If you’re asked to list the top people in your life, you may first think of your friends, family of origin and choice, and other members of your support system. However, the relationship we have with ourselves is the MOST important one. We all think of that saying that you can’t help others unless you are helping yourself. The most common example is that you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others on the plane.
It’s essential for positive mental health outcomes to care about yourself and your own happiness. It’s important that you treat yourself like you would your best friend. Take time to nurture and care for yourself.
-Have some me-time! Being alone can be difficult for some. Take that time to enjoy your hobbies for at least 10 minutes a day.
-Take yourself out on a date and get to know yourself!
-Find one thing about yourself that you love and is unique.
-Give yourself encouragement through affirmations and positive statements.
Self-acceptance is part of self-love. Life can be challenging, and many things are out of our control. I often ask my clients what is in your control and what is out of your control? What changes can you make for the things you can control? For example, my clients with health struggles find that it starts to affect their mental health. We often begin by discussing any changes they can make and on the other hand, what is out of their control and requires acceptance.
Acceptance is NOT denying that life can be hard. Validate your struggles and know that sometimes the journey to finding peace and happiness is not easy. It’s normal to take a few steps forward and then take one step back. One of my favorite sayings is: if you beat yourself up, use a feather not a stick! Be easy on yourself and know that you are doing your best.