How to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself

Illustration by Nyomi Fox

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“True love finally happens when you by yourself,” Grammy award-winning pop artist Lizzo chants in “Soulmate.” “Cause I’m my own soulmate/I know how to love me.”

To be your own soulmate, to truly love yourself, it is critical to have a healthy relationship with yourself. Positive habits with yourself are the key to forming strong and stable relationships with other people.
As a person who gets caught up in her thoughts very easily, I think it is important to form habits that reap positive benefits.

A basic activity that I do to make myself feel better is listening to my favorite music. There is something so powerful about music’s impact on a person’s life. I love a mix of classic rock and pop to bring up my mood and distract me from whatever negative thoughts I was having. Finding the balance between taking care of yourself and others is critical to maintaining strong relationships.

To maintain good habits, there are apps that track your moods and habits, like Plant Nanny and FitBit, as well as the health app on your smartphone. Negative and unhealthy habits can be made very easily, so it is important to be on the lookout for these habits and get out of those routines. Negative self-talk is one of the most popular and easy destructive habits to fall into. This can be as simple as thinking,
“Why aren’t I good enough?” or “I’m a failure.” It is crucial to learn from these mistakes, and turn them on their heads and think positively, such as: “I tried my best,” and “next time, I’ll study harder.”

Another bad habit to be weary of is too much isolation. Spending time with friends is beneficial to your mental health, and physical interaction with others is an important aspect of your life that should be maintained. When I am isolated for too long, I become caught in my thoughts and it tends to lead to a negative thought spiral.

In order to maintain the balance, I reward myself for positive habits. When I have been responsible and taking care of myself, I may treat myself to lunch or cook my favorite meal. The same thing goes for when I’m feeling down. Sometimes the best way to bring yourself up is to do things that make you happy. I like to play with my dog and and write out what I’m feeling and thinking to get it off of my chest. Additionally, seeking help is a very healthy thing to do. Speaking to an adult figure in your life can be very beneficial and help other people understand what you are going through. If there is not an adult in your life that you are comfortable talking to, there is a variety of websites and hotlines you can contact, including the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which has both a number you could call and an online chat service. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has a variety of helplines on their website at nami.org. Take a deep breath. It is okay to take a break from something that is stressing you out. Life is hard and living with yourself all the time can be even harder, but if you focus on maintaining healthy habits, you can love yourself even more.

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