A necessary part of searching for happiness in life is practicing self-love. Having a loved one in senior living may raise the need for additional attention and it is important to make sure they are finding their own form of self-appreciation. But, why is self-love so important for everyone?
Benefits of Self-Love
Some mistakenly believe it is a “good” thing to be hard on yourself. According to Stanford Medicine, self-compassion and self-love have a multitude of benefits.
- Empowerment: When we self-criticize, we beat ourselves into defeat and fear our competition. If we practice self-love, we can empower ourselves to learn and find inner strength!
- Resilience: In practicing self-kindness, even in the face of failure, we can teach ourselves humility and mindfulness. Truly understanding that everyone makes mistakes, and actively searching for your best outcomes can help you to become more resilient.
- Productivity: We can be more productive if we feel good about ourselves, making us more likely to tackle the day! At HarborChase, we celebrate senior living and strive to help all of our residents live their best days.
- Decreased Stress: During periods of severe self-criticism, we are producing dangerous amounts of stress. When we are patient and compassionate with ourselves, we can actually create a calm environment with decreased stress.
Other benefits of self-love include feeling optimistic, lowering the risk of anxiety and depression, and healthy behaviors. There are three main components to self-love and with older loved ones, they may need to be gently reminded of one (or all three) of these aspects.
Treat yourself! The first aspect of “treat yourself” is an inner, emotional response to your own actions and
thoughts. Even when you make a mistake, instead of being harsh, try to be patient with yourself, “It’s alright.” If a friend or family member makes an error, would you yell at them for their mistake? Often, we will reach out to a helping hand to those close to us, but when it comes to self-evaluation, we can be extremely tough on ourselves.
As we age, it can be easy to become set in our ways. This can be a difficult subject to discuss with older loved ones, so tread lightly. Being mindful is being generally curious and open to new ideas; having a child-like wonder as some may call it. Practicing mindfulness is also related to having a non-judgmental attitude. When you practice mindfulness, with self-love, it can translate into not fixating on negative events or stories about yourself.
“To err is human, to forgive divine.” - Alexander Pope
You need to remind yourself every now and then that you are human. You are going to make mistakes, and that’s okay! Accepting that you are not perfect is part of humanity. Forgiving yourself when you do make a mistake is an act of self-love. If your older loved one is the matriarch or patriarch of the family, it can be a challenge to be self-forgiving with humanity.
As long as you are patient with your older loved one, and explain to them all aspects of self-love, you can help benefit their life. Be sure to share this article with your loved one in senior living and subscribe to our blog for future tips!