Self-Love 101: How to Start Being Kind to You
Finding the perfect balance between your wants and needs and those of others, as well as being more accepting of your innate qualities, can help you treat yourself more kindly. This, in turn, can improve your self-confidence and self-worth and enable you to see yourself in a more positive light.
However, being kinder to yourself is easier said than done, especially if you’re not exactly used to being cognizant of your own needs or setting up firm boundaries for yourself. Don’t worry, though; there are a few habits that you can pick up to ensure that you’re treating yourself well and giving yourself the space to discover and develop your full potential. Here’s how you can practice self-love:
1. Get to Know Yourself and Own Your Emotions
One of the first things that you need to do to be kinder to yourself is to discover your own personality. Perhaps you’ve spent a long time putting others before yourself, so much so that you can automatically make your decisions based on the judgement, standards, needs, or wants of others.
Indeed, having a wide enough perspective that you can consider the feelings of other people is a good quality to have. Still, though, you should extend the same level of consideration to yourself. When making decisions, consider your wants and needs as well.
For example, if someone asks you to do them a favour, assess if you’re comfortable with the task and you’re not compromising your own values and principles for the benefit of others. Remember that you’re the champion of your feelings, and you can’t stand for what you believe in if you don’t know what matters to you in the first place.
2. Recognise Your Potential and Know Your Own Value
Every person is a work in progress, with each having their own strengths, weaknesses, and potential for growth. People who are hard on themselves tend to focus on their mistakes, inadequacies, and failures, enough that they can’t notice and explore their interests, strengths, and the skills they can develop. Wallowing in negative thoughts about yourself can prevent you from seeing your possibilities and the progress you’ve made so far.
Build up your confidence and recognise your possibilities by listing down your skills and talents and how far along you’ve come since you started honing them. Instead of looking at what’s not there, pay attention to the product of your hard work and the person you have the possibility of turning into if you keep making your best effort. Knowing your own potential and value can help you find people who can match your view of yourself and treat you right. At the same time, it will also play a key role in enhancing your current capabilities and determining the ideal pace of your personal improvement.
3. Choose the People You Surround Yourself With
Speaking of friends, it won’t do you any good if you surround yourself with people who have a habit of bringing you down. Ideally, your constant companions should be able to see you as a person, not someone who’s defined by your flaws and mistakes.
While you may encourage yourself from time to time, there’s still something special when you’re hearing encouragement from people who understand your ordeal and appreciate the progress you’ve made so far. The right people will not only help you feel good about yourself; they will also support your effort to improve and slowly build upon what you already have.
4. Take Better Care of Yourself in Every Aspect
Finally, you can treat yourself more kindly by exercising, sleeping and eating well, giving yourself enough time to breathe and smell the flowers, and doing activities that interest you or give you peace of mind. To feel good and do good deeds to yourself and others, you need to be as healthy as you can be, and the best way to do this is by living well.
So, establish habits that will enable you to get enough sleep and exercise, such as setting a bedtime or signing up for a fitness program. Giving yourself the time and space to decompress by going on planned holidays or taking rest days can help you prevent burnout. If you find that you’re unable to break out of negative thoughts about yourself, then a professional can help you work through these self-destructive thoughts and focus on how your choices and hard work can lead to better outcomes.
Maybe loving yourself doesn’t come naturally to you, or perhaps you’ve forgotten how you can treat yourself with gentleness and understanding. Fortunately, making a habit out of the positive activities mentioned above will help you remember to treat yourself better and find the time and space to let yourself grow as an individual.
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