Showing love to yourself means being patient and kind towards yourself.  

This can be particularly important when you are trying to achieve something, and you need to be patient with yourself. Taking small steps by breaking big tasks into simpler parts can help you steadily make progress. 

Showing love to yourself includes the way you talk to yourself; it’s easy and sometimes automatic to criticise ourselves more harshly than we would anyone else. Try to become aware of the way that you talk to yourself, could you show more kindness and encouragement to yourself as you would to a friend? This takes practise but it’s worth the effort when you see how it can make you feel.   

Being compassionate towards yourself also means giving yourself enough time to practise self-care. This includes helping your own mental health before helping others. There’s a useful saying here: you can’t pour from an empty cup’. This means that when you support yourself first, you are then better able to support the people around you.   

Self-compassion can involve setting realistic goals, and not worrying too much about comparing yourself to others. It’s okay to respect someone else’s achievements, but we’re all different. Thinking about how our experiences of life will vary can be important when trying to become more loving and compassionate towards ourselves and others.  

Remember that the things your role models achieved probably didn’t happen quickly, and their circumstances are likely not the same as yours. Staying in tune with what you need to achieve your goals, and weighing up how realistic they are, will help you to set boundaries for yourself so you don’t burn out or feel overwhelmed.  

Also remember that we may not always know what people’s experiences are, or what they’re dealing with. So, for example, when a friend is always late to meetups or doesn’t respond to texts very often, try not feel let down or get angry, but consider if their mental health or circumstances may be a factor. Perhaps think about simpler plans that may be easier for them to manage or ask if there’s something they’d like to talk about.   

Watch this Ted Talk to learn more about self-compassion.