By Melissa Lafrance on July 6, 2016
We hear a lot about relationships. There are love/romantic relationships, partnerships, work/colleague relationships, friendships and even ships that have sailed. In service of all these outside relationships, we often overlook or even neglect our most important relationship: our relationship with our own selves, or our self-relationship.
When we think about relationships, we often think about the ways in which we are connected and linked with another person. Our minds don’t often go right to our self-relationship. Having a healthy self-relationship can have an immense impact on our frame of mind, which influences our interactions, emotions, experiences and outcomes, and challenges can arise as a result.
Here are just a few things to keep in mind to improve your self-relationship:
Care for your basic physical and mental needs
Start by getting enough good quality sleep, which is absolutely essential to good health, effective functioning, and safety. Eight hours of sleep a night is optimum for healthy adults. Read more about sleep.
We all have priorities in our lives, and it can sometimes seem that there is no time for taking care of ourselves beyond our basic needs. However, a balance is needed in all areas of our lives to build resilience. Caring for yourself involves intentional actions and effort to take care of our own physical, mental, and emotional health. What self-care looks like varies from person to person, but can be in the form of enjoying a bath, cooking, listening to music or podcasts, meditating, travel, exercising, or simply taking a five-minute breathing break in a quiet room to refocus. Check out more ideas for self-care.
Practice love and kindness towards yourself and others
This can take on many forms, and let’s face it, our world needs some love and kindness. Consider practicing loving-kindness meditation, which focuses on developing feelings of goodwill, kindness and warmth towards yourself as well as others. Download free audio recordings of guided meditations. Select the Loving Kindness Meditation link and go through the practice. You can choose yourself as the medication’s focus.
Reflect and be aware of your thoughts, feelings and emotions
On a regular basis, ask yourself “what am I feeling?” and “what am I thinking?” Be curious as to why you are reacting a certain way or why certain things mean so much to you. Keep a journal and write down your thoughts, feelings and emotions. This can help you become more self-aware.
Work towards positive mental health
Positive mental health is a state of being in which social, emotional, and spiritual factors intersect to create a high level of functioning. Positive mental health can coexist alongside mental illness. Find out more about positive mental health.
Thrive is a UBC-specific initiative focused on building positive mental health for students, staff, and faculty and reducing stigma. Thrive week occurs each year during the first week of November and involves a variety of awareness building and knowledge sharing events. Learn more about Thrive.
Take a moment to look in the mirror and speak positive and uplifting words to yourself. Continue speaking these affirmations to yourself every day, and you will bolster your self-confidence and self-acceptance. Check out these 35 affirmations you can say to yourself or write on post it notes.
Ask for help and seek out resources
Many supportive resources are available for UBC staff and faculty. Check out this month’s Benefit Spotlight on healthy relationships to learn about resources you can access through the UBC Employee and Family Assistance Program.
The following resources are available:
- Employee and Family Assistance Program
- Thrive at UBC
- Mental Health Resources at UBC (including available workshops/trainings)
- Learn to Meditate 3-part Series (July 11, 18, 25)
- Mindfulness and Meditation at UBC
- Making the connection: tactics for a healthy mind and body
- Getting involved in summer activities with colleagues
- 6 ways you can have a healthy relationship with yourself