photo-1455642305367-68834a1da7abFind out what it means to you.

In the spirit of love, last month we posted an article called, Love Actually. The short piece discussed the various kinds of love, and the importance of self-love. Yet, if you or someone you care about struggles with depression, anxiety or another mental illness, you know that self-love is not so easy. By the nature of certain mental disorders, and the impact they have on one’s self-judgment and self-perception, self-love can be a work-in-progress.

For this reason, we felt inclined to share a mantra for boosting self-love, borrowed from the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skill book. DBT is a skill-based therapy that focuses on accepting oneself, and at the same time, making changes to areas of our lives that don’t serve us and cause suffering. This self-love tool follows the acronym, FAST.

  • Fair. Be fair and avoid harshly judging yourself. Ask yourself, “Do I hold a different standard for myself than I do for others?” Find acceptance around the things that cannot change and instead focus your time and energy on the things that can change.
  • Apologies. Only make apologies when you’re in the wrong and do your best to correct the situation. Apologize once and move forward. Never make apologies for asserting yourself, being alive, having an opinion, disagreeing with someone or for your feelings.
  • Stick to your values. Know what you stand for and don’t compromise those ethical, moral and personal principles you believe.
  • Truth. Be truthful to yourself and others. Assess people and situations based on the facts presented. Avoid over exaggerating problems and falling into a position of helplessness. You are smarter and stronger than you think.

photo-1446160657592-4782fb76fb99We all deserve the right to live happy, healthy and productive lives. Lives in which we feel good about ourselves most of the time, if not all of the time. Yet, if the expectation is to achieve this solely through other people, from a job/school performance or external situation, disappointment is likely. Self-love is not a gift to be given from the outside, for a lot of us it is real work, hard work, and work that happens from the inside out.

For more information on DBT, click here.