February is the month of love, but today we’re talking about a special kind of love: self love! The concept of self love has been really popular lately, which is awesome, but it’s still a big challenge to truly feel self love for a lot of people. Today I’m going to list the things that I want my daughter to know about self love.
When I found out I was having a daughter I was so excited and happy, but I also felt a sense of responsibility for all the things I knew I was going to need to teach her someday. The opportunity to teach her and guide her is one that is so exciting to me, but I also worry about making sure I teach her the most important thing she’ll need to know as she grows into a woman someday. (Also there’s a great book called What I Told My Daughter that you should definitely check out if you have a girl!) So I wanted to start this new series here called “what I want my daughter to know” so that someday I can share these thoughts with her. I’m starting with self love because I believe it’s something that just about every person on earth struggles with, but that no one really talks about. Let’s break it down and dive right in:
What is Self Love?
Self love is being able to see and recognize your divine self worth, and caring about your own well-being and happiness. It is being able to love yourself based on who you are as a person, and not based on any external circumstances, like what you look like, how many friends you have, what you’ve accomplished or anything like that. It is an internal feeling, and it’s not always easy. In fact, most of us struggle with the way we feel about ourselves. But that is totally normal and okay. If it’s something you’re having a hard time with, don’t worry, you can always improve your feelings of self worth!
Self Love Reflects Self Talk
Self talk is the way we talk to ourselves(duh), and it can have the biggest affect on how we feel about ourselves. Most of us talk to ourselves all day long without even realizing it, but it’s important to stop and pay attention to this as often as you can. If you don’t catch it you could have some really negative thoughts going through your head all day long without even realizing it. But if you decide to make a conscious effort to improve your self talk daily, you can start to see drastic differences in the way you feel about yourself. You can start with daily affirmations or mantras and use those until it feels more natural and easy. Here are some common affirmations that you could try. The key is to choose a saying that resonates with you and that you have an emotional reaction to it.
Self Love Starts With Self Care
Taking care of your outside environment can have a huge affect on your self love. Doing the simple little things to take care of yourself is how you show your love for yourself. Just like you show your affection for your spouse or kids or friends, you should show affection for yourself often as well. Self care can be shown in many different ways, and should be customized to YOU. But it should always be something that makes you feel good, happy and well taken care of. Something that makes you feel a little more loved. Here are some of the things I like to do when I need to practice some self care:
- Take a bubble bath with a good book
- Get a massage
- Do a little shopping (by myself is better)
- Take a Nap
- Put makeup on and get dressed in comfortable clothes
Self Love Is A Practice
Let me be clear, I don’t always love myself. I don’t think anyone does. It takes time and effort. It is a process and a practice. It is something you have to work on every single day. The daily practices of affirmation, self love, meditation and positive self talk can all be done to help improve your self love, but they are practices which means they must be done regularly. If you stop doing all of these things you can’t expect your relationship with yourself to flourish. Just like if you neglected a relationship with another person, if you neglect yourself the relationship will suffer.
Ways You Can Improve Your Self Love:
1. Notice Yourself Everyday
Everyday you do tiny things to take care of yourself that go unnoticed. Every day you do something hard, or awesome, or cool that goes unnoticed because you’re not taking the time to acknowledge yourself. Praise yourself for the awesome things you do everyday, like getting up, brushing your teeth, showing up even if you didn’t want to. Start noticing the little things you do and give yourself credit for it.
2. Accept Yourself Where You Are Right NOW
Start loving yourself where you are right now. Not, oh I’m going to love myself so much once I finally lose those last 15 pounds, or when I finally start making more money, or when I do this or that. Start loving yourself where you are right now. Love yourself as a work of progress.
3. Be Kind and Forgive Yourself When You’re Not Perfect
You are human and you make mistakes. We all make mistakes. No one is perfect. Why are we so much kinder to someone else when they make a mistake than we are to ourselves when we make mistakes? Love yourself and be gentle when you slip up and aren’t perfect. It’s the hardest time to love yourself but its the most important time to do it.
Some Things That Are Harmful To Your Self Love:
Comparison really is the thief of joy. If you’re constantly comparing yourself to other people it’s going to be really hard to love yourself. In this world of technology it is REALLY hard not to compare yourself to others, so if social media makes that impossible for you, then log off and get back into the real world. Just stop comparing your life to someone else’s.
If you have a big ego that won’t let you forgive yourself or others, that won’t let you be less than perfect, or that only feels good when receiving outside validation, it’s going to be really hard to feel any kind of self love. Self love is all about internal acceptance, and ego is the opposite, so try feed the self love and starve the ego.
3. Ungrateful Attitude
Being ungrateful for the life you have is a sure way to drive off any feeling of self love. Feeling ungrateful will cause you to feel thoughts of failure and inadequacy instead of appreciation and acceptance. Try to find ways to feel grateful for everything you have, and notice how your self love improves. For help on gratitude practices check out these posts here, here and here.