It’s all very well deciding that the antidote to Valentine’s Day is ignoring it, but it’s a wonderful reminder to focus on loving yourself. Have you ever stopped and noticed that you’re much kinder to others than you are to yourself?
The truth is this, we’re all pretty wonderful in our own, unique ways. Every day each and every one of us does good things, is kind, thoughtful and puts others first. And, it’s time we started realising and celebrating how fabulous we actually are.
1. Practice praising yourself.
We all know practice makes perfect, and learning to see the good in yourself is something that gets easier the more you do it. Make a commitment to spend a moment each day in front of the mirror focusing on the things you LIKE. Say it out loud, or just in your head, but say it. Imagine it’s your best friend looking back at you and say the things you’d say to her. “You look great,” or “That top really suits you,” or “Your eyes are a gorgeous colour”.
2. Write yourself a love letter.
Every night before bed, grab a note pad and scribble down a couple of things you love about yourself. The day might not have been perfect, but there will be one or two things you did that you can’t deny were good. Were you patient, kind, thoughtful or caring? Write them down so you start seeing the good in yourself as well as the good in others. Include yourself in your daily gratitude list.
3. Create some distance.
There are people in all of our lives that bring us down, that bring out the worst in us or make us feel inferior. The truth is you don’t HAVE to have these people in your life – or at the very least you can minimise your exposure to them. First of all, identify who falls into this category. Then focus on replacing time usually spend with them, with the people who bring out the best in you.
4. Recognise it’s okay to fail.
If you feel like a bit of a failure, you’ll stop trying, but it’s so important to keep challenging ourselves. Failure is fine – and it’s important to know that. It’s the effort that’s important, and to remember we learn from failure too. So whether you’re fearful of making the wrong decision, or making a public fool of yourself, resolve to overcome that fear. Set yourself small tasks and dare to do them. Then grow to the bigger ones. The happiness you gain from daring do something new outweighs the negative emotions of failure, so it’s worth the risk.
5. Eliminate self-criticism.
There are enough people in the world who are more than happy to put us down – we don’t need to be one of them. Every time you hear that little niggly voice in your head telling you that you’re not good enough, notice. Write it down. Noticing you do it is the first step. Then, days later, check out those criticisms and rationally appraise them. Sure, you might have eaten a cupcake, but you’ve resolved not to do so again this week, so don’t make a big deal out of it. Move on.
6. Make time for happiness daily.
This is key, and it is not self-indulgence. The people who count on you for their own happiness need you to be happy yourself. Whether it’s exercise, walks in nature, a great TV show or lunch with friends, it’s as important to schedule these things into your day as the selfless tasks that keep everyone else’s life ticking over.
7. Date yourself.
Loving yourself is the first step towards finding someone who will love you in return, whether it’s a new relationship you’re looking for, or you’re already in a 20 year long marriage. If you don’t think you’re much fun to be around, then you’re probably not having fun? It’s all to easy to get stuck in a rut. Take time to get to know yourself. Sit down and think about what makes you tick, what makes you happy and who you really are. We change as the years tick by, but sometimes it can be easy to forget to take time to get to know the new you and old habits take over. Think about whether you really want to keep dyeing your hair the same shade as you did ten years ago and whether it’s time to change up your tried and tested makeup. Take yourself out for lunch, go and see that newly released movie you really fancy. Enjoy your own company and the results will be great.
Did you enjoy this? Here’s why making me time is so essential, especially if you’re a parent. This is how to love your body, without hating your exercise routine and this is why Mary Berry loves herself, and especially her wrinkles.