You may have heard me go on and on about the importance of self -love and putting yourself first on your list but do you really understand what it means in practice? One simply cannot pour from an empty cup. So let’s take a closer look at what you can do to get this practice down.
Self-love is dynamic. It grows through actions that mature us. It is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Self-love means not settling for less than you deserve.
We all have many different ideas about what this entails. Figuring out what it looks like to you is the first and most important step in the process. This can feel really uncomfortable at first. Especially if you are always last on your list of priorities. If it feels that way, great! We are moving in the right direction.
What does self-love mean to you?
For starters, it can mean:
- Talking to and about yourself with love.
- Prioritizing yourself.
- Giving yourself a break from self-judgement.
- Trusting yourself.
- Being true to yourself.
- Being nice to yourself.
- Setting healthy boundaries.
- Forgiving yourself when you aren’t being true or nice to yourself.
Selfcare is another form of self-love.
- Listen to our bodies.
- Take breaks from work and move/stretch.
- Put the phone down and connect to yourself or others, or do something creative.
- Eating healthily, but sometimes indulge in your favorite foods.
Self-love means accepting yourself as you are in this very moment for everything that you are. It means accepting your emotions for what they are and putting your physical, emotional and mental well-being first.
How do I put this into practice?
When you practice self-love, it motivates you to make healthy choices in all areas of your life. You choose things that nurture your well-being and serve you well. Examples of these can include healthy relationships with friends, family, work and your significant other. Feeding your body with nutrient dense food that help you thrive and moving your body in such a way that you grow stronger.
Ways to practice self-love include:
- Becoming mindful. People who have more self-love tend to know what they think, feel, and want. A great morning routine and some meditation is an amazing way to get this practice down
- Taking actions based on need rather than want. By staying focused on what you need, you turn away from automatic behavior patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self-love.
- Practicing good self-care. You will love yourself more when you take better care of your basic needs. People high in self-love nourish themselves daily through healthy activities, like sound nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy and healthy social interactions.
- Making room for healthy habits. Start truly caring for yourself by mirroring that in what you eat, how you exercise, and what you spend time doing. Do stuff, not to “get it done” or because you “have to,” but because you care about you. Perhaps a date night with yourself once a week. A long bubble bath with candles. That dance class you have always wanted to take but never made time for.
Finally, to practice self-love, start by being kind, patient, gentle and compassionate to yourself, the way you would with someone else that you care about.