in this process are we supposed to ‘love ourselves?’ Are we supposed to take ten minutes out of the day to just look in the mirror and smile? That might be a good start.
Often these sentiments can feel slightly confusing because we know that putting them into practice can be more difficult than we think. At least, that’s certainly how it seems. But with the following advice, we hope to help you put these thoughts into actionable steps, with the flexibility you might need, of course. Please, consider:
Gift Yourself At Random
We often seek justifications for things in life. We think ‘well, I’m headed to the gym later, so I can have this bag of chips right now.’ We might think we deserve to head to the movies this weekend, but only if we spend time working on our thesis. This is all well and good. Balance is the key to a healthy life. However, sometimes, you just need to give yourself a gift at random. Why? Because you deserve it. No other reason.
Your mind will crawl and do backflips trying to figure out why you deserve it. But don’t give yourself a reason. Just do it. This can help you start to be kinder to yourself, to stop viewing yourself with such an objective lens all the time, even though it can be healthy in moderation. Sometimes, being your own reason to have a smile on your face can be tremendously worthwhile. After all, if you can’t befriend yourself, you’re in trouble.
Follow Healthy Pursuits
It might be that you enjoy heading to the bar each weekend with your friends, but you know it’s not healthy. Go against that inner voice that searches for soul feeding activities, and you’ll start to feel less and less comfortable in who you are. Follow healthy pursuits.
Allow a hobby to help guide you through life. Take care of your health, such as joining the gym to exercise or learning about the effect of yoga. If you can do this, you might change your mindset completely for the better.
How much guilt are you holding? We’d say it’s likely you at least have some. It can be for something like an argument you had last week, or perhaps you didn’t help that disabled person at the checkout with their shopping bags because you had a bus to catch. It’s important to forgive yourself. If you can do this, you’ll find you can more readily forgive others, too. That can be tremendously worthwhile.
With these tips, you’ll likely give yourself enough space to love yourself, perhaps for the first time.