I believe that a lot of our suffering and a sense of unfulfillment both come from not loving ourselves enough. We are so hard on ourselves. We often relentlessly push ourselves toward our goals, and wonder why we are exhausted. Most of us treat ourselves how our parents treated us when we were young. If you learned that you were a burden or not good enough in childhood, you are likely treating yourself the same way today.

Before you go to bed, you might run through your list of things to do the next day. You might review your daily tasks and accomplishments. But how often do you think about how well you have taken care of yourself that day? Ask yourself right now: Have I loved myself today? You are so good at loving everyone else, but have you loved yourself?

On a flight, in case of emergency, we are told to put on our own oxygen mask first. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will be unable to take care of others.

Have you loved yourself today? Find a way to invest in yourself. What do you need to feel happy loved and emotional safe?

What does love look like?

Setting boundaries with others.

Getting enough sleep.

Taking a break.

Giving yourself permission to make mistakes.

Taking a long bubble bath.

Having a spa day.

Looking at yourself in the mirror and liking what you see.

Just be aware that a lot of us have negative self-talk. We are hard on ourselves about the things we didn’t do. Try shifting your focus to all the things you accomplish, and everything you do. Pat yourself on the back. Love yourself for who you are, right now, with whatever imperfections you might have.

Remember, before going to sleep at night, ask:

Did I love myself today?

If the answer is no, make a plan to love yourself tomorrow. Write it down next to your bed so you see it when you wake up. Taking care of yourself is the first step in feeling at ease, happy and truly being able to give love to others.