The most important relationship we need to foster is the one with ourselves.
Until I started training to be a therapist, the relationship with myself wasn’t healthy. Through therapy, I found that emotionally I was not available. I focused on the needs of others and neglected my own. I did things that weren’t in line with my core values and lived by other people’s rules, rather my own.
When you have a healthy relationship with yourself, your relationship with others improves too. If we are disconnected and emotionally unavailable to ourselves, we can then not be connected and emotionally available for others.
There’s a reason that we are told put our oxygen masks on before we help others on a plane.
Building a healthy relationship with yourself isn’t a destination, it is a journey that you embark on.
So how exactly do we build and continuously have a healthy relationship with ourselves?
Focus on your needs
If you’re someone who puts the needs of others above your own, then start putting your own needs first. This includes getting sleep and rest, nutrients and exercise. It doesn’t have to only be physical needs, it can be emotional needs too. Every now and again ask yourself ‘what do I need most from myself right now?’.
Make time for yourself
We’re so often caught up in other people’s demands and needs that we often forget ourselves. Regularly make time for yourself, this could be something as small as taking a yoga class or indulging in a really great novel. Say no to the things you feel will consume your time and energy. Be kind to yourself, and only do things that you want to do.
Notice your inner critic
Your inner critic can be a complete bitch sometimes. Begin to notice those horrible negative comments about yourself, and slowly begin to swap those for more positive ones. Turning down the volume on your inner critic can be difficult. Kick the negative self-talk by coming more aware of your thoughts, keeping a journal is an easier way to identify your thoughts.
Appreciating myself for all the things I’ve done in the past month, week or day is something I am currently struggling with. Whilst I do struggle to be appreciative of myself, I am slowly learning how to be appreciative of myself. I keep a gratitude journal, and within this journal, I say how grateful I am for my body, my mind, and my heart.
Treat yourself with love, care, respect, and trust yourself
For the last couple of days, I’ve been repeating the words ‘love, care, respect, trust’ silently in my head, hoping that it’ll be ingrained into my subconscious mind. For the longest time, I didn’t treat myself with love, care, respect and I also didn’t trust myself. Every day, I now make it my duty to love and respect myself, I show myself compassion and warmth. I allow myself to feel my feelings instead of dismissing them.
I tell myself every day that I am worth it.
Walk away from people or things that do not bring you love, care or respect. Trust and believe in yourself, I know this something else that is easier said than done, but with time you eventually will.