First of all, what is holding space for yourself? It’s the same as holding space for others. It’s treating yourself with care, consideration, kindness, compassion, and allowing yourself to fully feel and acknowledge your feelings. Most people would agree that they’re good at being there for others, but wouldn’t say they’re good at being there for themselves. You can’t pour from an empty cup just as you can’t be present for others if you can’t be present for yourself.
When you’re kind and present with yourself, you impact the lives of others by being more responsive, empathetic, compassionate, and balanced. I’ll go over 5 ways to hold space for yourself.
1. BEING ABLE TO SAY NO
I made this the first one for a reason as it’s important to set boundaries. I was always the ‘yes friend’. Whenever a friend wanted something, I’d be there for them, often putting my own needs to the side. I’d get burnt out and my resentment towards them would seep in because I’d expected them to be there for me the same way I was there for them. The truth is, though, no one - not even the universe - will show up for you if YOU don’t show up for YOU. When you say ‘no’ to others, you’re saying ‘yes’ to yourself. You show yourself that you are important and valuable and you show others how to treat you.
2. BE AUTHENTIC TO YOURSELF
Self-acceptance is important. Accept every part of who you are - the bad, the good, the ugly, and the quirks. If you deny your true self and try to be like everyone else, you rob the world of your unique and special talents and any contribution to the world that YOU, and only you, can make. Love yourself because there is only one of YOU. The more you love yourself, the more you will value your own needs and protect your energy and peace.
3. DEVELOP A SELF-CARE ROUTINE
Take at least an hour to yourself a day. My self-care routine consists of taking a ‘spiritual bath’ with bath salts, oils, and candles. I also meditate every night before falling asleep. You can also read a book, do art, be creative; do something that you truly enjoy. This gives you a chance to refuel, charge up your energy centers, and it will improve your abilities to be there for others.
4. BEING ABLE TO ASK FOR HELP
Whether it’s emotional or spiritual support, it’s important to know your limits and to know when you need support. Knowing your limits and knowing when you need support will make your ability to be there for yourself grounded and deeper.
5. BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF
Often, we are our own worst critic. We’re more supportive and understanding towards others than we are of ourselves. We need to be more gentle with ourselves. Have the same compassion for yourself as you do for others. Everyone is different and you’re not going to move or be like the person next to you. You can’t compare yourself to others because we each have our own journey, our own lessons, and different experiences.
Just as you can’t master holding space for others overnight, know that holding space for yourself will also take time. Just remember to be gentle with yourself! Unconditional self-love is just as important as love for others.
Love + Light,