Give yourself a break.
The power of self-love.
Self-love (sometimes called “self-compassion”) is the belief that you are a valuable and worthy person who deserves to be treated with love and kindness.
Why it’s important to love yourself.
When you love yourself, you feel good about who and what you are. It’s not being selfish. It’s about allowing yourself the same love, kindness, compassion and support that you’d show your friends or family; and not judging yourself too harshly. It’s important because it helps you to be a stronger and happier person.
When you master the practise of self-love you’ll find it’s easier to:
- - be kind to yourself and ask for help when you need it
- - accept the love and kindness others offer you
- - feel more positive, and less anxious or worried, about life
- - bounce back from stress and set-backs more easily
- - to give love to others because you have a big store of it inside.
Ways to practice self-love
There are many things you can do to practice self-love and help it develop:
- - Treat yourself kindly and don’t judge yourself too harshly
- - Tell yourself something really good and positive about yourself each day
- - Respect yourself for who you are and what you are; if other people think differently, that’s OK too but don’t let it worry you or get you down
- - Make a list of all your achievements and happy things when you’re feeling really good. Remind yourself of these when you’re feeling down
- - Admit you’re human. Everyone makes mistakes and can learn from them
- - Love your body by making sure you get healthy amounts of good food and exercise
- - Learn to sometimes say No. You can’t always please everyone all the time
- - Be comfortable asking for help if you feel you can’t deal with a situation on your own. You deserve the same support that you would offer others if they were struggling.
- - Have fun, find something to love in what you do each day, and enjoy being yourself!
Pay it forward. Help others to love themselves too
Self-love is similar to, but not the same as self-esteem. Encouraging your friends, family and classmates to feel good about themselves will develop both their self-love and self-esteem. You can also persuade them not to beat themselves up or blame themselves when things don’t go so well.
Think about how lucky you are to be you. Sometimes you can forget just how special you are, how clever you are and how much the people around you love you!
A great exercise to do alone or with your children is to write a list of all the reasons that you’re lucky to be you. Include all the things that you’re good at and your favourite things about yourself.
Source: Life Education References: Huffington Post, 15 February 2017. “Self-love Must Come First: How to Love Yourself”: author Joyce Marter. Retrieved from: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/joyce-marter-/selflove-must-come-first-_b_9237282.html 4 December 2017.
Psychology Today, 29 June 2017, “* Powerful Steps to Self-love”: author Melanie Greenberg. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201706/8-powerful-steps-self-love 4 December 2017.
Women and Children’s Health Network, 14 November 2016. “Being Happy”. Retrieved from: http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetailsKids.aspx?p=335&np=287&id=2243 4 December 2017.
The Warehouse is proud to support Life Education, a charity that educates and empowers children to make healthy choices so they can live full and healthy lives. Every year Life Education teaches over 250,000 children about their body, friendships, their identity, food and nutrition and helpful and harmful substances. For more information visit www.lifeeducation.org.nz