1. Ask yourself how you would treat a loved one. Then do that for yourself.
2. Ironically, asking for help is in the self-care top 3.
3. Self-care is both an example of self-love and the path to it*.
4. You don’t have to care about yourself to practise self-care. The phrase ‘Fake it ’til you make’ it was brought into existence because of this.
5. It is not only doing positive things for yourself, but includes not doing negative things (which can be as big if not more of an achievement than the positive), like getting out of bed and brushing your teeth, or not beating yourself up for everything, even if just for one day.
* Telling someone to love themselves will not work. They loathe themselves and see no reason to love themselves. If you don’t love yourself, you won’t care for yourself. Everything will be mired in self-destruction. So, how do you get someone who loathes themselves to love themselves?
I realised that if I didn’t start loving myself I would kill myself, slowly or immediately. So I started practising self-care (the therapists went on and on and on about it enough…). Self-care, in the beginning, was stopping self-destruction: I stopped self-mutilating. I started trying to eat better more often. I got up and tried to do one non-dysfunctional thing a day. The more I stopped self-destruction and the more I cared for myself, the better I started feeling, the more I started believing that I needed to be cared for. The more I started believing that, the more I started enjoying caring for myself instead of it feeling completely wrong and completely weird and completely forced.
And I just (SO the wrong word) kept caring for myself until self-destruction felt weirder and more wrong and more forced. And little by little, I started believing the good things people said about me instead of focusing on the negative (stopping the negative self talk helps A LOT). And I slowly found that I liked myself.
Until I woke up one day and realised I loved myself.
It’s that simple. It’s that fucking hard.