In the university community, there is constant talk about mental health. Specifically, this focuses on study habits, a healthy sleep schedule, de-stressing methods, healthy eating and exercise. In addition, mental health advocacy focuses on surrounding yourself with positive relationships—including the one with ourselves.
Your relationship with yourself is arguably the most important relationship in life. You spend more time with yourself than with anyone else. You will put time and effort into building a relationship with your friends and family, so why not do that for yourself?
The relationship with yourself arguably determines everything else in your life. Why? Life is experienced though yourself, not outside of yourself. Your perception of yourself will greatly determine the experiences you have in life. If you want a good life, you need to have a good relationship with yourself.
What is a healthy relationship with yourself? To truly accept and feel gratitude for where you are in life and who you are as a person is the basis of having a positive and loving relationship with yourself.
It starts by recognizing your state of mind, as much as you can. Are you feeling calm as you read this, or maybe stressed? Are you ready to take on your next midterm, or is self-doubt growing bigger and bigger as the test approaches?
Try this: once a day, every day, take one hour for yourself, whatever that means for you. Whether it’s going to the gym, doing yoga in your room, reading a book or watching your favourite show on Netflix. Taking an hour out of your day to focus on self-care will help to form a more positive view about yourself.
These small actions in everyday life can remind you that you are in control - that how you respond to the world is important and entirely up to you. You can make things radically better or worse by helping yourself recognize your emotional state.
So, how can you have a good relationship with yourself?
- Plan for the short, middle, and long-term. Have realistic goals, and set milestones and steps for each goal.
- Adopt a positive attitude about yourself and your life.
- Prioritize basic self-care. Invest in yourself. Sleep, proper nutrition, activity, rest and recreational activities are the foundations of sustainable self-care.
- Be kind to yourself. This means working toward appraising yourself without destructive criticism or blame. Work toward being kind and gentle to yourself, while also taking responsibility for your choices.
- Establish good habits. Start every day in a way which increases the likelihood of having a good day that supports your self-relationship goals. Maybe you will find it useful to write down daily goals and keep them in the back of your mind as you carry out each day.
So take the time this week, once each day, to remind yourself to be still and just breathe.
When you become your own best friend, you will always have someone watching out for you. Thank your body for providing what it does; treat it well and listen to its voice because that part of you deserves to be heard.