In my last blog, Being Obedient to Love Ourselves, I talked about how, if we really want to love others, we have to start by learning to love ourselves. Here are 10 ways to love yourself so you can love others better.
1. Personal, alone time with God – This is the first and probably most important way to love yourself to love others. This time is a vulnerable, open time where you can be refreshed and strengthened by the ultimate source of strength.
2. Me-time – No matter how much it seems like “me-time” falls to the bottom of your to do list, it is entirely underrated. Taking even 15-30 minutes to watch your favorite show, read that book on the shelf, or treat yourself to your favorite coffee can make a huge difference in your energy level and mood towards life and others.
3. Friend Dates – Having at least one friend outside your home who is on the same playing field as far as maturity, neediness, lack of neediness – is huge! This needs to be someone you can at least Skype with frequently and visit in person fairly regularly. Times with these friends will neither bring you down (like your needy friend) or leave with with a ginormous personal growth challenge (like your mentors). These other friends all have their place, but you need someone on your level for some relating, laughs, and re-energizing!
4. Going to church to receive – I cannot emphasize this enough. If you are a Christian and not involved in ministry of some capacity in your local church, you need to start pursuing that. But too often people are too involved in serving that they never have time to simply go to church, worship during worship, and receive the message. If you’re not receiving from your church community, then you’re not really benefitting from it the way God intended.
5. Value your living space – The rule my parents taught me growing up is perfect here: when you’re done using something, put it away. Then you won’t have a mess to clean up later. If your living space is at least de-cluttered on a regular basis, you’ll feel less suffocated by the looming work all around you.
6. Space out your clean up – Let’s face it, no matter how much of a neat freak you are, especially if you live with other people, looming messes will happen. Try organizing 1 room a month to feel productive, but not overwhelmed. I bet you’d begin to notice your living space becoming less looming.
7. Your own space – Do you have a room or even a corner in your home that’s just yours? Do you have one that could be? Prioritize it and value it! Make sure that area is always straight and available for a quick break, to take a breath and pray, or to have your me-time and God-times.
8. Eat better – I’m not suggesting you go on a diet. Just make the choice to take one step towards eating healthier. I’ve heard of some who’s goal is to eat at least one fruit or vegetable every day. It’s manageable, an improvement, and it’s positive instead of negative.
9. Find what type of exercise works for you – My favorite would be going to a PiYo class, but I can’t afford classes. My second favorite is a cardio rotation at the gym where I don’t have to do the treadmill for even 30 minutes to get my heart rate up and reach my calorie burn goal. Right after, I switch it up with a few dumbbell sets and, if I’m feelin’ good, some leg machines. On days I don’t hit the gym, I have a yoga mat for a 10 minute pilates routine and some 5 lb. dumbbells. Find your fit and get those endorphins kickin’!
10. Meditate – Take 5 minutes (or more) periodically to clear your mind and focus on what matters. Regroup and think more positively. My nerdy, psychology major self is coming out on this one, but just give it a try – clearing your mind and thinking positively really works!
What are some ways you take care of yourself?