It’s hard to ignore the red roses, teddy bears, and balloons that line the store aisles this time of year. So, love is in the air…or, maybe not?
Regardless if you are in a relationship or not, self-love is imperative to the way we form relationships and interact with others. If we struggle with loving our self, it can be difficult to love others. I would suggest that when we begin to truly love ourselves, we attract those that love themselves as well.
So, how do we learn to love ourselves?
Reflect on your positive qualities.
It is easy for us to be self-critical and focus on our faults but our perspective shifts when we reflect instead on our positive qualities. I will often have clients choose their top five positive qualities from a list. The list includes qualities such as: accepting, friendly, creative, confident, determined, funny, patient, independent, reliable, organized, focused, cooperative and balanced. Next, spend time thinking about how you exhibit these qualities in your life and how that quality was developed over time. Perhaps there is a specific experience that you overcame where that quality was helpful or maybe a role model in your life exhibited that quality which guided you to strive for that as well. When we can focus on our strengths, we can often use them to overcome a weakness.
The thoughts that you think about yourself are powerful. They hold weight. If internally, we are saying that, ‘I’m a failure’ and ‘I’m never enough’, that is having a tremendous impact on our daily life. However, it might be difficult to jump from saying ‘I’m a failure’ to ‘I’m a super star.’
Think about a neutral response if that is true for you. A self-affirmation may be something like, ‘I am doing the best I can.’ It could also be ‘I can take things one step at a time.’ Another one is, ‘I am enough.’ Find a couple self-affirmations that speak to you and write them down on an index card. Put it on your mirror, in your car, or at work where you see it as a visual reminder of your worth.
Start a gratitude journal.
Studies show that having a consistent practice of acknowledging gratefulness in life helps with reducing depressive symptoms. When is the last time you thought about what you are grateful for? If you already journal, it may be helpful to add a line each day related to gratitude. Prompts are also helpful to reflect on gratefulness. Some ideas are ‘one good thing that happened to me today was…’ and ‘today I smiled when…’ There are many self-care journals that have prompts included for those that want more guidance and focus.
Remember the importance of self-love during this season and try one or all three suggestions. If self-love or self-confidence has always been a struggle for you, let us help. We are here to walk with you through this self-discovery time.
Let 2019 be your year for self-love!
Renee Pugh, LCSW
Feeling a little pressure to be perfect this holiday season?
Thinking about the Pinterest-perfect tree…..
Stressed about making holiday cookies that look like the ones on the front page of Cooking Magazine?
Losing sleep at night worrying about how you’ll finish your holiday shopping?
It’s time to let it go.
The holidays should be a time of joy, love, and gathering. If you change your mindset now, you’ll be able to build a better 2019! It’s perfectly natural to feel a little stress during the holidays- we all do to some extent! After all, our regular routines are disrupted, a lot of people are spending more, and maybe you’ve had one (or two) extra cookies. Here are a few great tips that will help you embrace the holiday season and let go of perfectionism and the stress that comes with it.
Find Your Happiness
Happiness is different for everyone! Some people like to really deck the halls and others are fine without even hanging a wreath. Do what makes you happy. There is actual science behind finding happiness and it has a lot to do with practicing gratuity. This holiday season, take a look around and find all the beauty in your life.
Stop The Comparison Game
In the age of social media, this is especially important! As you search for your own happiness, stop comparing yourself to others. Worry about you. You are good enough. Be Honest Only take on what you can handle. It’s OK to just say no. Don’t learn overwhelm lead to burnout. It can take a toll on your physical and mental health.
This time of year can bring up family stress when seeing some relatives and friends. Don’t feed into toxic relationships. If you have to opt out of an event because you are uncomfortable or overly stressed, communicate your feelings. Above all make it a priority to focus on your generosity and loving kindness. Reflect upon what you have instead of what you desire.
As therapists, we understand that some issues aren’t easily resolved. We’re here to walk with you. We can help families identify patterns that aren’t working and develop new ones that work better.
We’ll help you reconnect and feel supported so you can enjoy life and then holidays with the ones who matter most!
Believe it or not, self-love is NOT about being selfish. It’s not about “getting what you want” or over indulging. Self-love is in fact not selfish… it’s actually completely necessary. It’s about taking the time to care and love ourselves for who we are. Self-love is simply about gaining power and control of our happiness. When we act from a place of kindness toward ourselves, the kindness often emulates around us. Here are some ways you can appreciate and take care of yourself each day.
Practice Forgiveness. Give up on the dangerous idea of perfectionism and choose acceptance instead. Embrace your imperfections. Someone else may see beauty in your flaws. Love yourself for who you are and don’t worry about meeting anyone else’s standards. As a general rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t say it to someone else, don’t say it to yourself!
Be Mindful. Live in the moment. Don’t let life pass you by! Sometimes, you have to leave the past in the past. If you develop a positive outlook, you can view your mistakes and obstacles are opportunities to learn and grow.
Express Your Creativity. Self-expression is essential to happiness. Often times, we can unleash our happiness when we tap into our creative side. Once you discover your passion in life, don’t be afraid to express yourself.
Get Outdoors. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the beauty of the world around you. Get outside and enjoy nature. Even a 5-minute walk each day can refresh your mind and greatly boost your mood. It is scientifically proven that the sun provides Vitamin D which can also elevate your mood…just don’t forget your sunscreen!
Say No. You really can’t practice self-love properly if you are constantly giving to others. Remember that it’s OK to say no sometimes. Learn how to set boundaries and be mindful of your personal space. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel anxious or overwhelmed.
Above all, don’t let others define your happiness. Create your own path in life. We can help!