Think of a conversation you had with one of your friends. Think of the way you talked with your friend when he or she was struggling with something. Think of the ways you supported them. Now, take a moment and think about the way you talk to yourself or the way you support yourself when you are struggling with the same issue.
Is it the same way you talked to your friend?
Would you ever talk to a friend that way?
Is that something you’d ever say out loud?
So take the same skills you employ as a supportive friend and direct them to yourself. Being your own friend means you can rely on your judgement and be your own source of comfort. Becoming self-reliant provides great benefits for yourself and improves your self-acceptance and self-esteem.
We suggest these strategies to become your own friends and further how to support yourself in times of need.
- Create a healthy relationship with yourself by taking time each day or night to internally reflect. This could include using a journal to write down thoughts, feelings, behaviors. It could also include writing or saying affirmations about yourself like “I am strong” or “I am loved”.
- Stop being self-critical and beating yourself up.Instead, remind yourself of your strengths and proceed with kindness and mindfulness toward your inner self.
- Make sure you give yourself special attention and affection by taking time to take care of yourself each day. This could mean setting boundaries with work, school, or relationships. It could also mean engaging in your self-care routine every day.
- Craft gentle words and tell them to yourself. Then, write them on notes and place them in your bathroom, on your nightstand, in your bag or wallet. This gives you frequent reminders of these gentle words.
- Put your own needs at the top of the list. It is okay to say “no” to activities or responsibilities if it means that you can better take care of yourself.