Throughout your life, and particularly through your separation or divorce, there may have been times when, even if you have an amazing support system, you realized that there is truly only one person that you can count on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, YOU. It’s vital to build a good support system, especially in a time of crisis when you need love, but it’s also important to love yourself and be someone that YOU want to be around. Who will be there in the middle of the night when you are feeling lonely – YOU. Who will be there in the car when you are driving to work and have an emotional breakdown – YOU.
Self-love isn’t always just about having high self-esteem, it’s about paying attention to your own needs and taking the time to fulfill them. It’s about being a person that YOU would want to befriend. Rarely do we consider ourselves as a valued companion, but the hard truth is that we are the only person we can truly count on every second of every day. This time of year is especially easy to feel deflated, so how do you fill your own tank up when you feel like you are completely “running on E”?
Ask yourself, “How am I doing?” Then assess what you could do to make yourself feel better. Maybe you are simply stressed and need a stress reliever like more sleep, less screen time, fitness, or a massage. Maybe you feel that you just need a break, and scheduling a vacation would do the trick? If you don’t have the time or money to travel, then finding a new hobby can often provide a mental “get-away.”
If your answer is that you are simply feeling down, try this for an instant mood boost – spreading kindness or help to others. Start small – send a thank you note in to school with your child for their teacher, take a plate of cookies to an elderly neighbor, pay for the coffee of the person in line behind you, call a grandparent just to say hello, and when a friend or family member tells you about a difficult task they are working on – show up to help. These small acts of kindness will have instant BIG results on your heart and the way you feel about yourself. Choose to focus on one small act a week or a day. These can take little time and no money, but can have a huge impact on being the friend (to yourself) that you would like to be. After all, if you love yourself, you will worry less about the idea of getting other people to love you.