Love the One You’re With
There is a Stephen Stills song called “Love The One You’re With,” about appreciating what’s in front of you, and not pining away for what you can’t have. It’s really about relationships, but I think the title works as a mantra for self-love too.
If you’re like me, you may have a few “shoulds” in your life – I should lose weight, I should be stronger, I should be more active, I should share more – the list goes on. That song title reminds me you don’t have to wait until you achieve the “ideal” version of yourself to be happy, you can love yourself right now, just as you are.
Easier said than done, right? Trust me, I know! Here are some ideas on how to love yourself through your journey.
- Be your own best friend – It’s important to have nurturing relationships in your life, but there is no stronger validation and care than what you can give yourself. No one can meet your emotional needs better than you.
- Don’t judge your feelings – When you are depressed or have hurt feelings, be accepting of them. Take it as an opportunity to explore why you feel the way you do – what are the underlying issues that you can address to help you heal?
- Visualization – If there is a particular dilemma or stressor that is weighing you down, try imagining it being put into a big box and locking it up. Not to suppress it, but to set it aside until you are ready to face it. Another visualization I use is some symbol of protection around me, like a giant rooster (I’m serious!).
- Change the narrative – Instead of looking in the mirror and criticizing what you see – try some positive mantras. There’s a quote, “If you can’t say anything nice about yourself – practice.” Even if you don’t believe what you’re saying, fake it until you make it!
- Check the facts – Take the feeling or situation that you are experiencing, and look at it objectively. What is really true about you – what can you control, what can you change? What advice would you give your child in this situation?
- Do something physical – Take a walk, get up from your desk chair and do some jumping jacks (remember to kegel!), or give yourself a big squeeze, anything to help release tension and recenter.
- Evaluate your relationships – Is something not working in a relationship? Do you have the right boundaries in place? Are you doing what is safe and in your best interests?
- Take a social media break – “Comparison is the thief of joy.” There are many studies regarding how social media can affect mental health. Take a week off, or just check in once a day to see whose birthday it is. It’s ok not to know everything going on in the world – some people actually prefer it!
You are worth the time and energy it takes to engage in successful self-care. When mama is happy, we are better for our families and friends, and we can lead more fulfilling lives.
What are your favorite self-care techniques? Let us know in the comments below!