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Column: Be sure to treat yourself right

Rhea Jones' monthly column Dear Mom and Dad
Rhea Jones 030 copyA

We put significant time and energy into our relationships with other people so why don’t we put any effort towards the most important relationship of all: the one with ourselves? It’s time we change this and start prioritizing self-love and discovery.

We live in a world of relentless stimulation where we are constantly connected to everyone else via the Internet. Even when waiting in line or before we go to sleep, most people are on their phones. As a result, there is very little time for mindfulness, causing individuals to feel very uncomfortable when they are alone.

Since many people are very busy and have multiple things on the go, it can be hard to incorporate mindfulness in their everyday lives. However, a good way to ensure you carve out some essential “you-time” is to take yourself on a date.

Yes, I truly mean go on a date with yourself. Take yourself out for dinner, go to the movies, or even just sit down for coffee alone. While it might feel awkward at first, the more you get to know yourself, the more comfortable it will feel going out alone.

Treat this as a real date and treat yourself how you would like others to treat you. For example, don’t go on your phone because first of all, that would be rude, but secondly, it means you won’t truly be alone since you are still virtually connected.

Doing this will allow you to fall in love with yourself and learn your self-worth. At any point in our lives, we can always develop and grow which makes this an important thing to do for everybody at any age.

Throughout all middle school and even a significant amount of time in high school, I was unsure of who I truly was and felt the need to act, talk, and dress like everyone else just to fit in.

It wasn’t until the summer going into Grade 11, when I started spending time alone, that I finally realized how cool my authentic self is. Since it was the summer and I had an abundance of time, I started taking myself on a date once a week. Sometimes out for dinner or a hike but most of the time it was as simple as going for coffee at my favourite coffee shop Tribal Connection Market. Spending this time alone changed my life. I became so much more confident in myself and now feel able to talk, dress and act freely. While I still have plenty of learning to do, spending time alone has helped me love and trust myself so much more.

If going out alone isn’t your thing that is understandable.

However, it’s important to find a hobby or activity that allows you to enjoy the company of yourself. Even if that just means you unplug from your phone or computer for a little while. Regardless of what you choose to do, make sure you create some time solely for yourself.

Every person is unique and special, so take the time to discover your beautiful and authentic self.

Rhea Jones is a French immersion student at Foothills Composite High School who loves to write and share her ideas. Her goal with her column Dear Mom and Dad is to encourage youth to read and participate with the Western Wheel.