Self-Love is the regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic). Self-love is not a bad thing when we do it correctly… In life, many women and girls do not love themselves whether it is from the pressures of society or from the pain of our pasts. We get in this mindset that everything is wrong with us. We put other people’s feelings above our own and then fall victim to allowing others to influence us. It is okay to put other people first at times but when we are always putting ourselves last we create a cycle that is unhealthy. Here are some ideas to begin the Self-Love process:
- Practice self-kindness: Treat yourself kindly the same way you would treat others. Give yourself care and compassion like you would to others. Allow yourself to make mistakes and realize that you are human. Don’t forget to take yourself out to eat, buy yourself flowers, do some artwork, get some photos of just yourself, journal, read a book, get a massage, or simply just sit still and do NOTHING!
- Practice a self-love ritual: Take some time to turn of social media, the cell phone and text messaging as well as the television. Allow yourself time to put lotion on your face, legs, feet and hands. Remind yourself of the things you have accomplished today and breathe. Release the stressful thoughts on your mind.
- Practice Healthy Boundaries: Setting boundaries with family, friends and coworkers is not a bad thing. When we talk with our others and let them know that we do not want to do something but then they keep pressuring us to do it then we have to set boundaries. Remember there are physical boundaries as well as emotional boundaries.
- Practice No More Comparisons: STOP comparing yourself to others. We live in an age where technology is always in front of us. Remember that photos can be photoshopped and people “pretend” that their lives are perfect. Don’t compare yourself to other women and girls. You are a one of a kind and that is not a bad thing!
- Practice Loving Your Body: Loving your body means getting enough rest and eating healthy foods. Taking care of your body and health through exercise and nutrition is key to self-love. You also need to get enough sleep each night to help your brain and body recover from the day.
- Practice Letting Go: Learn to let go of your past and the people that have hurt you. When we clear ourselves of these pasts hurts we can begin to move forward and truly love ourselves. If you have done something to cause pain to someone ask them for forgiveness, it is very healing. If someone has hurt you let it go so you can move forward. It can be extremely freeing to forgive and move past the hurt. You do not have to surround yourself with unhealthy people even if it is family members. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean still associating with them it means that you are allowing that pain to no longer have a place in your life.