Self-Love | Why It Matters + How To Practice It

Friday, February 14, 2020

We throw around the word love a lot these days. We love things, we love people, we love places, and we say we love ourselves too but that doesn’t always seem to be true. We also throw around the term self-love but it’s as if we just act like we know what it means without ever really discovering how radically it can change our lives. Here’s the thing… loving your self is amazing AND important. Radical self-love will get you through anything in life and today I’m going to talk about why it’s self-love is important as well as how you can practice loving yourself even more. And NO, self-love is NOT selfish in any way shape or form. Some of the most grounded and blissful people practice self-love every moment of every day and they are some of the most selfless people out there. So before we even get into detail, DO NOT allow yourself to associate self-love with being selfish AT ALL.

Self-love is not a state of being – it’s an action. And whenever you practice self-love you can make better choices in love with partners, family, friends, and colleagues. Self-love is when you appreciate and truly love yourself so much BECAUSE of the things you do to support yourself on all levels.

So why is self-love important?

You fill your own voids.
When you don’t love yourself and prioritize yourself, you can often feel incomplete. Many people think that clinging to a partner (even an unhealthy relationship) will make them feel whole. The truth is, you can not feel whole WITH anyone else unless you are whole with yourself first. Remember the episode of Sex and the City where Samantha tells Smith Jarod “I love you but I love me more.” That’s radical self-love right there. She loved herself so much she knew the right thing to do for her happiness was end the relationship.

You make better choices.
When you care about yourself and prioritize yourself you are more likely to make better healthier choices. You won’t want to destroy your stomach by binge eating a pan of brownies, you’ll encourage yourself to stay active and move, and you will make wise and safe choices that protect you on a daily basis.

You will have better boundaries.
When you love yourself you protect yourself and boundaries are a big part of that. You will be more likely to say no to things that you truly don’t want to do or can’t handle, and you won’t put up with any crap from other people because you KNOW you deserve better and you practice self-love by cutting things away from your life that hurt you.

You have your own support system.
When you love yourself and believe in yourself, it’s like having your own cheerleader inside of you. When your nerves get the best of you, you’ll find yourself saying “you can do this!”. You’ll celebrate your victories more, perhaps by screaming joyfully and jumping up and down in front of the mirror. When you’re suffering, you’ll be more likely to take the time out for yourself to heal. You will actually nurture yourself as well!

You won’t tolerate toxic relationships.
Whether it’s a coworker, a friend, or a lover, you will NOT put up with anything less than you deserve. You will understand how short life is and that it shouldn’t be wasted on anyone that doesn’t deserve you.

You’ll prioritize self-care.
Because self-care is an act of love, you’ll prioritize it. You’ll say no to plans on a day that you wanted to relax with NO agenda. You’ll be pickier with what events you say yes to and what you spend your money and time on.

You’ll realize how you are responsible for your own happiness.
This goes with some points above but yes, you’ll realize that it’s you who decides your own happiness and how you let things affect you.

So how do you cultivate and practice self-love?

Set Boundaries
Stop allowing people to monopolize your time and energy. If it isn’t serving your soul, say no. It’s okay to RSVP no, to decline taking on extra work at your job, and to distance yourself from a toxic person. You need to only allow the things that bring you great joy, or help nourish you.

Practice Self Care
Take hot baths, enjoy your shower more, take time to put on makeup or do your hair in a style you’ve always wanted. You can get a pedicure, take a nap, and buy yourself some new comfy sheets. There are many ways to take care of yourself. Whether it’s eating better and more nourishing foods for your body, or taking walks so you’re more active on a daily basis, these are ways you are quite literally taking care of yourself and it’s SO IMPORTANT. I actually block off every Sunday on my calendar as Self-Care Sunday. Those days I do not commit to anything. I can do whatever I want whether it’s be productive around the house, be lazy, relax, explore outdoors, or work on self-care practices. But when I do this, I am prioritizing myself and my own needs and that’s the ultimate show of self-love. Also, if you aren’t feeling well – TAKE A BREAK! Call off from work, rest, and nourish your body. If you’re stressed, do the same thing!

Fulfill your Needs
Alone time is important if you’re someone that needs to decompress. If you need to be alone – do it! Take care of the things you need to do for yourself first before going out of your way for others. How can you love and care for others if you don’t even do it properly for yourself? If you need the day off work to get things done before you can host your kid’s birthday party the next day, DO IT. Don’t run yourself down. If you need to start eating better, start doing it and tell your family they don’t have a choice but to go along with you. If they don’t like what you’re cooking, they can fend for themselves.

Have Your Own Back
You need to be your own advocate in life no matter what anyone tells you. If you don’t feel you’re being treated fairly at work, do something about it. If you aren’t satisfied with what your doctors are telling you, get a second opinion or tell them you don’t agree or understand. Don’t rely on others to do everything for you and to always come through, because that’s just not how life works for ANYONE.

Practice Self-Compassion
Stop being so hard on yourself. If you mess something up, forgive yourself. Tell yourself it’s okay. Stop dwelling on mistakes from the past. Journal to acknowledge how you are feeling frustrated or down on yourself, then write a forgiveness letter to yourself.

Be Mindful and Intentional
Practice yoga or meditation. Learn to slow down. Be mindful before you act or react and ask yourself is this serving me? Live with the intention of having a joyful life and feeling SUPER loved by yourself. Make sure you adopt the mindset that you are the most important being you need to take care of, because it’s true. Once you’re taken care of and well maintained, you can properly care for and love others.

Self-love is something we can all embrace and learn to practice as long as we allow are minds to be open to it.


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