As you probably already know, there’s a very famous quote by Oscar Wilde that says “to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance”. We could all certainly learn something from this. The relationship we have with ourselves is the most important one in our lives and yet so many of us don’t give it a second thought, spending most of our time and energy on other people.
Taking a step back and putting more effort into being kinder to ourselves is an effort worth making as it can lead to higher self-esteem, happiness and more fulfillment in our everyday lives. Here are some ways that I’ve found helpful in being kinder to myself on an ongoing basis:
1/ Taking Notice Of Your Accomplishments
We all need validation and to feel that we are noticed and valued by our friends and family. This need can become over-powering if not met, leading to feelings of poor self-worth and neediness when dealing with other people. Try being kinder to yourself by taking the time to acknowledge your accomplishments. Simply take a few minutes each day and think about what you have achieved recently and throughout your life, including even small minor achievements or routine jobs that you complete as a matter of duty.
Type it up or write it down if it helps you to remember your attributes, and whenever you feel unsure of your self-worth take a look at your list for a boost of self-confidence. You really don’t need to wait for compliments from others if you are reminding yourself of what a good job you’re doing on a regular basis.
2/ Speaking More Kindly To Yourself
We all have an inner voice and most people find that this voice can be quite critical and even nasty at times, undermining our self-confidence and esteem. Take time to notice how you speak to yourself and try shaping and tweaking the tone to a more loving and supportive one.
Imagine you are talking to a loved one and that you want to encourage them and help them feel good in life. Try to use that voice when talking to yourself and gradually the inner critic will quieten down leaving you with a friendlier, more loving form of self-talk to support you through life.
3/ Practice Self-Forgiveness
We’ve all done things we’re not proud of, we’ve done embarrassing things and we’ve made mistakes. If we regret some of our past actions then that is actually a good thing as it means we have learned from our younger self’s errors, both big and small. This is entirely normal. But a very important part of that process is to regret what we did and then to forgive ourselves completely.
Carrying around deep regret and guilt is not healthy and we should take steps to let this go. Try repeating the affirmation ‘I forgive myself everything’ to help alleviate guilt and promote self-forgiveness. Remind yourself that no one is perfect and that mistakes are a natural part of life.
4/ Nourish Your Body
Be kind to yourself on a regular basis by choosing foods that are full of the nutrients and goodness that your body really needs. A treat now and then of less nourishing food is no problem but you’re actually being kinder to yourself if you feed your body with a good healthy diet day in and day out. Couple this with exercise and plenty of water to help you feel hydrated and energetic.
5/ Nourish Your Mind
Just as our bodies need nourishment, so do our minds. Studying a subject that interests you, learning new skills, enjoying the arts, reading good quality books, both fiction and non-fiction, and watching good quality documentaries and movies can all lead to a happier existence. We’re all different, so find things that interest you and spend time giving your mind what it really needs.
It’s not difficult to be kinder to ourselves but we do need to evaluate what we do each day and make some small changes to our habits. I’ve found that the tips here have really helped me to encourage myself, feel better about myself and generally lead a happier, more fulfilling life. I hope they can help you too.