The Most Important Relationship Is The One You Have With Yourself
While today might primarily be about acknowledging romantic love, we want to remind the Sweat Community how empowering and fulfilling it can be to cultivate an incredible relationship with yourself. Loving and appreciating who you are isn’t just the ultimate act of self-care, it can also help you to lead a happier, healthier life.
What does it mean to love yourself?First of all, let’s take a moment to appreciate what self-love really means. According to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, self-love is all about appreciating who you are and taking positive actions to support your physical, psychological and spiritual growth.
Although self-love might mean different things to different people, the Foundation says: “Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Self-love means not settling for less than you deserve.”
We can’t argue with that.
Treat yourself like you would treat othersSometimes, despite our best intentions, we can be tougher on ourselves than we are on the people we love. Some people even believe that being hard on themselves is a recipe for success. While it’s great to challenge and push yourself, self-criticism might be standing in the way of achieving your goals and it’s important to learn how to practice self-compassion.
If your friend came to you asking for your help with a problem, you would probably respond with kindness and compassion. So why can’t you extend that same generosity to yourself?
The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University has warned against seeing self-compassion as an indulgence, highlighting it’s actually the secret to building resilience and strength after a setback. Practicing self-compassion can also help you learn from your mistakes and bounce back stronger after a perceived failure.
Take the time to practice self-careSelf-care is about so much more than carving out some much needed “me time” and can make a huge difference to your overall wellbeing. But if you're juggling a chaotic schedule, it can be really easy to let it slip down your priority list.
The Mental Health Foundation in the United Kingdom has emphasised the importance of investing in your relationship with yourself and says practicing self-care is all about looking after you and your mental health. They recommend spending 15-30 minutes each day doing something that makes you feel great.
Take some time to think about what self-care means for you. It might mean blocking out the time in your schedule to get a quick Sweat workout in or perhaps it’s turning your phone off before you go to bed to dive into a great book. Maybe you love to spend your lunch break listening to your favourite podcast on a walk or have a daily phone call with a friend or family member that fills your cup up.
It can help you live a healthier lifeWhen you treat yourself with as much love and kindness as you do your best friend, it won’t just bring about a change in attitude but is also linked to numerous health benefits. Stanford University explored the scientific benefits of self-compassion, finding the practice promotes increased productivity, decreased stress and greater resilience.
Take yourself on a dateReady to put everything you’ve learned about self-care, self-compassion and self-love into practice and work on your relationship with yourself? Why not take yourself on a date. Yes, really!
Discovering things you enjoy doing on your own can be a great way to get to know yourself better. Whether there’s a museum exhibition you really want to check out or a great restaurant on your bucket list, there’s nothing wrong with trying out something new and enjoying the quality time you’re spending with yourself. An unexpected bonus? There’s no one to split the bill with at the end!
Do you have a go-to activity you love to do on your own? Let us know in the comments!
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.