I started my morning with a book about self care and self nurturing. The chapter I finished on was about having empathy towards yourself, which seemed a little bit like a foreign concept to me. However, it got me thinking about a phrase I try to surround myself with; love yourself first. I’ve always loved this saying because it can mean so many different things. Loving yourself first isn’t limited to loving your body alone. Loving yourself first is a blanket statement that touches all areas of our loves. I wanted to touch base on the steps I’ve taken towards loving myself first. Check it out below!
Stand Up for Yourself
First and foremost, I think this might be one of the hardest things to do but one of the most effective. Often times, insecurities and the inability to stand up for yourself go hand in hand. Or at least, in my case they do and did. Whether it was a situation with a random stranger, family or friend, I often found really standing up for myself hard. Standing up for others? Not even a second thought, but for myself, it has been a major struggle. If you find yourself thinking “oh god this is too scary for me” I ask you to start small. Maybe there’s a co-worker who keeps nagging you, an acquaintance who has made some jabs at you through the years, or a family member that overstepping your boundaries. Heck, it could even be a situation that happens so briefly in passing but its an opportunity to stand up for yourself. Little by little, you’ll notice your confidence begin to shift and the respect you have for yourself grow.
Take Care of Yourself
Raise your hand if you love caring for others but you forget to take care of yourself! I sure as heck know I do. Currently, I’m sick with a pretty bad cold and there’s still a giant part of me that feels like its just an excuse I’m making to put off taking care of others needs. If my friend came to me with that mentality, I’d tell them to quit it and get back into bed. Taking care of yourself doesn’t always mean making time to rest up when you’re sick, it can mean just about anything. Put your physical needs front and centre where they belong, because your health (both mental and physical) matter.
Set High Stands For Yourself
The obvious probably comes to mind when I say this, and yes I do mean dating. I also mean every single area of your life. I can recall many times in my life that I’d set my standards lower than I wanted because I figured nothing even remotely close to what I wanted would come along. The simple act of having standards that actual meet your needs can be revolutionary. Personally, I know what I want out of my relationships and my work life. I’ve learned to say “no” in situations that don’t meet my standards and how empowering that can be. Yes, there are definitely some things I’m capable of compromising on but ultimately, my standards are non-negotiable. After this post, I suggest making a list of standards for different areas in your life and seeing how that feels. Figure out your own non-negotiables and guidelines. I promise, it’ll make a huge difference!
Spend time with Yourself
Often times, we can run from spending time with ourselves for whatever reason. When I’m at my lowest, I want nothing more than to be busy at all times because I won’t have to face what I’m hiding from; me. What I realize a little too late is that I need myself the most in those moments. I need quality alone time, I need to revisit my needs/wants/desire etc and I need my own advice. Even if you’re not running from alone time, maybe you simply can’t just because you’re so busy. Take a look at your daily routines, schedule a date with yourself and get excited about it. Have you ever taken yourself on a date? It’s life changing and a huge reminder that your company can just be enough.
I know what its like to be accommodating to everyone else’s needs, especially before my own. I learned that lesson from an old-school Portuguese upbringing. Even though I’ve gotten significantly better at putting my needs first, its still ingrained in me to prioritize others. I don’t want to make it sound like you should go around breaking plans all the time, being flaky, etc. What I mean is, if you’re wiped after a long day and you’ve made plans in the evening, recognize that and reschedule. Acknowledge where you aren’t prioritizing yourself and implement some changes that allow you to do so.
What are some steps you follow when you’re trying to love yourself first? Personally, I could go on but I wanted to reflect more on this topic at a later date. I hope you enjoyed this post, and I’d love to hear your thoughts below!