I love Whitney Houston’s song, “Greatest Love of All.”(Circa 1985). It talks about learning to love yourself no matter what others think or say. It is an anthem that helping professionals take to heart. We spend so much of our time, and our career, taking care of others…our clients, our families, and our friends, but how often do we take care of ourselves? If you are like me, not often.
By the nature of our profession(s), we are helpers. But, but we can’t give our best when we are depleted, frustrated, stressed and burned out. February, is a good time to focus some time on ourselves through self-love and self-care.
Psychologist Dr. Deborah Khoshaba defines self-love as self-appreciation through acts of spiritual, psychological and physical growth. Now, let’s see how you love yourself. Take this quick self-love quiz.
- Do you take time to nurture your health, by exercising, getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet?
- Do you take time to do activities that give you pleasure or joy (i.e. enjoy hobbies etc.)?
- Do you accept you are and limit negative self-talk?
- Have you forgiven yourself for past failures or mistakes?
- Do you have a spiritual practice to help you focus on your purpose?
- Do you make yourself a priority and practice-self care on a regular basis.
If you answered no to at least three (3) of these questions then you need to take out time and look for ways to incorporate those things into your life. A few suggestions include:
-Get enough sleep and exercise. This can make a lot of difference in how you view yourself.
-Replace negative self-talk with a positive mindset through positive affirmations and up-lifting songs. Create a playlist that will encourage you when negative thoughts appear.
-Let go of the past. Look towards your future. Set some goals for personal or professional development, and go for it!
-Take care of YOU. You can’t help others if you can’t help yourself. Develop a spiritual practice such as prayer and meditation.Take time to enjoy friends or an old hobby you put down.
The important thing is to get started. Do something…make a start. Once you do, you will become a better person, for yourself (first) and your clients. Indeed, learning to love-yourself is the greatest project you can work on! Love yourself first, then love, and serve, others…