I have always loved this Diane Von Furstenburg quote. It implies the kind of self-love and self-care that as a young woman I imagined made the women I looked up to so confident and comfortable in their own skin. It was something I aspired to and over the last 5 to 10 years, it has been something I’ve consciously worked on.
Today, I am comfortable in saying that I am in fact my own best friend, but trust me, it has been a journey to get here. There is no quick fix and no set course of action as everyone is different, but I want to share some of the things that helped me. So that if being your own best friend is something you want for your self you can try what resonates with you.
Showing up for myself.
For me, the most important decision was to “show up for myself”. Because that’s what a best friend does, right? They are there for you, to help, to listen, to laugh and cry with or just sit in silence and hold your hand in support. They are there. Showing up for yourself looks different for everyone because what we need to feel safe and loved and valued is different for everyone.
Keeping my promises to myself.
Trust, is one of my core values. And keeping my promises to myself has helped me to learn to trust myself. I know that I can depend on me to do the things that are necessary for me to be healthy and happy.
Spending quality time with me.
This might be obvious, but I got very comfortable with my own company. I’ve found a number of different ways to spend quality time by myself. My 15-minute meditation in the mornings, lazy Sunday afternoons curled up on the couch with a good book, a trip to a different city for a day of shopping, a spa day. It doesn’t have to be hours or even days, just as long as I’m consciously taking time set aside for me and my needs.
Protecting my mental space.
This is a big one. I take this very seriously. I avoid negative vibes, people and spaces. I keep contact with gossips and people who thrive on drama at a minimum. And that includes family members. I’m not sorry. I strive to keep my media input as balanced as possible. I don’t watch the news. Instead, I scan the headlines about twice a week just so that I know what’s going on in the world. If something catches my interest, I’ll take a closer look. Same goes for my social media. I only follow people who inspire me or motivate me. If I get a bad vibe off someone, the unfollow button is only a click away.
Following my intuition.
Following my intuition is comparable to listening to my best friend’s advice. It also comes back to trusting myself. It also confirms within me that I value my voice and that my feelings and opinions are heard. It was hard at first. Our mental chatter can be so filled with stuff that isn’t even ours. Eventually, I learned to hear the difference between the voice of fear & outside expectations and my own intuition. My life flows so much easier now.
Making my needs a priority.
You cannot pour from an empty cup. It took me being overworked and nearly burnt out to get this one. Putting my own needs on equal footing with those of the people around me sends a message to both myself and others, that I matter too.
Taking care of my self.
Self-care is such a buzz term lately. It is no panacea, but it is vital. The kind of self-care I’m talking about is more than slapping on an expensive cream at night and doing a face mask on the weekends. It’s a much more holistic approach to take care of myself both mentally and physically. But that is a whole other blog post that is coming up soon.
Celebrating my wins.
I celebrate my wins, achieved goals, milestones, blessings all of it. That’s what best friends do too. They stand in your corner cheering you on. Shouting “Whoohhh! You go girl!” and “Yasss! Get it, mama!” I reward myself with a little gift, a mental pat on the back and a “Well done, Shan.”
So, at the end of all that I suppose the question is: Is my life easier, now that I’m my own best friend? The answer is “Yes, 100% yes.” I am calmer, happier and more confident for sure. My life feels less chaotic and flows more easily, naturally. Of course, there are ups and downs and I have days where I don’t feel upbeat or particularly positive, but because I’m kinder to myself nowadays, my response to these things is more level. I don’t beat my self up about things. I react more intuitively. And because I listen to and trust my intuition more, it always feels right. Sometimes I simply sit with what I’m feeling, other times I’m more in problem-solving / action mode. It depends. It’s still a work in progress, but the feeling is awesome.