As Valentine’s day approaches the next few weeks will be dedicated to tips and ideas on how to improve your relationships.
So this week I thought I would dive right in with the most important relationship you’ll ever have. It’s not your partner, your children or your parents, it is of course, with yourself.
Many of us spend a lot of time worrying about other people, being kind to strangers, meeting the needs of our significant others but not many of us spend time on maintaining a healthy relationship with ourselves.
It can be easy to overlook how important our relationship with ourselves is. Often we are less than kind to ourselves. We use bullying tactics to get ourselves to work harder, do more and improve. We lose patience, criticise ourselves and are often unforgiving of our mistakes. We have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and to make matters worse these thoughts and behaviours are often so habitual we don’t even know that we are doing them.
So what’s the first step to improving our relationship with ourselves. Although it can be an uncomfortable process, understanding what you really think about yourself is a good place to begin. Spend some time thinking about yourself or write yourself a letter outlining all the positives and negative aspects that you think you have, you may be surprised what you uncover.
A healthy self-relationship starts with recognising and accepting both your strengths and weaknesses as they are often just two sides of the same coin. If you believe that you are disorganised, untidy and hectic you may find that the flip side of that particular coin is that you are creative, spontaneous and energetic.
Having a good relationship with yourself isn’t about being selfish. It’s about have the same respect, care and consideration that you have for other people. So here are our top tips for building a good relationship with yourself.
1. Talk to yourself as you would talk to your best friend.
Do you ever call yourself names or make unkind comments about your appearance or your capabilities? Would you say the same thing to your best friend? If you did would they stay your best friend?
Be mindful of the way you speak to yourself – a kind word, encouragement or even some sympathy goes a long way to making other people feel better about themselves it will do the same for you.
2. Care for your own needs.
Recognise when you need to rest, slow down or sleep. Nurturing yourself by meeting your own needs is one of the simplest and most powerful things you can do for yourself. Feeling tired then take a rest, if that voice in your heads starts to bully you or make you feel guilty then you are not talking to yourself as a friend. What would you say to someone else in the same situation?
3. Do something just for you.
Ever wanted to learn flamenco dancing or try your hand at wine tasting? Then give it a go. Fun is an important element in developing a good relationship so include it in yours.
4. Treat Yourself.
This isn’t about spending a fortune internet shopping. This is about small treats that you can do guilt free. A walk in the park, a small bar of chocolate, a long bath or a frothy coffee with a friend.
5. Understand yourself.
The more you understand about yourself the easier it is to know how to nurture a positive relationship so next week we are going to look at personality types and how they can give you an insight into how to meet your own needs.