I’m my own worst enemy 99.9% of the time, if not 100% of the time. I think I’ve learnt more about myself and changed in more ways during the course of 2016 than I have any other year.
Now let me stop being so vague and mysterious, what I’m talking about is learning to love yourself. We all want to stop judging ourselves when we look in the mirror and to not care about things we can’t change but hello, those things make us the perfectly deranged, crazy, wonderful people that we are and it’s not about eradicating those qualities but about learning to have full control over them.
1. Set yourself healthy, realistic expectations
I’m a self-confessed ‘yes man’ and if you’re not familiar with that phrase (or the Jim Carrey movie) then it basically means I say yes to the majority of (appropriate) things, especially at work. I take a ridiculous amount on in one go and it is only recently that I’ve started to realistically understand what I’m capable of doing, because you know I’m not Wonder Woman. It’s common to want to say yes to people to avoid letting them down but in reality, when you take on too much and struggle to keep your promise you end up letting down in the long run.
2. Don’t torture yourself
This one is way easier said than done, I know and I am by no means saying that I never look in the mirror now and think ‘well now, you shouldn’t have indulged in that 13th roast potato’ because of course I do. I am only human. The key is to look in the mirror, accept that you may look a little rounder or your jeans don’t fit as well as they did before, remember how much you damn well enjoyed that 13th roast potato and move on.
I also have stopped worrying that guys I meet will think I’m too this or too that anymore. I recently spent time with a guy I like and I had zero make-up on and my hair was a ghastly mess coloured half pink and blue from Halloween and did it bother me? Nope! It may have bothered him but then that’s not my issue, I was comfortable and that’s all that matters.
3. Speak to yourself nicely
This goes hand in hand with the point above but I wanted to give it it’s own bullet point. When I have a bad bout of anxiety I do not speak to myself very nicely. I am constantly telling myself I’m stupid, ridiculous and an idiot. I am actually none of those things, I just don’t deal with stress or worry very well and that’s what I have to constantly remind myself. Positive thinking can work wonders on your state of mind and talk to yourself the way you’d talk to a family member or friend if they were having the same worries or anxieties.
4. Look after yourself
I know this may look slightly contradictary after point number two but when I say look after yourself I don’t mean just physically. Yes, it is important to be healthy and whether you do that by eating the right things (with the necessary cheat day of course), going to the gym or maybe just walking your dog then that’s great. It’s a bit of a bugger but like it or not, exercise is also good for your mental health so if you were struggling with motivation then there it is, right there.
Treat yourself to a detox, whether it be cutting out alcohol or your mobile phone either way it will work wonders for you.
Always remember that loving yourself isn’t selfish, it’s not about being better than anyone else or being self-absorbed it is about accepting you are who you are and that there are as many things in life we cannot change as there are things we can. It’s about realising what matters and what doesn’t.