“Remember, you are never alone. You are always with you.” - Akiroq Brost
When you hear the word 'relationship', I bet you think of a relationship with someone else - most likely a romantic relationship. We completely forget about the most important relationship that we could have - the one with ourselves.
Your self-relationship is the foundation of all your other relationships, including your family, friendships and romantic relationships. And while we will go above and beyond to make a relationship with someone else work, how far are you willing to go to make the relationship with yourself work?
It’s exactly what it sounds like - your self-relationship is the relationship you have with yourself.
Pause for a moment and reflect on how you view yourself, how you treat yourself, talk about yourself and talk about your life. How do you feel about yourself?
Our self-relationship is how we view, understand, talk with ourselves and respond to our needs. It's how we feel, love, support and compassion or criticism and disgust. Ultimately, its how we treat our bodies, moods, mindsets and behaviours.
Absolutely!! YES. Your self-relationship creates the foundation of all of your relationships. A positive relationship with yourself will help you have positive relationships with others, relationships with good boundaries and healthy dynamics.
The opposite is also true - a negative self-relationship is going to impact your confidence, self-esteem, your ability to trust others, have boundaries. In other words, an unhealthy self-relationship will lead you to unhealthy or toxic relationships with others.
Intentionally nurturing a relationship with yourself will help you grow your self-worth and self-confidence. By taking time, even 10 minutes a day, will improve your mindset, your happiness and your life. Here's some simple and quick ways to nurture a self-relationship.
Tune in to your self talk
Listen to the inner chitter chatter in your mind - notice what you say and how you say it.
When is your self-talk, your inner monologue, most positive, supportive or loving? Notice all the amazing things that you say to yourself and how it makes you feel.
Notice when your self-talk is negative, critical or judgemental. What has triggered the negativity, how does it make you feel and what does it take to get back to the positive self-talk.
Take note of the big inner wound
Have you taken time to explore what inner wounds you might have? Perhaps the fear of rejection, failure, guilt, neglect or abandonment.
My big inner wounds stem from a fear of rejection, as part of my self-relationship I work on not rejecting myself. In other words, I make radical self-acceptance part of my everyday life.
Look at your own inner wounds, what do you think is at the root of it? Look at some of the behaviours you might have - people-pleasng, lack of boundaries, feeling guilty, not asking for help, feeling inadequate and avoiding conflict.
Once you know you’re inner wound, you can start to nurture that part of yourself. You can start to show that wound love and care.
Show your body some love
Your body is your home. You’ve already lived in that home for many years, and you’ve many more years to go - so you gotta treat it right! Show your body love by eating well, moving your body, being present in your body.
We have a habit of ignoring our bodies until something goes wrong - an ache, a pain, an illness. Your body is amazing and does amazing work. Our bodies will often show us what is wrong - it will show us where our dis-ease lies.
Take time to get to know your body, hydrate, nourish and love it. Notice how you feel and where you feel it. Tune in to the subtle sensations of your body - it’s always talking to you, you just need to listen.
Body scans are a beautiful way to check in with your body. I love to do a body scan at night, just to check in to see how my body feels, and why it might feel it. You can start your scan at the top of your head or at your toes, and travel through your body inch by inch.
Embodiment practices to grow your self-love
Our modern lifestyle and the constant stresses that we choose to live with now has us chasing ways to numb out and zone out. Think about the last time you binged on Netflix and lost half a day without noticing. Or what you reach for to binge eat or drink.
Our natural state is embodiment. Your mind may be the boss, but your body holds so much wisdom. When we numb out, we disconnect from that wisdom. When we are fully embodied, we are in a place where we can be our most authentic selves, fully present and allows for deep healing.
There’s some simple and beautiful ways to create an embodiment practice. One of my favourite is yoga. Yoga reunites your body and mind every time you step on the mat. Yoga gives you a chance to get fully present with your body and mind.
Breathwork, Pranayama, which stems from the yogic traditions, is an active meditation and has been proven to reduce stress and lower blood pressure within moments. There are many types of breathwork, some will help you calm down, some will help you amp up, some will help you release trauma, boost your mood or bring balance.
Have some fun
We’ve been sold a lie - life should be hard. What a load of nonsense. Go and have some fun. Prioritise having fun alone as well as with others. Dance, sing, play. Whatever fun is to you, do that. And lots of it.
Fun for me is dancing, yoga, singing - I often will do a handstand in the middle of the day, just because it’s fun. I sing full out in the kitchen or the car. I do it because it feels like ME. Do the things that feel like you. The whole point of having a self-relationship is to be yourself.
Nurturing a relationship with yourself is going to take time and effort, it’s not going to happen overnight. You deserve a healthy relationship with yourself, one that is fulfilling, healthy and joyful.
Make your self-relationship a priority. Create a daily practice for working on that relationship. Or you can steal my morning practice - early morning meditation, breathwork, yoga and journaling. It takes well over an hour, but it’s worth it.
Try out these five times to nurture and improve your with yourself.
- Helen Stevens