we all preach self-love and self-care and hear about it all the time. but what actually is it? and where do we begin?
all my life i have been the worst at this thing called self-love. i selflessly loved other people, but i kind of always neglected myself. i only realised this when a close friend pointed it out to me. that i’m too harsh on myself. asked, when was the last time i did something for myself. that’s when the light bulb flicked on and i thought, i don’t even know how that works. if you’re thinking the same thing, or looking for ways to do yourself more good, here’s some inspo or at least a suggestion to start.
get to know yourself. life’s so busy all around us that sometimes we catch ourselves wondering who the hell we’re becoming. Become mindful of your thoughts, your needs, wants and emotions. yours! only yours! this will make you self-aware about every reaction within you and make you understand why sometimes you’re acting the way that you do. everything else seems so much more confusing when you’re already confused with yourself. there’s no way you can help yourself properly if you don’t know and understand yourself.
needs vs. wants. act on what you need more than what you want. not everything you want is what you need to put yourself in a safer situation, to stay strong, centred, focused and moving forward. i’ve learned that certain behaviour patterns can truly get you into trouble.
take better care of your basic needs. nourish yourself daily by drinking enough water, getting proper sleep, exercising and with social interactions you feel most comfortable with.
set boundaries. and don’t feel bad for them! say no to work or activities that deplete you physically or emotionally. it’s totally okay.
protect yourself. keep the right people in your life and rid yourself off those that seem toxic for your well-being. Surround yourself with people who love and encourage you.
forgive yourself. you’re harder on yourself than anybody else. when taking responsibility for your actions you tend to punish yourself instead of accepting your humanness and the fact that you can’t be perfect and no one can expect you to be. Practice being less hard on yourself when you make a mistake.
positive self-talk. Start each day by telling yourself something really positive. it doesn’t have to be towards yourself, it can just be about the great weather or the fact that it’s your day off, or something you look forward to. give yourself credit for How well you handled a situation, how you like your outfit today.
Take time to calm your mind every day. deep breaths, put your phone away when you go for a short walk, clear your mind off your thoughts and just be.
allow yourself to process past trauma and wounds. This can be a really tough one and it may be one of those times you need to turn to others for support. The truth is though, but we can learn to slowly let go of the weight we carried around with us for a long time. we deserve better and we deserve to find happiness.
your brain is mean. Don’t believe everything you think. There is an inner critic inside of us trying to keep us small and safe. The downside is all that restriction to dive into things that can benefit us.
embrace your passion. You know that thing that gets you so excited but scares you at the same time? The thing you really want to do but have convinced yourself it won’t work? You should go do that and wallow in it, simply because you like it.
start by choosing just one or two of these actions to work on, and i hope it will get better for you. The more kindness and love you have for yourself, the better prepared you are for, well, everything. at least that’s what i believe.