Because it isn’t a one-size-fits-all journey …
Self-love and self-care
Self-love is the concept of loving yourself as you would love others. It is the practice of taking care of your mind and spirit with compassion that benefits your overall mental well being.
Self-love differs from self-care in the sense that self-love is about the internal dialogue and relationship that we have with ourselves. Self-care is nurturing our physical selves. The two often cross paths and we’ll give you a heads up when they do in this blog.
Unless you axed your social media away before everybody watched the Social Dilemma, you’ll have seen the swarms of posts about self-love routines and rituals: the bubble baths, face masks and movie nights. Which rock, don’t get us wrong, but they don’t offer the sustainability that consistent and intentional self-love habits and practices do.
The popularization of self-love isn’t a bad thing – the more people who learn to love themselves, the better – but the definitions and acts of self-love have become a bit superficial and one-size-fits-all-ish. You’ve got to find what makes you feel good, no matter what that looks like. We believe in the habits that make the foundation of who we are, and our self-love practices are essential to how we grow and heal.
If self-love sounds a little corny to you, let’s get into why it’s so important. When you treat yourself badly or even just neglect your basic needs and wants, you are setting yourself up to make poor decisions. Without having a solid foundation of love and respect for yourself, you are more susceptible to toxic relationships, negative self-talk and poor health.
Here’s how you can create a life that is led by the love you give to yourself.
Ritual and Routine
Having self-love routines and rituals plays a huge role in cementing the idea of loving yourself into your daily life. The way you start your day sets the tone for the next 9 hours or so, and that’s why a powerful place to make time for a ritual is as you wake. This ritual may look like prayer, movement, writing or meditation. It may also be in the details of what you don’t do: check your phone, regret the past or get into a state about the future.
These rituals and routines are here to keep your mind clear and your thoughts in the present and consistency comes in handy on the days it feels a little hard to love yourself.
Here’s what we had to say a few weeks ago about mastering meditation and how to develop your emotional awareness and cultivate mental clarity.
Be far kinder to your body
That means fueling your body well and more importantly, speaking to your body well.
Your body is a vessel for everything that is the mind-blowingly fantastic you. The stuff that matters: your heart, your soul, your mind and your character. All a body does is bring these things into the physical world and yet we still find ourselves using such unkind language towards ourselves when we look in the mirror. Being grateful and accepting of your physical body is a worthwhile route to take.
You may even have to fake it for a while and that’s okay because eventually, you’ll believe in what you are telling yourself. Kind things to start saying today could be:
“I respect and value my body”
“My body is full of energy and vitality”
“I nourish my body with healthy food and thoughts”
Do you see how you aren’t saying what you will or can do? You need to speak these thoughts as if they are already happening, rewiring your brain to think this way without making a huge effort to do so.
Believe in something
Before you panic, this blog isn’t about to turn into a cult recruitment advertisement.
But seriously, as humans in a material world, becoming detached from the spiritual side of life could be why so many people battle to find love for themselves. Finding solace in spiritual practice can bring an abundance of love into your life. Maybe you’re religious, maybe you choose to believe in the inherent goodness of mankind or just really believe in the power of having a huge dance party.
Having a set of beliefs and values will cement your sense of knowing yourself and ultimately, loving yourself. When we see the divine around us, it’s hard to ignore the divine within us.
Say no – and also say yes
People who love themselves respect their limits and boundaries. This means saying no when you mean no and not feeling guilty about it. When people are battling with their self-love journey, the thought of pleasing somebody else at the expense of violating yourself will seem justifiable and we’re here to tell you, it very rarely is. Say no when you feel that niggling feeling in your sternum because that’s your intuition speaking – you would be wise to listen.
In the same breath, self-love means saying a big old YES to the things you deserve. So many of us reject opportunities and experiences because deep down, we aren’t certain that we deserve them. Knowing that you are a good person at your core and that you deserve the blessings that come your way is inseparable from self-love.
Do the things you’re good at
Remind yourself at least once a week of what you’re good at – and that doesn’t mean doing what you’re paid to do or doing what you think you should be good at. Don’t spend too much time overthinking this activity because the best part? Nobody even has to know.
Take this as a rare opportunity to enjoy your talents for you and not for the pleasure or praise of other people. Sing for yourself, dance for yourself, talk with an elderly person for yourself. Acting on our strengths validates our purpose in this life. It gently reminds us that we are here for a reason and that whilst we are here we need to value, love and nurture ourselves.