06 May The Key Benefits Of Self-Love
Our resident mental wellbeing adviser and qualified counsellor, the very lovely Jennifer Raindle, gives us all a lesson on learning how to love ourselves.
I hear myself encouraging clients to be mindful of self-care, to remember to take some time to do something for themselves, to put themselves first once in a while, do something that makes YOU smile. This is all essential for our mental wellbeing and the foundation stone from which we can all build upon.
But am I actually any good at taking my own advice?
This is an unusual and unsettling time for all of us as many people are facing stressful times with self -isolation. Whether they are working too hard or not working at all, we are missing friends, family and routine. We may have become disconnected not just physically but spiritually too and need to reconnect to who we are.
I’ve made sure more than ever to get back in touch with the importance of self-care and wanted to give you some tips that will help you fall in love with you again and keep you at peace no matter what life throws your way:
Spend some time alone and repeat quietly to yourself, “I have got this, I am going to be ok. I am not a machine and I do need to rest. I am neither in charge or responsible for the whole world, I just do what is necessary and right and have faith that a higher power will sort the rest out.”
There is no right way to respond to our current situation, nor that of any adversity as it’s never happened before. Just think how resilient you have become. I know my life has simplified, if we find growth and productivity then that’s great, but if we are just meeting our basic needs then that’s great also.
We must give ourselves some credit at how much we have adapted already. We may not have figured it out yet, that’s OK, it’s unlikely anybody else in the world has either.
Aim to live more authentically and tuning in to your internal weather system, this way you implement more self-awareness and become less reactive. Use the 90 second mindfulness rule – when you sense an emotion, practice breathing allowing any thoughts that enter your mind to slowly pass through. It only takes 90 seconds for that emotion to calm down and this way, you don’t give too much weight to the emotion through thought to the point it then lingers and takes over your whole day, week, month or even life.
Life isn’t perfect, so when it’s raining with chance of a further storm, then we need to give ourselves an extra hug, treat ourselves with the compassion that we give to others. When it’s a sunshine and showers kind of day, then we can try something a little more challenging.
It’s time to concentrate on our own self- care, being mindful of what makes us feel better, listen to our internal self.
My happiest times are when my family and I are having a meal round the dinner table, enjoying the intimacy and connectedness that we share.
As I approach middle age, I find I am more attracted to nature and value the little things such as a hot cup of tea in my own solitude.
I can only hear and speak for myself, for me healing is about learning to be me, just as I am. So why don’t you allow yourself to indulge in a little or maybe a lot of self-love today.
BACP registered Person
Centred therapist in private practice working with clients in Essex.
A wellbeing practitioner working with students.
I am also a volunteer counsellor working in addiction and supporting families. But my hardest job is mum to three teenage children and feeding the two dogs, one cat and two chickens!