Self-love is a broad term which is more than often thrown around nonchalantly. Over the years, I feel that this concept has become synonymous with the mainstream directives of “self-care”- swept up by an image of hot bath in a jacuzzi with a glass of wine, face-replenishing masks, Mani-Pedi’s and spending the entire day in your pajamas’.
I wonder if all of these activities are acts of self-love? And more than once, the answer screams out loudly in my head: “Hell yessssssss!” I’m all for ‘em! Especially the pajama ones!
These are elements of self-love, and yes, I’m quite well-aware that “meaningful self-love” is much deeper than that. It is not simply a state of feeling good but a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support one’s physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic and it includes the less appealing ways you show up for yourself, certain acts that require internalization, especially certain minute steps that one may not even realize how impactful they are, acts that one must monitor and focus closely.
I strongly believe that if you practice these three things, your relationship with yourself, your body and your life will significantly improve over time:
- Monitor the way you talk to yourself and your body.
This is something I talk about frequently, because it’s imperative to be mindful about even the small things that we tell ourselves. Sometimes we, unconsciously, in a state of constant annoyance, find ourselves saying, “That was so silly of me!” or “Oh God, I am stupid”. Being aware of your thoughts, particularly the ones directed at yourself and your body is the first step. It’s nearly impossible to love yourself when you’re judging and bashing yourself throughout the day. So, forget about that voice in your head that says you need to be perfect. Make mistakes — lots of them! The lessons you’ll gain are priceless.
- Carve out intentional time to be with yourself daily.
Take it from a recovering productivity addict, this one is huge. It is so easy to just go on… and then when we’re not going in the direction you desire to go. Numb out. Taking time each day to be present with yourself and allowing yourself to understand your needs, allows you to tune into the act of self-love. You will accept and love yourself more, no matter what is happening in your life.
- Keep the promises you make to yourself
Ohhh, this is a big one! And honestly, it’s the one that was the hardest for me to actually implement. I JUST started doing it myself. When we commit to do something and then back out, it results in shame which hurts our self-worth and self-esteem. Trust yourself and show up for yourself. Because no one else will. Truth is that you can’t have love without trust!
In conclusion, all I would like to add is that there are numerous websites, articles and blogs giving you tips on how to take care of yourself, but the reason I decided to jot this is to remind us all that self-love may not happen overnight. It is my personal experience that I shared with you all in the hope that the story of my journey will help you and encourage you all to not give up. Give it time and it will settle itself into your heart!
Yes, you may struggle, but you’ll look back on these moments and see how they were the stepping stones on your journey to being the best you.