A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO THE ART OF SELF-LOVE (PLUS 8 TIPS TO IMPLEMENT)
Self-love… We’ve all heard about it and we know we should be more mindful to actively engage in self-love but, and I know I am not alone in saying this, but self-love can certainly prove to be difficult.
Instagram is a haven for self-love hashtags and guides by influencers who are sometimes trying to help but for the most part, are just trying to sell their next batch of detox tea.
So where do you start? What even is self-love? This simple term sounds so easy but it can be one of the most difficult things to master.
Instead of jumping straight into some ideas on how to practice self-love, let’s start right at the beginning.
What is self-love?
Self-love is exactly what it sounds like, it’s all about loving yourself. But we don’t mean in the sense of indulging in that fourth brownie because “self-love and I deserve it”. I mean, you may deserve it but we’re getting off-topic.
Self-love is neither a synonym for self-obsession and vanity or the idea of being overly generous and self-sacrificing. Self-love is putting your happiness and needs above anything else and focusing on living a life that is authentically yours.
Self-love is truly about:
- Embarking on a journey that is a little messy, unpredictable but authentic
- Embracing uncertainty
- Understanding your voice, the honesty of your stories and the magnificence of your being
- Removing the things that hinder your speech or the hesitance in your voice when communicating your absolute truth
- No longer confiding to the self-imposed beliefs and ideas that you have created about who you should be
Once you relieve yourself of the picture-perfect you and begin embracing who you are and start living a life you’re in love and obsessed with, that’s when you step into your innate power and truly find self-love.
Why is self-love so important?
Self-love can seem blown up or something isn’t of great importance but it truly is. Self-love motivates you to make healthy choices in life and live a life that you both love and are proud of.
When you hold yourself in high esteem, you’re more likely to choose things that nurture your well-being and feed your soul. These things may be in the form of eating healthy, exercising, doing things you love or having healthy relationships. Whatever it is, self-love is about finding your happiness in everything you do and surrounding yourself with people who support that.
Most of the time, when we’re being too hard on ourselves, we do it because we’re driven by a desire to excel and do everything right, all the time. This entails a lot of self-criticisms, and that nasty inner voice that constantly tells us how we could’ve done things better is a hallmark of perfectionism.
It’s time to let go of the idea of perfectionism and embrace who you are all that you’ve achieved because you really are doing amazing!
How to practice self-love
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to loving yourself. You need to find what works for you but it can be daunting in the beginning.
These are just a few tips to help you get started:
- Start each day by telling yourself something really positive. How well you handled a situation, how lovely you look today. Anything that will make you smile.
- Fill your body with food and drink that nourishes it and makes it thrive. For some ideas, check out this article.
- Move your body every single day and learn to love the skin you’re in. You can’t hate your way into loving yourself. Take a look at this article for some guidance. Here’s a hint, if you wouldn’t say it to a friend or loved one, don’t say it to yourself.
- Stop comparing yourself. This is such a tricky one but so important! Comparison is the killer of self-love. Unfollow and remove people who make you feel less than but also remember we’re on our own journies and everyone is different.
- Celebrate your wins no matter how big or small. Pat yourself on the back and be proud of what you have achieved.
- Take some time to relax and re-energise, we can’t love ourselves if we can barely keep up with what we’re doing. This article may be able to help with relaxation!
- Practice self-care.
- Step outside of your comfort zone and actively start living life!
These are just a few tips on how to get started but it’s truly up to you to let go of societies version of you and to embrace who you authentically are and fall in love with that version of yourself. Take care of yourself, you deserve it!