Maintaining Self-Love While Dealing With a Mental Illness
Erica Rand, LCSW, MEd, works with individuals and couples in our Center City and University City offices. Read on to learn her suggestions on maintaining self-love.
Depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses can distort how we view ourselves and negatively affect our self-confidence, which in turn can diminish our ability or desire to show ourselves love. The less love and compassion we treat ourselves with, the more likely symptoms of depression and anxiety are to grow. This vicious cycle can lead to feeling stuck, and left untreated, these symptoms can cause turmoil in our lives. Taking charge of our mental health is a critical step in establishing or maintaining self-love. Through dedicating time and effort to ourselves, and engaging in continued small acts of kindness to ourselves, we can grow our sense of self-worth. Coming up with concrete steps for building self-love may feel hard, so here are some suggestions on how to maintain self-love:
- Commit to Loving Yourself
- Make yourself a priority. There are many other relationships in your life (friends, family, and co-workers), but your relationship with yourself should be the top priority.
- Say “No” more often. You are not required to accept every request made of you. For example, it is ok to say “No” when invited to a social outing if you do not have enough mental or physical energy to participate.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Your success cannot be measured in relations to others; you can only compare yourself to who you were yesterday.
- Learn to enjoy your own company. Enjoy a Friday or Saturday night at home. Treat yourself to something special. Trying buying yourself flowers, taking yourself out to a movie, or going to your favorite restaurant.
- Try to replace judgement towards yourself with curiosity about yourself.
- Be Conscious of Your Health Needs
- Get a sufficient amount of sleep every night and take naps when you feel exhausted.
- Mediate or practice yoga to calm your spirit.
- Get some exercise; take a walk outside or go to the gym.
- Nourish and hydrate your body regularly.
- Foster Healthy Relationships
- Focus on the people who provide you with love, support, and acceptance.
- Stay in contact with the people in your life who are always honest with you even when it is difficult.
- Learn to confide in others when you are dealing with difficult issues.
- Snuggle with animals whenever possible.