As a young girl growing up in Glasgow, the last thing you wanted to hear anyone say about you, is that you ‘love yourself’.
Actually what they said was ‘love yersel’ but I’ve corrected the grammar for your benefit 🤣
Let me assure you it was NOT a compliment.
NONE of us wanted to be that person.
Did you experience something similar growing up too?
And what happens when you carry that experience into adulthood?
When you maintain the belief that ‘loving yourself’ is something to fear, something to be ashamed of?
It can lead to a whole host of problems in later life.
It may cause us to adopt a way of being whereby we put the needs of everyone else ahead of our own. To some extent, we compromise our own wellbeing for the sake of others.
Over the long term, that’s not a great strategy.
When we are mentally and emotionally depleted, our perspective can get distorted. It can cause us to adopt a cynical attitude, over-react to situations, or find problems where they don’t exist. Such reactions and attitudes often lead to conflict and negative responses from other people.
On the other hand, when we feel balanced and happy, we bring enthusiasm and harmony to our environment. When we make time to specifically care for ourselves, we have a healthy perspective and are better prepared to deal with issues when they come up. Our family, friends and colleagues see us as uplifting, inspiring and productive.
But what does it even mean – to love yourself?
Put simply, loving yourself is about taking care of yourself.
It’s about treating yourself as you would your best friend.
It’s about prioritizing YOUR wellbeing.
Becoming aware of (and limiting) the negative self-talk and instead, adopting a more compassionate inner dialogue when things don’t go quite according to plan.
Loving yourself is having the courage to feel your feelings, even those that aren’t so pretty – without judging them. It’s holding yourself when you are feeling angry, sad or lonely, with the utmost love and respect.
Loving yourself takes practice and a strong resolution. It’s the willingness to pick yourself up when life throws you a curveball. Even when you’re hurting – lifting yourself up as if you truly were your own best friend.
It’s reminding yourself how strong you are, how amazing you are.
You are UNIQUE in a world occupied by 7bn people.
And because each of us is unique, so are the activities that restore us.
Some of us need nothing more than sharing our hearts with a friend over coffee, others get all the restoration they need from a few hours of shopping therapy, some need a spa day, while others prefer a quiet day at home.
Here’s a few suggestions for you to consider:
💕 Take yourself off out on a long walk and fill your lungs with fresh air. Leave your phone at home or at least switch it to silent. Notice the buildings, the trees, the other people who are also out walking… If you are not close to a park or green space, then take a walk around your neighbourhood. Walk a street you never have before, notice the properties and let your imagination run wild as you consider who lives in each house.
💕 Make a playlist of your favourite music in Spotify and dance your way back to happiness.
💕 An evening free of technology
Don’t panic… its only for a few hours…
Switch off all technology and enjoy a quiet evening at home.
Take some time for YOU. Enjoy the space to just relax.
Have a soak in the bath, read a book, enjoy a pamper evening or even listen to a guided meditation. Whatever you enjoy, do something to reconnect to the truth of who you really are.
💕 Get creative
Get in touch with your creative side and express yourself through painting, drawing, colouring-in, knitting, sewing – basically, any activity that requires work with your hands. These activities require a different form of attention that doesn’t drain your mental energy. Creative activities reduce anxiety and boost your mood.
This is a personal favourite of mine and I’ve been doing plenty of it in recent weeks ☀️ Nothing replenishes my soul more than a road trip.
Go for a drive or take the train somewhere new. Discovering a new area can inspire you and give you a fresh perspective. Travelling and exploring calms you down and lets the mind relax.
💕 Spa day
Let’s not forget about the ultimate luxury – visiting the spa! You can go by yourself or take a friend and enjoy a day of pampering. Massage therapy, hydrotherapy, and aromatherapy is good for your mind and body. A day of luxurious spa treatments can improve circulation, reduce inflammation and promote relaxation.
When we don’t take care of ourselves, we can start to feel neglected, abandoned and unloved. The key to loving yourself truly is to give yourself that which uplifts you, not just for the moment, but long term.
Go on, do something indulgent this week. Something that is just for you. Something that will lift your spirits and see you through these challenging times.
You are so worth it.
x From my heart to yours 💕 x
I would love to get to know you more, connect with me here.