The key to contentment is showing ourselves some love, but where do you start? Ambassador for The Mental Health Foundation, Roxie Nafousi describes herself as a self-love activist. After reaching her mental rock-bottom in 2016 (something she attributes to poor self-care), she has since established herself as an emotional health advisor, running workshops to equip others with the tools necessary to practice the art of self-love. Here’s what she has to say on the subject…
Self-love is to treat yourself with love, kindness and respect, and to put your own happiness and wellbeing at the forefront of your mind. Everyone should learn how to practice self-love and this is easier with the help of a ‘Mental Health Tool Box’ – an arsenal of mental exercises that you can use each day to keep your mind healthy.
Here are some things I pull out of my mental health toolbox to help me love and appreciate myself…
Listening to these daily is a brilliant way to cultivate self-confidence. Your subconscious is at its most active when you’re waking up, falling asleep or when you’re in a meditative state. Find an affirmation that speaks to you (YouTube have some great ones), or you can record your own affirmations on an amazing app called ThinkUp. Try listening for 10 minutes every day.
If you’re feeling fantastic or in a total funk, you can always find something to be truly grateful for (though you might have to dig deeper on bad days). Get into the habit of writing down 5-10 things you are grateful for every single night, and in just 7 days you will see a real shift. The more you practice, the more grateful you become.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GOOD PEOPLE
The energy of others has a massive effect on our overall wellbeing. Some people make us feel loved, respected and heard; they give us space to be totally ourselves. Others have the opposite effect, making us feel anxious, self-conscious, and uncomfortable. Start to notice how you feel around different people. Learn to say ‘no’ to friends that don’t make you feel your best – it will liberate you.
TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
Even when we are alone we’re likely still on our phones. Make time each day to simply stop, put down your phone and give yourself some undivided attention. It can be 10 minutes or two hours. Run a bath, read a book or go for a long walk and listen to music or an informative podcast. Take yourself out for dinner. Do something for you, without giving in to the demands of other people and life.
One of the best things about sharing is that it’s a chance to let something go. Find time each day to open up about any niggling worries so you can unpack and release them. Don’t forget to make time to share your good news and achievements each day as well… and these in turn will help lay the foundations for that day’s entry in your gratitude journal.
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