It is without a doubt that we live in a society where romance and finding true love is identified as a key to happiness. With the recent passing of Valentine’s Day, the day which puts so much emphasis on love for that someone special in your life, it got me thinking about an important concept which is often over-looked – self-love!
Why does self-love take a backseat on a day celebrating love? Or more to the point why does self-love take a back seat any-day of the year?
To many of us, self-love can make us feel selfish. We devote our daily energy to taking care of others and we dedicate our lives to being the good daughter/son, the good employee, the good partner and the good parent.
But did you ever think, hey, YOU are special too!
Self love is about being accepting towards yourself, physically and emotionally. It means to love yourself unconditionally, talk to yourself positively and appreciate every bit of yourself. It’s a way to find confidence in yourself, feel better about yourself and accept your flaws. Have you ever wondered what life would be like if we loved ourselves as much as we love those closest to us?
So, in honour of February 14th I’m going to share with you 5 practices of self-love that you can do any-day of the year!
1. Be Accepting Of Yourself
The first step to accepting yourself is to STOP comparing yourself to others and learn to embrace the person you are. Everyday we scroll through Instagram or Facebook and are faced with a multitude of images and a multitude of thoughts start filtering through our minds. I often catch myself comparing myself to others and get discouraged by others Instagram lifestyles, their incredible bodies, their flawless skin and this perfect life they seem to uphold.
It’s moments like this that really knock my self-esteem when in actual fact I should just be admiring these women without questioning any part of me.
There’s no need to look, act or be like someone else as we all have beautiful qualities, inside and out, and all have something different to offer to this world. Embrace the person you are and always be you, not them. Our bodies are so magical and we don’t appreciate what we have – we can create mini people for goodness sake, that’s freaking awesome! Nobody is you and that’s your superpower!
Best kind of post-it note, courtesy of Emily Coxhead
2. Surround Yourself With Inspiring, Positive People
Something I’ve definitely learnt as I’ve got older is that the number of friends we have tend to shrink! And it’s not a bad thing. Our shift focuses from quantity to quality as we learn to value time and the people who surround us.
I think it’s really important to pay attention to the people that make you feel good and we should really value those relationships. Whether it’s your boyfriend or best friend put your time and energy into those people because they don’t come around very often.
As well as immediate relationships, there’s also the accept of online relationships. Last year I made it my intention to only follow accounts on Instagram who inspired me. I follow people who inspire me to be the best version of myself, who motivate me, who I look up to and who radiate positivity.
3. Do More Of The Things You Love
Get out there and do something that makes you feel good.
With such busy schedules, what feels like an infinite to-do list, and endless responsibilities, it is easy to forget to take time out from our every day routines and do something you enjoy, something you love, something that makes you happy.
I recently started Pilates, something my boyfriend and I have promised we’d start many months ago. Not only did I want to start this new class due to the health benefits it provides and it combines the things I love, but also because it’s 50 minutes out of my week in which I get to do something that excites me, that nourishes me and I look forward to it each Thursday evening.
Doing more of what you love is valuing yourself enough to take care of your whole self. We can’t expect to accomplish incredible things if we don’t take care of ourselves first. So, now, go and spend a little bit of well-deserved, much-needed time doing more of what you love. I’m sure you’ve earned it.
4. Positive Self Talk
I have a tendency, we all do, to have negative self talk in our head. That little voice inside can have such a huge impact on how we perceive things, how we live and who we are.
I admit I’ll say to myself, I haven’t done enough today or why am I so disorganised? Oh my goodness why can’t I look like her?
You can easily sink into this negative talk but all it’s going to do is make you feel crappy about yourself, put a downer on things, even worse massively impact your mental health!
On the other hand, positive self talk uplifts you. It increases your confidence, it makes you feel good about yourself and you gradually adopt a healthier lifestyle and outlook on life.
How would I promote positive self talk? Ask yourself where’s the first place you go in the morning? Downstairs to the kettle to make a cup of tea? Or to the bathroom to wash your face? Leave yourself a positive note in that spot to wake up to each morning. All it needs to be is a quote or a goal for the day which boosts your spirits.
5. Pamper Yourself
Just like self-love, self-care is not selfish. Whether it’s getting your nails done, having a candle-lit bath, going for a walk or taking a nap we need to provide ourselves with these replenishing moments.
The point of self-care is to pay attention to yourself and do something that makes you feel calm, happy and healthy. It’s time to respect your body, show it the love it deserves and replenish it.
No matter what time of the year, Valentines Day or not, practicing self-love is something that can take as little as 5 minutes but has the ability to change your outlook on your life. I shall definitely be bringing you a few more hints and tips to aid your self-care and self-love throughout this new year.