9 Principles for a healthy relationship with the self

I was reviewing an old post on 9 principles for healthy relationships and I thought how nice it would be to write a post on principles for healthy relationships with the self.

Some of the principles overlap and some are unique when you are building a relationship with the self. Right now, more than ever, our relationship with our Self is so important. We have less distractions to turn to, and thus our relationship with our Self is even more impactful. Below are the 9 principles for a healthy relationship with the Self.

  1. Create self-care rituals and routines. Care for yourself. The best way to do this is to practice self-care and the best way to ensure you follow through with self-care regularly is to create rituals and routines. Routines become automatic and thus take less energy to perform. By doing kind and caring rituals for yourself, you begin to build a healthy and positive relationship.

  2. Ask for what you need. Part of caring for the self is asking for what you need. Stick up for yourself. When you have a need, meet it. Part of meeting your own needs includes asking for what that is, and ensuring you get what you need from others. Just as a good parent advocates for their child, advocate for yourself.

  3. Be your own cheerleader instead of critic. I certainly wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who was always criticizing me. I want to be friends with people who cheer me on and encourage me. The same is also true for the messages you tell yourself. If you want to build a positive relationship with your self, then please say things to yourself you’d say to a close friend.

  4. Validate your feelings. There’s no right or wrong way to feel. Criticizing our own feelings only makes us feel worse. Validate how you feel, and treat yourself with compassion. Try to be understanding with yourself.

  5. Communicate with yourself. This may include journaling, reflection, meditation, or quiet time. Take time to allow whatever needs to come to the surface to come to the surface. Honor time spent listening to yourself and create rituals which allow for this communication. I practice meditation every morning and it’s a great way to check in with how I’m feeling.

  6. Celebrate your differences. Try not to compare. You are unique and special and one-of-a-kind. When you find yourself comparing and criticizing, try instead to compare and celebrate how you are different and unique. This might include making a list of your personal strengths you can remind yourself of when you find yourself feeling less than.

  7. Listen to your emotions. Emotions are information for us. When you have strong emotions come up, listen to them, communicate with yourself, validate your feelings and then decide how you need to act. Emotions might be telling us that something isn’t working for us, or that we need to make a change. They might alert us to a need that is going unmet thus helping us to figure out the next course of action.

  8. Eat healthy and nourishing foods. Feeding the body with healthy nourishing foods is one the ultimate self-care rituals. So much of our emotions, hormonal health and neurochemistry relies on a good diet. Feeding yourself nourishing foods is an act of self-love, not only for your body, but also for the soul that lives in your body.

  9. Give yourself a break. I know that I demand a lot of myself. I want to be the best I can be at everything I endeavor. Sometimes I forget that it’s natural to make mistakes and can be too hard on myself. Giving myself a break, reminding myself that I’m not perfect and don’t have to be can feel so good. Sometimes you just need a break. Sometimes you just need a day off. Remember to give yourself a break from time to time.