There's a quote from Buddha that goes like this: "You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." This time of year we talk a lot about relationships, but we rarely think about one of the most important relationships of all… the one we have with ourselves.
Here are a few tips to help you care for, and fall in love with, the beautiful person that is YOU…
Jot down what's great about you
Too often, we focus on the things we don't like about ourselves, instead of all the things that make us the wonderful people we are. So make a list of what's great about you. You can braille it, make an audio recording or create your list in whatever way works best for you. At first the process might feel a little uncomfortable, but before long you'll start to notice how many fantastic qualities you have that you never stop to appreciate – and soon you'll start to feel more confident. Consult your list every so often to remind yourself what a special, amazing person you are.
When someone says something nice about you, say thank you. Sounds pretty easy, right? That's because it is! But all too often, we tend to belittle ourselves when we're given a compliment, almost like we don't deserve it. For instance, if someone says, "You have a beautiful singing voice," don't get bashful and say, "Aw, no, I don't." If someone says, "You made a delicious dinner," don't say "Really? I thought it was too salty." Just say, "Thank you." Because you deserve the compliment!
All work and no play is no good for anyone! Not ourselves, and not the people we care about. Taking time for yourself will help you de-stress, get centred and ultimately, be a better friend, spouse or parent to the people who love you. Try to do something special for yourself at least once a week, even if it's something small, like making time for a bubble bath or indulging in a nice afternoon nap. If you want to get a little pampering time, consider getting a massage, a new hairstyle or a spa treatment. If money's tight, you can often find Groupon deals, and your local beauty or cosmetology school is likely to offer treatments for a discounted rate, or sometimes even free.
Have a nightly "moment of pride"
Before you fall asleep each night, think about what you did over the course of that day that you can be proud of. It could be something that may seem small or routine, like exercising, making a good dinner, or being there for a friend when they needed you. Or it could be something bigger, like getting a new job or facing a long-standing fear. It doesn't really matter how big or small your nightly "moment of pride" is, as long as it makes you feel good about yourself. The more you start to think about and acknowledge the good things you do in your life, the greater your self-confidence will become.