What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear this?
To me, self-love means to truly love yourself, with all your imperfections. When you accept, appreciate and love the way you look, how you act and how you think. You love yourself even when you’re mad at yourself because you accidentally wrote two articles about a similar topic and have to start all over again. You accept that, have a quick laugh about it, start from scratch and don’t think thoughts like “you’re stupid, how could you’ve done that?!” True story. At least now I’ll have two articles. But how do you get to that stage of being wholeheartedly comfortable with yourself? It’s a process and it takes time. And when you think you’re already there, you find that there’s still so much to learn. It can be hard, but it’s also so rewarding. I’m not sure if I really believe in “if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love anybody else”, but loving yourself makes you a happier person and happier people have more love to give!
For me, the whole thing about self-love is that you love spending time with yourself. It’s not enough to love spending time alone while watching TV or reading a book. You have to go deeper than that. Do you like yourself when you’re not motivated and feeling kinda out of place? I was like that in January and let me tell you that the first month of the year was tough. It can be so hard to accept and give yourself time to just be and not do anything productive. I struggled with it. Feelings of guilt and that I’m not good enough creeped into my mind. Thinking those thoughts can only make you feel worse and actually realizing those emotions at that time was the best thing I could do to feel better. What about when you put on weight or when you’re angry and are having a heated argument with someone? Do you still love yourself in those moments? It’s a process to really and truly accept and love the whole that is your being.
I think it’s important to acknowledge that it all starts in your mind. Negative thoughts can have such a negative effect and there’s really no room for them. It’s easy for me to write this because I’m naturally a positive person, but trying to change the negative thoughts to positive ones can make such a difference. Simply reminding yourself: “it’s okay, everything is okay”. It’s okay to feel anxious and not good enough. Recognizing negative thoughts is half the work. Know that not being a positive person is okay too. Think about what you would say to your loved one if they were feeling uninspired and down. I’m sure you would be encouraging and kind, so be the same to yourself. It’s hard but not impossible. I really like self-loving affirmations, inspiring quotes and even listening to these kinds of videos on YouTube. You could also say them to yourself. I’m sure we’ve all seen it in a movie before; someone standing in front of a mirror saying to themselves “I’m beautiful. I’m worthy. I’m proud of myself”. It’s so easy to believe negative things that someone is saying about you but did you ever think that positive things you say about yourself can also be the truth?
A big part of mastering the art of self-love is taking care of yourself, of your physical and emotional body. Doing things that really make us happy and fulfilled is the way to go. For me, it’s going for a walk to enjoy nature, doing yoga, having a home spa evening, watching a TV show, meditating, or reading. I don’t think we should worry about being perfect, no one is. Simply start practicing self-loving thoughts and incorporate self-care acts & practices into your life. Show yourself some LOVE, we all deserve it.