It’s so easy to become stuck in the belief that someone else is the source of your comfort and happiness. Anne-Sophie Reinhardt. body image expert and author, believes you can be your own partner. Read on to find out how.
Warmer weather is here for most of us– a time that screams “couples,” “togetherness,” “dating,” and pretty much anything but enjoying your very own company.
Yet, whether you’re single or in a satisfying relationship, it’s crucial to feel comfortable when you’re on your own, spending time with just yourself.
The truth is nobody can and will make you happy if you’re not at peace being on your own.
I’m speaking from painful experience. When I got married at the age of 22 after, get ready for it, six short weeks of knowing my husband, I was miserable. I hated my life, the world and, most of all, myself.
Yet, I believed that now that I had that special someone in my life, everything would change. It had to, right? After all, I was not alone anymore. So, I’d surely be living in a blissful state of sunshine, self-love and butterflies.
Three years later, I’m going through a divorce and I’ve learned my lesson. Before you can have a deep and lasting relationship with anybody, you have to accept, appreciate and love yourself first.
So, let’s take this season as an opportunity to give ourselves the gift of learning to appreciate our own company.
Have a date night with yourself. Most people think that going out to dinner alone or going to the movies by yourself is a sign of living a sad life. I strongly disagree. Taking yourself out for a date can be a very special time if you realize that you’re not alone but you’re with yourself. Remember, you’re an actual person too. So, get dressed up, choose a fancy restaurant, a fun rom-com and treat yourself as you would a date.
Sit in silence, even if it hurts. Do you have a hard time sitting in stillness because your inner voice is tormenting you? Try to do it anyway. Sit in silence for 10 minutes and then journal about your feelings if you like. The more often you choose to sit in silence and focus on your breathing or meditate, whatever you want to call it, the more comfortable you’ll feel. You’ll realize that your thoughts are just ramblings, little lies going through your mind. They can’t hurt you if you won’t let them. Place your attention on your breath over and over again and see how your entire being relaxes.
Take a trip by yourself. I love to travel on my own. It never fails to uplift me, challenge me and increase my self-efficacy. I learn something new about myself every single time, whether I travel across the pond or just around the corner from my hometown. Traveling on your own may be scary at first and you probably think that you can’t ever do it, but yes, you can. Give it a try. Jump into it with both feet and you’ll see how much fun you can have with yourself. You’ll actually get to do what you want to do, see what you want to see and pause when you want to pause. Pretty awesome, right?
Get down to the nitty gritty of being yourself. What is it you actually like? Do have any idea or have you just always done what other people told you to do? If you’re up for it, light a candle and incense and do some self-reflection. Start with easy questions like what your favorite color really is and then go into the harder ones like what you want your life to be about.
Face your reflection. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you love yourself. Say this out loud as often as you need to. This can bring up a lot of uncomfortable feelings. You may even want to have some tissues ready. This is a powerful exercise and will deepen your level of self-love and self-acceptance. Try to do it every morning and look yourself in the eyes. One day, you will end up meaning the words you’re saying.
Enjoying your company, loving the time you spend with yourself gives your life and your relationships a whole new level of intimacy and depth. The more you practice it, the deeper your relationship with yourself gets.
So, starting today, pay attention to your needs and desires by spending time with yourself.
Anne-Sophie Reinhardt is a body image expert, self-love advocate and the author of Love Your Body The Way It Is. Join her newsletter and receive your free 3-part video series helping you to break free from your obsession with food and your body.