Would you say that you treat yourself well?
For some of us, it may be easy to care for and love others well, but it comes at the expense of loving ourselves poorly, neglecting our own health and putting our needs on the back burner. In an effort to be generous with our time, resources and to encourage others to shine and excel, we can end up becoming most critical of the woman in the mirror. It can be damaging to cut corners in our own lives in this way, prioritizing others’ happiness and well-being over our own, thereby hurting ourselves in the process.
How can we become our own best champion, without becoming arrogant or prideful? We need reminders for self-love — remembering that we too are worthy and confident — so that we can be refreshed and equipped to serve others well.
Here are a few ways we can learn to be kinder to ourselves. Come back to these time and time again, whenever you need the encouragement to:
Set healthy and clear boundaries.
Setting better boundaries and being aware of what conditions we thrive in allows us space and energy to care for our health, as well as the ability to love others with our best self. Give yourself room to fail, grace when you have one last thing on your to-do list that you just can’t finish today, and the ability to say no instead of yes.
Know what your body needs and make it a priority. We can better serve others out of abundance rather than out of guilt, obligation, or unnecessary responsibility.
Envision yourself at your very best.
Think of a time when you felt inspired, empowered, or just being your very best self. What were you doing in that situation? What was your mindset, and what kind of words came out of your mouth? How were you feeling, and what feedback were you receiving from others? File away that kind of positive feedback and recall it on a day when you’re unsure of yourself or need it the most. What led you to that kind of scenario, and what’s next for you today?
We can better serve others out of abundance rather than out of guilt, obligation, or unnecessary responsibility.
Process your emotions and be familiar with your patterns.
In times when you can easily let insecurities or unhealthy thoughts spiral you into states of discomfort, guilt, or pity, choose to address those emotions head-on. See them as opportunities to work through and learn to be aware of what causes them. If you are a verbal processor, invite a friend you trust to ask the tough questions you need. If you are a non-verbal processor, write out, simmer, or journal your thoughts and feelings.
Processing is key to discovering why you tend to respond a certain way in specific situations; doing so will allow you to seek a remedy or prepare beforehand to keep from running with your emotions.
Remind yourself of your (and others’) worth, beauty, and value.
We are beautiful, cherished, and treasured people, yet forget it easily and hardly believe it for ourselves at times. You’ll often find that in encouraging another of their worth, the process is also encouraging for yourself. Give compliments freely, both to yourself and others. Whether to friends, acquaintances, your spouse, colleagues, coworkers, or others alike, the both of you will reap the benefits.
Don’t underestimate the power of a written word.
Notes can be so encouraging because we can read them as many times as desired. Write notes for not just for others, but personally, too. Tack up a quote, verse, saying, or a letter from a friend to ensure that the thought brings you joy and encouragement frequently.
Enjoy being humbled in the presence of others you admire.
Think of your heroes and aspire to be a better you, not to be a version of them. Similarly, have you surrounded yourself with people who inspire you? In looking back at people who have contributed to our growth in character, let’s seek to have gratitude for them and affirm that they were influential in helping shape some of our best qualities. What do you bring to the table? What are you grateful for that they have shown you? You may be that kind of person for someone yourself.
What’s one way you would like to be kinder to yourself, for your health?
Image via Katie Jameson