Self-love is more impactful on your well-being than romantic love.
As February 14th looms around the corner, you may be feeling a lack of love (be this love from another or from yourself). Not being in a relationship isn’t actually a bad thing (despite how the overabundance of flowers and love-heart-holding teddy bears at this time of year may make you feel).
But if you are feeling a lack of love for yourself, it is a much bigger problem. Without self-love we are more likely to struggle with feelings of anxiety, depression and self-hatred. February therefore acts as an annual reminder that whether you have a romantic partner or not, self-love should be a priority.
Self-love isn’t just for single people.
It is common (and perhaps a little clichéd) that when a relationship ends or a person has been single for a while, they make a declaration to concentrate on reconnecting with themselves. They are likely to spend time trying new things, learning about their likes and dislikes (and then doing more of the things they enjoy).
This is a great way to show self-love and get in touch with what it means to be uniquely you. Unfortunately, though, this concerted effort to focus on the self is often limited to those without a romantic partner.
Often, once a new partner comes on the scene or when people have been in a relationship for a while, exploration of what makes them happy becomes side-lined for things that both them and their partner enjoy. It is really important to make an effort in your relationship and find common enjoyments; but it’s also important to not loose touch with positive self-focus.
Self-love is important for being happy alone.
Your hobbies, interests and ways of treating yourself form part of who you are. To stop dedicating time to these things completely is to lose yourself in the relationship. Remember; it’s OK to grow and to change, but for your own well-being you should still be able to have an enjoyable independent existence.
In our busy lives we juggle work, health, friends, family and romantic relationships. Most of us will find time for a date night or romantic getaway, but not many of us will make the same time commitment to ourselves (especially if we are in a relationship).
A lack of self-love can make you feel less positive and receptive towards others.
When we stop focusing on what makes us…well…us, we are less likely to feel confident and positive about ourselves. Self-love is equally important when you are in a romantic relationship as it is when you are not. Failing to take time to reconnect with yourself could lead to you feeling underappreciated (even if this feeling is a result of you underappreciating yourself rather than someone else not giving you enough attention).
Taking time for ourselves is more likely to be perceived as “selfish” than spending time with others. But when taking that time makes us more content, positive and self-assured, the benefits will be felt by all. Sometimes to connect fully with others, we need to first reconnect with ourselves.
With that in mind here are a list of suggestions for things you could try in your newly dedicated “you-time” (covid-19 restrictions permitting!).
16 ways to reconnect with yourself.
1. Sign up to a recipe box subscription for a cuisine you love and cook a meal from fresh (just for you),
2. Start a mindfulness or meditation routine (there are lots of free resources out there),
3. Subscribe to a monthly gift box full of treats and then set aside an afternoon each month to fully enjoy it (you can get a subscription for candles, flowers, rum, gin or pretty much anything else),
4. Take yourself to an area of natural beauty like a beach, forest, wildlife park or country house garden,
5. Pick up that book you started 6 months ago and got too busy to finish – then snuggle under a blanket for a few cosy hours of escapism,
6. Enjoy a picnic somewhere peaceful. This can even be in your own home or garden; but make sure you put the effort into prepping picnic food, laying out a cloth etc.,
7. Indulge in an at home spa. Pop some bubbles or bath crystals in a bowl and soak your feet whilst letting a face mask dry (or something else that will soothe away your cares),
8. Play a single player computer game,
9. Learn a new skill (there are loads of online courses for things like painting, drawing, learning a new language, yoga etc.),
10. Buy some popcorn, put it in a bowl and play your favourite movie. The best bit is no one can judge you for picking something cheesy!,
11. Craft, sew, knit, finger paint or papier-mâché yourself a new creation. You’re not in competition with anyone, so you just let your imagination run wild,
12. Bake a fresh batch of cookies just for you (or make edible cookie dough and scoff that instead),
13. Dance like no one is watching! – (Because literally no one is),
14. Invest in some professional fitness advice. Most of us are not fitness experts so we can end up not seeing results when we exercise (or worse hurting ourselves by accident). Investing in your health will have long term payoffs for your body and mind,
15. Order a to-go meal from a restaurant you have never tried before (or),
16. Start a photo-a-day journal. This forces you to find at least one positive thing every day to take a photo of. It could be a fridge magnet that reminds you of a trip you took, the house plant you’ve managed to keep alive (go you!) or even just your dinner that evening.
Hopefully these ideas are enough to spark your imagination and interest in reconnecting with yourself. Obviously, there are lots of ways you can demonstrate self-love. But the most important components are; setting aside time, and choosing an activity that you will enjoy doing by yourself.
Seeing a counsellor is an act of self-love.
I do have one more suggestion to add to the list above, and that is to see a counsellor. I’m sure you knew I was going to suggest this one…but hear me out anyway. When you see a counsellor, they are there for you, no one else, you are their priority. If there was ever a commitment to self-care and self-love, counselling is it.
Counselling can be used for a wide variety of reasons; you don’t even need to be struggling with anything in particular to see a counsellor. Whatever you want to achieve from counselling (be this overcoming a difficulty, finding your way in life, or simply having some time to talk about how you are feeling), your counsellor should be able to help.
If you would like to chat more about what counselling could do for you, get in touch to arrange a counselling assessment session. Although the name “assessment” can sound scary, it’s really just an opportunity for us to meet, discuss how you have been feeling, what you would like to achieve and see if we are a good fit for each other.
You can drop me a message at: firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on: 07588 117305