How many times have you looked in the mirror and told yourself “Today, I will make time for myself” and then just like that, the whole day is over. You go back to the same mirror and tell yourself “Tomorrow…I will make time for myself” and the loop repeats itself day in and day out. I was in that loop till I broke myself out of it. How was I able to do that? I realized that loving myself is as important as loving my children, my family and my career. So, this is my story of how I started to keep some love aside for myself and I am sharing some tips on how you can do it too.

How I Broke My Loop

Most stories involve someone bringing some very important fact in your life into the light and mine is no different. Surprisingly enough this came from my eight-year-old daughter who was six at the time because kids say the darndest things!

I have a Bachelors Degree in Dentistry and I was trying to establish myself in that career. I was busy giving exams; working as a dental assistant to gain experience along with being a mom, a caretaker of the house, maintaining a social life, being a friend and so on. Undoubtedly, I was tired, irritable and angry because I felt that even the 24 hours in a day were less.

One day, while putting my older daughter to bed, we had this conversation.

Daughter: Mom, you look tired

Me: Yes, I am sweetie

Daughter: Why don’t you rest?

Me: I do, in the night when I am going to bed.

Daughter: (thinks for a bit) Are you happy?

Me: surprised at the question.

Daughter: Mommy, are you happy?

Me: I’m not sure… I have you, your sister and your dad…that makes me happy

Daughter: I think you are also angry most of the time.

Me: (realization strikes in) …I think I get angry because I get tired.

Daughter: (looks at me) then do you have to be tired, always? I wish you were not tired.

Me: No, I don’t always have to be tired…now go to sleep.

Daughter: Okay mommy, I love you.

Me: I love you (**and thank you**)

Writing about this conversation still gives me the goosebumps. If my daughter hadn’t asked me that question, I can assure you that I would have been in a loop where I was not achieving anything in my life. I was tirelessly trying to get back into something that I realized had closed its door on me and I was standing outside it, knocking…waiting to be let in.

Funny, how it took my daughter to “zap” me into the present moment. I soon realized that I was not happy. My Masters is in Psychology, which I knew within my heart that is what I wanted to pursue again.

That night I sat down with my husband and told him about this conversation. He reiterated the same fact: You don’t look happy. I, obviously gave him “the look” and asked him as to why he did not tell me this before. He said “I had but you were not listening.” Had I stopped listening to what my daughters and what my husband were trying to tell me because I was trying to fulfill A DREAM? WHOSE DREAM WAS THIS ANYWAY?

This question was very critical to my understanding of the concept of SELF LOVE. This dream of becoming a DENTIST was my parents. It was not a career that I had chosen for myself and now I was completing their dream to see them happy, not myself.

From that night onwards, I made a vow to do what I deemed fit right for me because my happiness was invariably tied with the happiness of my family. And the only way I can be happy is if I gave time to understand myself and love myself. And so, began the journey of how I changed myself and I am here to pass that same wisdom on to you.

Take The Time to Self-Reflect

After this interesting conversation with my child, I sat down with a journal and started the process of self-reflection.

Self-Reflection is the best way for you to ask yourself the most pertinent questions in life:

Who am I in life?

What makes “me”?

What is my purpose in life?

When am I going to take time for myself?

Why am I self-reflecting? Why was the need ‘now’?

Answering these simple yet tough questions will help you start the process of understanding yourself more and what your soul needs to feel fulfilled. This takes time, so do not rush yourself and go through the emotions you feel.

Make “Me” Time

This is so important to do when you keep love aside for yourself. You need to make time for yourself to do things you love; to feel rejuvenated and again to fill the glass of that soul to make you happy. Give yourself half an hour in the seven days of the week that we have, to do these things. If you keep telling yourself that “I don’t have time” then I need to remind you that all of those seven days have 24 hours in them. So, take half an hour to do something for yourself.

Maintain a Gratitude Journal

I have started this as a mandatory part of my life. We all forget to be thankful for all of the things we have in life. This journal is specifically for you to write things that you were grateful in the day. It allows you to bring positivity back in your life which is crucial to loving yourself. If there is no positivity, then you are in a loop with negative thoughts most of the day.

This journal gives you something to go back to when you are in a negative space – to remind you that you have a lot to be grateful for.

Positive Affirmations

In order to love yourself, you need to tell yourself positive things about yourself and this where the part on self-reflection comes handy. If you know who you are through that process, then to begin your day with a positive note on self will not be hard.

I start my day with “I am complete with what I have and I will make it a great day today” This allows my mind to recapitulate the word COMPLETE and ingrains it in my mind so that I feel happy. This phrase came out from my own personal reflection. Yours could look different.

Don’t Live Other People’s Dreams

This one point is very personal to me. I feel that for the majority of my life I was fulfilling my parents dream. I was living up to their expectations of where they wanted to see me that I lost myself along the way.

When you start to lose yourself, you will see a lot of negative traits come within you (which I chose to ignore). If you know what you want in life, your purpose, then you will not lose sight of your dreams and goals.

Loving yourself means following your own aspirations. As a mental health professional, I did hear many people say that it is not possible to do something like that when you are working full time. My suggestion to them was start small. If you know what you want to do and to see if the concept works, then start with small, achievable goals in life.

I am not going to give you an exhaustive list to start loving yourself because I believe in practical advice.

Megha Mathur is a trained Mental Health Professional and a Life Coach. She has her own website where she often blogs. Megha is trained in anxiety and depression disorders and in her spare time loves to do art work. She posts regular uplifting and positive messages on Twitter at and also has a Facebook Page which she is still currently working on.




Image courtesy of Mohamed Nohassi.