The most valuable relationship you have is the one with yourself, so recognising the ways you can nurture it is vital. Here are seven arms of self-love that come together to create a wholesome, and well-rounded, connection with that person who’s been from day dot: you

1. Self-awareness

Getting to know yourself, your needs and values, as well as what you want to work on, can be a rejuvenating experience. A great way to explore this is through journaling, or by having in-depth discussions with people you trust about how they see you – is there anything you can learn by changing your perspective?

2. Self-expression

This is all about tuning-in to your thoughts and emotions, and finding an outlet for them. This could be through a creative pursuit, such as writing or painting, or speaking up and giving your feelings a voice.

3. Self-care

We all know the phrase: ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup.’ And this is what self-care is – replenishing your own emotional, physical, and mental energy reserves before you can keep supporting others. It’s taking time (whether a brief moment, or a few hours) to do something for yourself, whether it’s 10 minutes to meditate, having a call with a loved one, or an early night. Find what works for you, and refill your cup.

4. Self-trust

Know your own mind. You don’t need to pretend to like something to impress others or fit in with the crowd. And if something doesn’t feel right to you – whether it’s a relationship that could be turning toxic, or a job that doesn’t feel fulfilling – trust your gut, it’s probably trying to tell you something that you need to look into further.

5. Self-compassion

Adele has the right idea about this one: “Go easy on me.” Tell yourself this whenever that inner critic crops up, or you’re too tough on yourself.Forgive yourself when you aren’t perfect, and let mistakes become lessons. You’re doing the best you can, and that’s more than enough.

6. Self-respect

Consider and enforce your personal boundaries. These are the rules that express your own needs and values, to yourself and others. Do you want to go screen-free on Sundays, or not respond to work emails out of hours? The important thing to remember is that for boundaries to be followed, you can’t just express them to others and hope they stick. You have to be firm with them, too.

7. Self-acceptance

Feel at peace with who you are by practising gratitude each day. You could work on an affirmation you repeat in the mirror, to serve as a reminder of your unique values and qualities. When you can reach this place of accepting yourself as you truly are, you give yourself the permission to show up and live authentically. And believe me, you deserve that freedom.

To connect with a life coach, or to learn more about self-love, visit Life Coach Directory.