“If you make friends with yourself you will never be alone.” Maxwell Maltz
Meet me, My best friend! Before you start thinking I’m antisocial, weird, and a bit on the edge, let me reassure you it’s the exact opposite!
Let’s make some things clear. I am a strong proponent of relationships, and value good friendships from the bottom of my heart. But in my journey I’ve come to realize the importance of valuing yourself first, loving and accepting yourself, and also being there for yourself at all times. Let’s face it, in this big and busy world you will find many moments of being alone, so you’d better start enjoying your own company.
I’ve been so busy completing my education, raising a family, and trying to fulfill all my various roles that, for a long period I wasn’t quite there for myself. Coffee breaks, spa days and shopping sprees were always on the back burner while I waited for time, or a friend. Every once in a while, I’d find myself sitting alone trying fill empty space with what needs to be finished next. To be honest, although happy I wasn’t fulfilled.
We are living in a time where only a few blessed have the company of family, and friends at the snap of their fingers. For most of us, planning a get together has to be timed precisely and executed in a manner that takes into account everyone’s commitments and busy schedules. Taking a break in the middle of the week to meet up with a loved one is not always a possibility a midst work, family, school and other responsibilities. So while I still cherish special times spent with important people in my life, I’ve learned to also be my own best friend.
Here are my suggestions of how you can start being your own best friend.
- Figure out what you like to do by yourself. It could be something like skating, blogging, reading, exercising, learning, meditating, or cooking. The key is, it has to be something you enjoy without needing a partner. I often hear complaints from people who can’t stand being alone. Many times it’s because they haven’t explored their options. Take a trip to the library and delve into books that offer endless suggestions of hobbies, how to do’s, and inspirations that will help cultivate a passion.
- Secondly, start writing. I’ll be honest although I propose journaling to many as it’s effective and therapeutic for multiple reasons, I don’t practice what I preach. However, I have always written notes to myself. I don’t mean my things to do list. I write down things like “want to take a walk today, will buy chocolate, should do a home facial, need a break, want a caramel sundae”. When you put it down on paper, a white board, a post it, your thoughts are dug out of your conscious and streamed into your outer world, making it real. This connection allows you to acknowledge the things you need, and want to do for yourself but, are not making time for.
- You don’t come second to anyone. Learn to take care of yourself. Be compassionate throughout your day. How would you respond to a best friends dilemma? I’m sure in a kind and loving way. Then why are you so hard on yourself? Learn to say “it’s ok”
- Recognize when your mind and body need a break, and take a rest. Learn how your body responds to stress and explore ways of coping. I usually get back and muscle aches under chronic stress. I’ve learned to stop doing everything extra when these signals start to appear. Otherwise it’s not long before all three components Body, Mind and Soul begin to suffocate and I find myself in a difficult space. Remember when you’re feeling good you have all the inner power you need, to tackle whatever comes your way each day.
Just like distance can make two friends grow apart, distance from yourself can cause a disconnect between your outer self which is used to the daily routines, and your inner self who wants to be taken care of. As you take these steps of getting to know what you want you will start to feel a connection with your inner world. A more kind, gentle and compassionate you will start to evolve. A cancelled date with a friend, or loved one’s busy schedule won’t effect you negatively. You will cherish spending time with yourself. Coffee breaks, spa days and shopping sprees will always feel special with or without anyone!