Tuesday, 17 April 2012

How to Love Yourself

At the risk of sounding like a real tree-hugger, I was thinking about self-love and self-esteem at the weekend.  A friend has written a rather lovely novella on the subject and I read the first draft on Sunday.  Apart from being a gripping read, it reminded me of the importance of looking after oneself.  I suspect there are lots of people who don’t spend enough time thinking about their own needs, whilst spending lots of time thinking about other people’s. 

The novella reminded me that we have to love ourselves before we can care for anyone else.
By loving yourself I don’t mean conceit or selfishness, rather taking care of one’s physical, mental and spiritual needs in order to function properly.  Put like that it doesn’t sound selfish at all, it sounds plain sensible.  Like putting on your own oxygen mask before helping others on the flight we all hope we are never on. 

The odd thing is, once you start thinking about how to love yourself, it isn’t as easy as it sounds.  Thinking about what is best for you as an individual goes against the grain; we are too used to fitting in and not making a fuss. 
It’s hard to know whether my very unscientific experiment of giving up caffeine for a few months is encouraging these thoughts about what’s good for me, but the thoughts are there.  As caffeine is going out of my system, in comes thoughts about exercise and drinking more water.  Oh, and yoga classes.

I’ll be honest; this isn’t an area I’ve given much thought.  So you might say it’s an area I need to work on.  So I’ll give you a list I found, from someone who has come up with sensible non-tree-hugging conclusions.  This is the link if you are interested:  http://www.pluginid.com/7-ways-to-love-yourself/.
And this is the rather helpful list:

1.       Forgive yourself

2.       Stop comparing yourself to others

3.       Stop seeking approval

4.       Believe in yourself

5.       Practice silence

6.       Eat healthy and exercise
7.     Express yourself


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