Growing up is not as simple as it used to be. There is so much pressure from media, society, peers and authority figures to be better, achieve more, or be different from what we are. It is easy to suffer from a lack of self-love, which can sometimes translate into a lack of self-care due to giving up since the standards set are impossibly high anyway. Luckily there are a few things you can do to reclaim love for yourself and start feeling worthy again.
First, re-evaluate the standards you uphold. You likely internalized them since childhood without question. Perhaps you need to re-learn your priorities and set new standards based on your true principles and beliefs. This means taking time out of each day or week for self-reflection. The most difficult part may be sitting still. It might help to set apart a specific time in your schedule and perhaps try different things to set a more reflective mood. Light a candle or read a bible passage before your start. Start and end your meditation with a prayer of gratitude. Keep a humble and compassionate frame of mind as you self-reflect. Do this as often as possible and you will find yourself more relaxed and in tune with your true desires.
When going through the pressures of daily living, it is easy to neglect taking care of your mental and physical health. That is why it is important to prioritize self-care. Make sure to take time each day for self-care acts and your overall mental and physical health will improve. These acts of self-care are simply good lifestyle choices and habits. For example, when buying groceries, instead of picking up junk food, make sure to buy lots of fruits and vegetables instead. Schedule in exercise for a minimum of a few times a week. Drink lots of water, herbal teas, listen to your favorite music, read a book, take a shower, go for a walk. It is vital to take care of both your body and mind.
Try on-the-go Emotional Freedom Technique therapy while waiting in traffic. EFT can be done anywhere and any time when you are feeling anxious, frustrated, stressed or tired. EFT helps release negative feelings and bring back a more neutral and positive perspective. The idea behind the therapy has been around for thousands of years. It originated in China and is based on acupuncture meridians. To engage in EFT therapy, learn about acupressure points for various ailments and start tapping away with your palms or fingertips. For example, for anxiety, try gently tapping two fingertips on the space between your brows (some call it the third eye), or measure three fingers from the wrist crease on the inside of your forearm and gently tap your palm and alternative sides. Some relief is usually immediately felt. Try also using words of affirmation while engaging in this therapy.
Put in an effort to be in touch with your true feelings and desires. As you delve deeper into the journey of your thoughts and feelings, you may come to realize that many of your thoughts have been programmed by society’s stereotypes revolving around success, relationships, financial wealth, etc. Your inner child knows what is best for you and while all these things can maintain their respective importance in life, they should never be the complete story of who you are and why you are on this earth. One helpful way to get in touch with your inner child is to keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings, particularly when they are in overdrive and you are having trouble understanding them. Write freely without editing yourself and always view yourself with compassion.
It is easy to hide behind a mask and it is difficult to be authentic. Wearing a mask means safety from having to reveal weaknesses and failures, while authenticity means being as you are with all your beautiful strengths and flaws. It takes a great amount of courage to be authentic. At the heart of inauthenticity is a lack of compassion and self-love. To grow in authenticity, start by treating yourself with sympathy and love, as you would a beloved family member. Be patient with yourself, supportive and encouraging. Do not repress your unique self to please others but feel free to be expressive. We experience needless suffering when we make ourselves conform just to fit in. It is better to honor yourself by being true to you and to honor others with the gift that is the real you.