It can be hard to accept ourselves and not be overly critical. Too often we judge ourselves by higher standards than others. We need to learn to love ourselves. While at first this might seem unrealistic, are there any other choices. If you don’t love yourself how could you love others, how could you give more to others than you can give to yourself. Surely you deserve respect and a little self-acceptance. After all there are some things we just can’t change no matter how much we might want too.

As we look around we can see that everyone has things that they are good at and things that they need to work on. Yet somehow we don’t see out good bits for looking so long at the bad. So celebrate those things that you are good at no matter how big or small. Try making a list of the 10 things that you are best at that is only considering your skills which 10 things are you best at.

It’s easy to get caught up in the opinions of others, especially if they are loved ones.  Surely though if you know your thoughts and opinions on a subject better that anyone else. It seems that self-confidence is that next bit which is to say to yourself I hear others opinions, but I know myself better and I am going to believe in myself – even if I end up wrong. I once watch my children making mud pies in the garden, they had handfuls of mud and they piled it up hitting it with a toy spade splattering their clothes. But to see the joy on their faces while doing it, how free do you have to be to just be in that moment; forget what mum and dad might say and just laugh at the squishy mud.

So let us look at how you look after the most important person in your life – you.

There are the basics which are the obvious, eating healthily, looking after yourself and your clothes. Remember how powerful a nice set of clothes can make you feel.

You need to look after your physical health, so a little light exercise, some people swim or walk, run if you can or perhaps you prefer something gentle like yoga. Finding something that suits you is the key to keeping it going.

Many of us neglect the last and potentially most important item, your emotional health. In part this is about listening carefully to what you want, perhaps it’s something simple, like a bath on a Friday night with a glass of wine or perhaps it’s more difficult to arrange like a holiday.  The point is that you need to make time for it in your life to keep yourself healthy. Of course practical matters come into it but keep doing things for yourself in the way that you would do for anyone you loved.

Practice all of these regularly; some of this can be difficult so you may want to do it with a friend you trust or with a counsellor. In time you will start to feel better about yourself, believe in yourself and as you spend time with yourself  perhaps you will re-learn how to build mud pies.