I have been on a quest for four years. Here is what has helped me.
How to love yourself.
1. Pay for therapy first and then get a coach if you want as well, you are worth it. You can find a way. Quit making excuses. There are free and low cost clinics everywhere. Do the research, you are worth it. Yes it will be hard, healing is hard.
2. Pay for experiences and quit spending money on stuff. Go to yoga class, find a donation class if you don't have much money. Do fun stuff now and again. Say yes to healthy adventure.
3. Once in a while really order what you want at the restaurant. I don't always do this but the other day I wanted crab legs, I had the money so I got them. I used to feel like that was to overindulgent and it embarrassed me to get them, as if I was arrogant (how silly).
4. Don't overindulge to excess. Drink a glass of wine, not the bottle. If you eat crab legs every night you may go broke but once in a while- heck yeah!
5. Next time you have a problem before you call all your friends ask yourself what you think the answer is. Write about it. Journal about. Pray about. Sleep on it. Then call your (sane and logical) friends if you like. I bet you knew all along what to do. In the end ask your heart and your head what they think and find the middle ground.
6. Feed yourself good food. Don't tell me you don't have the money. I know all about it. There are so many healthy foods you can eat that are cheaper than fast food. Oatmeal, bananas, apples, peanut butter, beans, carrots, onions, potatoes, and on and on. Learn to cook some staples and eat those healthy leftovers because it nourishes your body and soul.
7. Get out in nature often.
9. When someone says something negative about you or to you ask yourself if it's true. If there is an element of truth in it then ask yourself what you need to do to evolve and acknowledge it and make a plan. If you objectively look at yourself and you don't feel that it's true, move past it. They are probably jealous or only trying to put you down to make themselves look better.
10. Work on appreciation. Start taking note of what you are grateful for every day. Be in the moment when you do this and savor that feeling. If you are sitting with your dog and you are thinking "I love this dog" then do that, don't be thinking about the bills, conciously change your thought patterns when they arise.
11. Make a list of things you like to do and do them.
12. Set your timer and do what needs to be done and then give yourself some "me" time when the buzzer goes off.
13. Exercise. I hate hardcore exercise. I love to walk and do yoga, so that's what I do. If I don't have a lot of time I do 10 minutes of walking and 15 minutes of yoga. I double that on days I do have time. Do it because it makes you healthy, if you look better that's a added benefit.
14. Find someone or some group you relate to and see them at least once a week. Church, book club, yoga class, knitting group. People who have a community live longer and happier lives, it's scientifically proven. I have a Monday night yoga class I attend and teach sometimes, I dare not miss it, it it my life line.
15. Drink water, it makes you feel better, hydrates your skin and internal organs and flushes toxins.
16. Say affirmations in the positive present tense. "I am smart, I am honest, I am financially secure, I am happy, I am beautiful, I am a healthy weight, I am debt free." Okay so they may not be true "right now" but that's not the point. Your start to believe they are true and your body and mind start to do the things that make them happen. Trust me, this works miracles!
17. Do visualization. Visualize the things you want and need in your life. I don't mean to be materialistic but lets say you want to be debt free. Visualize the steps it takes to get there and the final result. See yourself taking actions in your life to do these things, and think about how it feels.
18. Become a problem solver. What are the obstacles in your life? What do you need to do to overcome them? Who and what are your resources? Identify and then do it! Overcome those darn obstacles, call on those friends. Spend that tax return on some counseling!
19. Write down all your good qualities and read them out loud.
20. If you have a problem seek help. Ask for help until someone guides you. In the end you have to do the work and YOU ARE WORTH IT!
My love to you,