Time and time again I have seen my friends and family sucked into toxic relationships. Sometimes its a friend or lover, sometimes its a family member, but it doesn’t really matter who it is. What matters is that each time, I have seen them chewed up and spit out. And sometimes I can’t be mad at the toxic person because they don’t always realize the damage they’re doing, that they are taking more than they are giving.
I have seen my mother drowning in extra work because she doesn’t want her coworkers to be overwhelmed. I have seen my friend shatter into pieces every time her ex-best friend reaches out for support, and she gives it because she believes no one deserves to be alone, and they leech her kindness dry then leave. I’ve seen my brother go from a boy who loves to laugh to a man who is reserved and shy.
I’m not okay with any of it. So I’m giving everyone an out; anyone who gives too much, anyone who gets back less than they give, anyone who just wants a break. This is my plea, that you will read this and learn to love yourself, and take care of yourself first. If you won’t do it for you, do it for your loved ones.
Image credit: Mugenal on Flickr, CC
I am not saying you should give up on being kind to others. I’m not saying everyone you meet will take advantage.
What I am saying is that you, people like you, are good, and always will be. You will always go the extra mile, give more than you expect to get back, because that is what’s right. And there will always be people to take advantage of that.
So here are five steps to woo yourself into some life-long self love:
1. Be kind to yourself, if you aren’t, no one will be.Stop making someone else more important than yourself. You come first. You are the only person on this earth who will be there for you through every single moment of your life, good or bad.
2. Buy yourself a ring. It doesn’t matter if it’s expensive or from the dollar store; ring-pops definitely count. What matters is the sentiment. Be like Sue Sylvester or my friend Sherry, and buy yourself an engagement ring. Let the world know that you know you are important. Nothing’s more appealing than self-confidence.
3. Put aside ten minutes a day just to focus on yourself. Life is hectic. It’s like a little personal date. Take a break, just a little one, I promise it will pay off. Take a power nap. Read a few pages from your favorite book. Enjoy a warm cup of tea. Focus on breathing, on the fact that you are alive and existing. Go for a walk in nature or discover someplace new in your town.
4. Look in the mirror and smile at yourself. Smile again. Laugh. Love. It’s okay if you feel silly. It’s scientifically proven if you smile while doing something or while looking at something, you begin to associate smiling with it, and thereby happiness. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t “your type,” you’re stuck with YOU forever, so you better make yourself happy.
5. Buy yourself flowers. Stop waiting for someone else to notice all the good you do, and acknowledge that you are worthy, and you are enough. Don’t like flowers? Buy a cactus! (They might be prickly, but they are survivors!!!)
Image credit: BreakingLinea, 2015
When you start putting yourself first, you might not notice a difference, but I guarantee your friends and loved ones will notice and rejoice. Like I said, if you won’t put in the effort for yourself, put it in for your loved ones. The biggest favor you can pay them is being healthy and happy.
Have any ideas about tips for self-love that I left out? Feel free to comment below! 🙂
Featured image credit: the_moment on Flickr, CC