It’s the month of love.
There’s lots of focus on romance and relationships in February. Some of us may be tired of that focus. Maybe because we enjoy being single or maybe because we are single but waiting for that special someone. It isn’t ideal to see a huge focus on things that you can’t relate to or that give reminders of your potential unhappiness. Valentine’s Day is usually marketed towards couples and lovers but in the last several years it seems that many people have begun to address singles even more on Valentine’s Day too. There are more and more blog posts focused on singleness on Valentine’s, but this blog post won’t be about singleness at Valentine’s… or couples things. This post is for everyone.
Regardless of where you find yourself on the romantic relationships front, there is one person that will always be in your life forever, who is worth learning to love and being kind to, through the highs and lows of life…. YOURSELF! There is no time like the present to make sure that you are respecting and valuing yourself so that you can invest with excellence in the world around you!
So how can you start treating yourself like the special person you are? Here’s some ideas on how to start valuing YOUrself:
Don’t Compare Yourself
Social media has many benefits but it is a comparison trap. We are all unique human beings on a journey of life. When we look at social media we can forget that. Everyone puts their best foot forward on Instagram and Facebook. Often they only share the good moments, the exciting moments or the 700th selfie they took that they spent 10 minutes editing. Next time you’re scrolling through your feed remember to have some grace for yourself and where you are at in life; remember that everyone is unique and everyone has a different story. Celebrate that you are different, celebrate where you are in life and enjoy the little moments you get to experience!
Positive self-talk is important. What are you telling yourself? Is it kind? Oftentimes we are really good at loving and encouraging other people but we would never dream of saying the types of things we say to ourselves to a friend that we care about. Positive self-talk doesn’t mean we don’t recognize the reality of who we are as imperfect human beings, it means we speak truthful encouragement to ourselves. Realistic encouragement can empower us by reminding our brains that we are valuable and that we have qualities and abilities to offer the world.
You might think being in relationship with other people is a strange tip when you’re trying to value yourself. But it can be really helpful to find people who love you where you are at but also encourage and support your growth as an individual. Good friends will encourage you in your talents, abilities and strengths, which boosts your confidence. Good friends will also help you achieve your goals and spur you on to become an even better version of yourself. Good friends shouldn’t make this a super painful process for you. Though it may hurt a bit to be challenged, they should also love you and challenge you because they want the best for you. We are all human and part of valuing ourselves is recognizing our weaknesses, struggles and humanity. Being known well by a supportive community will help us grow and be confident in our uniqueness and who we are becoming.
Here’s another one that may not immediately come to mind when we consider how to become better at respecting ourselves. It might seem backwards to think about someone else in order to value ourselves but this actually does work. By taking the focus off of ourselves we can actually feel more optimistic about ourselves. Why? It feels good to connect with other humans, help people and see others thrive. It gives us purpose and meaning to invest in other people and that can make us feel good about ourselves for how we care for others.
Valuing yourself includes recognizing that you are a special person that has needs as well. You have limits on your time and cannot give your time to everyone. Valuing yourself means taking care of yourself and resting too. Valuing yourself also means that you respect that not everyone can have your time, your body or your compassion. Setting boundaries reserves your attention, emotions and intimacy for those that you have decided to give to. If you give yourself to everyone then you will eventually deplete your energy, drain yourself of emotion and lack the ability to share yourself with those you actually do want to share these aspects of life with. Setting boundaries helps you to feel confident about your relationships and abilities. You will be able to give 100 percent to the people and activities in your life and will feel most fulfilled because you are not drained in doing so. You will also feel confident in yourself because you will be able to give to others with excellence. You may also discover that setting boundaries creates more two-way, give-and-take relationships in your life. These types of healthy relationships will be a benefit to viewing yourself positively too!
What do you do to value yourself? What kinds of things do you say to yourself or do to help you grow in self-respect?