Many consider February to be “the month of love.” We often see pink hearts, chocolates, and romance shooting at us like cupid’s arrow. It’s important to shed light on another kind of love. “Self-Love” is something that many put on the back burner but should be exercised often. No matter the day, month or year.
How many times have you said that you’re too busy to incorporate self-love? There isn’t enough time in the day, your workday is long, the kids and your husband need to come first, the dishes are piling up and the laundry needs to be folded. Do you mention any of these common reasons?
Maybe you have a laundry list of your own. Even though life is busy, it’s still important to incorporate self-love. It’s also important to remind yourself that making self-love a priority is not a selfish act. If anything, when you exercise self-love, not only will you benefit, but those in your life will benefit as well.
Self-love is a positive regard for your own happiness and well-being.
This type of love leads to increased strength and responsibility, mindfulness, increased productivity, increased self-compassion and decreased stress. Studies have shown that when you practice self-love, you are more likely to engage in activities and a lifestyle that contributes to better nutrition, physical fitness and overall improved health.
When thinking about self-love, two examples spoke volumes to me. Especially during a time in my life when I was lacking a great deal of self-love and placing everyone else before me. The first is the “airplane instruction” example. When traveling on an airplane, we are taught to place and secure our mask before assisting and caring for others. When I first gave this thought some more detail and depth, I immediately thought it was selfish. Then I began to understand the concept more and definitely now see how much it relates to self-love. Our journey can be quite the education tool and reminder.
The second example is the “you cannot pour from an empty cup” concept. In relationships and life, women especially find themselves burnt out and exhausted because of constant care and responsibility to others. It’s important to constantly ask yourself, “How full is my cup?” If you’re feeling depleted and burnt out, it’s time to add some self-care and love. Doing so consistently will help to keep your cup full and help you maintain better health and happiness.
It’s important to remember to treat yourself with the same love and compassion that you would show to someone you’re in love with. The more you care for yourself, the better equipped you will be to give back to and empower others. The more you give, the more you will receive in return.
Self-love and self-care are much of the same. Below are some tips that may help you incorporate self-love in your own life. I encourage you to try to incorporate at least one act every day. In time, it will become more natural and you will reap the many benefits. Remember, this may be the month of LOVE, but self-love is something to exercise and embrace all of the time. You don’t need a large budget or a lot of time. Keep it simple, gentle, and see what works for your own unique, beautiful self.
Tips for Practicing Self-Love:
- Practice Gratitude: A daily gratitude journal is a great way to express those things you are grateful for.
- Self-Acceptance: No matter where you are on your journey, it’s important to tell yourself, “I am enough.” There is nobody like you and that’s what makes you so special.
- Take Time to Be Alone: Being alone with yourself is important when exercising self-love. Take a relaxing bath, go for a walk by yourself or curl up and read a good book.
- Make A List of the Things You Love About Yourself: Too often, the self-sabotaging critic is running crazy in our minds. Whether it’s the critic or the “business” that keeps us from forgetting, take time often (or daily) to read your list.
- Accountability and Support: Exercising self-love can take some work. Especially in the beginning. Creating a support-system you trust or finding an accountability partner could be very beneficial.
- Find the Joy in Today: Instead of rehashing or reliving anger and shame from the past, focus on the joys of the present.
- Allow Yourself to Dream Big: Is there something you’ve always wanted to do? Now is a great time to explore without placing limiting beliefs and judgement on yourself.
- Find Those Things That Inspire You: Passion, purpose and inspiration are big components of life. What ignites your spark? What things can you do to feel inspired?
- Nourishment and Movement: Fueling your body with foods that nurture you will not only help you feel better but will empower you to take care of YOU! The same goes for movement. It doesn’t have to be rigorous exercise. Find what you like and maybe try something new.
- Celebrate Your Success: No matter how big or small your accomplishments are, celebrate them!
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