Strengthening your relationship with yourself can excel you in all areas of life.
Why? Because at the end of the day, you are the person you’re stuck with 24/7 – in many ways, you create your own world! If you’re feeling disconnected from yourself, it can trickle through into work, relationships and wellbeing. The many roles of dad can lead men astray from connecting to themselves. So, here’s a few tips on some ways to build a strong self-connection.
What are the signs you could benefit from a stronger sense of self identity?
You hate being alone
If you struggle to be alone, you might need to work on your relationship with yourself. ‘Me time’ is something you should look forward to.
You’re feeling unfulfilled, lost or numb.
Losing a sense of joy and passion for life might be a call for some self-work! This could look like changing careers, taking up a new hobby or finding ways to practice self-care.
If you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself, it can impact your connection with others. Knowing and liking yourself as a person allows you to be more authentically yourself in relationships too.
Six Ways to Strengthen your Relationship with Yourself:
1) Kindness is Key
No matter what is going on in your life, you can always choose kindness.
‘The kindness of a stranger, is a power unwavered.’
There is so much power in showing a stranger kindness as it is a conscious choice to be friendly or helpful when you don’t have to.
This can be through small acts such as smiles, compliments or advise. These little things could transform some one’s day by making them feel heard and seen. It could also transform your own day, because being kind to others off your own back is an amazing feeling.
Being kind to yourself involves being kind to others, but it also means forgiving yourself for things in the past. It means not beating yourself up and overworking yourself. It means looking after your health and being compassionate towards your own struggles.
2) Health First
Keeping on top of basic needs is a brilliant way to value yourself more!
You are what you eat! Making sure you are eating a balanced diet is a great way to show yourself that you care. Sounds mega simple, but not eating right will make you feel run down and tired, you don’t deserve that!
Check in with yourself to evaluate:
Have I had enough water today?
Am I eating enough fruit and veg?
Am I getting enough sleep?
Am I moving my body enough?
Listening to your body allows you to be in tune with yourself; Nourishment will give you the best chance at being content and happy.
This may seem extremely basic. And it is. But as a busy working dad these things can slip.
Our article Checking in with your Mental Fitness delves into how we can look after physical and mental health at the same time!
3) Therapy Might Lighten the Load
Talking therapy is proven way to build a relationship with yourself. Talking about things in a dedicated session just for you can help you to understand how your brain works, and why you are how you are. Because let’s be honest, we all struggle in life sometimes, but getting to the route can help you move on.
There are all different types of therapy, that can help you to move through difficult times and work on your sense of self.
Follow this link: Talking Therapy Through the NHS. Scroll down to explore the different NHS therapies available. Alternatively follow this link: How Can I Find a Therapist? To explore other options explained by Mind.
Alternatively, some people benefit from journalling their thoughts. This allows you to track your patterns, moods and get things out so you aren’t carrying them around with you. It can also benefit by allowing you set goals, track progress and reflect on thoughts.
If writing isn’t for you, creating or doing exercise are two other popular ways to let off steam in a healthy way!
4) Nature Heals
Exploring and connecting with nature allows you to feel grounded, and free from day-to-day stresses. Making yourself go out into nature (even if you feel you ‘don’t have time’ or energy) can help in several ways:
- You create a space to reflect on things. This allows your thoughts to become less jumbled.
- Nature is an escape from society, work and screens. Your mind has a chance to reset.
- Looking at patterns in nature, and moving your eyes back and forth, is proven to calm the mind. There is a type of psychotherapy called EMDR (Eye Movement and Desensitization Reprocessing) that is inspired by walking through nature. There’s a reason you feel clearer headed after a nature walk, and it’s not just the body movement and fresh air, but the eye movement too! Follow this link to read into the science behind it: The Original Natural EMDR
5) Setting Boundaries
Having boundaries with yourself and others helps you to feel empowered. This can look like:
- Practicing saying ‘no’ and putting yourself first
- Working on habits such as eating junk food
- Making time for you and avoiding work burn out
Check out our article Why Boundaries Matter to explore why this is so important!
6) Make Time for Hobbies!
Finally, hobbies! Having the confidence to try new things, and pushing yourself to do this, will build up your confidence and self-esteem. Dad life can be overwhelmed by family and work. Hobbies are your way to have that precious ‘me time’ – which is all too easy to go without when you’re busy.
Read our article The Power of Hobby to explore why hobbies are so important, and how to find new ones!
Many men lead a life of quiet desperation. Let’s do something about it.
No more Mr Nice Guy! A huge influence for our Dads In Business guest, Fidel Beauhill.
Dad life is a busy ride, and it can be easy to lose your sense of self. That’s why it’s so important to take charge of your life and feel connected to yourself through thoughts and actions. I hope these tips have been helpful and have made you think about your own self relationships. Everyone is different but trying new things can’t hurt! This world is what you make it, and you’re stuck with yourself. So, you may as well do all you can to make it pleasant and fun!