Love is Care, and the One to Care for is Yourself
To love is to care, and you are the first person that you need to learn to love and care for. When you feel good about yourself, you are able to care for others, and feel empathy for them. One of the best ways to take care of yourself is to achieve a healthy self-esteem. You will feel better about yourself and the world around you and it will make it easy for you to love yourself.
It is important to lose any negative emotional baggage you have been carrying around with you, that may be dragging you don’t. Chances are you don’t deserve those negative feelings. Learning how to shed them and replace them with positive feelings about yourself is a huge first step in the process of learning to care for yourself:
Start Caring for Yourself
There innumerable things you can do to start caring for, and loving, yourself. Below is just the beginning of a long laundry list of ideas:
- Start each day a little earlier to give yourself some time to journal, do some reading, or just have a relaxing morning without having to rush around to get out of the house to get to work on time, and then feel pressured trying to play catch-up for the rest of the day.
- Write down your accomplishments and successes each day, and reward yourself for them with a special coffee, perhaps, or a favorite dessert. It is much more rewarding in itself to look back at a list of what you have achieved in a day, than at a list of to-dos that are only half checked-off.
- Listen to your body. Practice mindful eating, where you make conscious, positive choices about what you are putting into your body, instead of agonizing over counting calories and depriving yourself of the evil “carbs.”
- Figure out a way to let go of the anxieties and fears you have inside you, making way for positive thoughts and ideas to find their way in.
- Don’t overcommit yourself to the point where you are having to cancel your own activities in order to accommodate the people to whom you have promised your time. Learn to say no.
- Create a sanctuary, where you, and only you, spend time doing only the things you want to do. Dedicate a certain amount of time to your sanctuary. Turn the phone off, and the computer. Give yourself time to just be yourself.
- Expand your interests. Give yourself permission to take that painting class you’ve always been interested in. Join a book club, where you can meet new people with at least one similar interest. Try some things that you’ve always been curious about. The more things you do that are a pleasant way to spend time, the more you will be happy with yourself for doing them.
Most of all, be real. Let yourself be seen and heard by others. The more you interact with others and get positive feedback from them, the more you will be able to purge any lingering negative thoughts rattling around in your head. But remember, only you can take care of, and love, yourself from the inside. Positive and encouraging thoughts from others should be considered gravy on top of an otherwise self-fulfilled person. Please take care of yourself — doing so is the ultimate form of self-love. When you take care of yourself, you’re better equipped to care for others.