Ah February, thanks to Valentines day it is our yearly celebration of love, and romance. But instead of indulging in chocolates and roses why not indulge in yourself. That’s right, use this month of love to dip the toe and practice a little self-love. Prioritising yourself and practicing self-love has gotten a bit of bad wrap over the years confusing self love with being selfish. However self love isn't selfish at all….its necessary.
Why is it important to practice self love?
1. Self-love will shift your mindset from a place of criticism to appreciation and appraisal
When a friend, loved one or child makes a mistake you wouldn't berate them for it, you would approach them with understanding and compassion. so why don't we treat ourselves this way. When we practice loving ourselves, we treat ourselves as we would a dear friends, we become more away of any negative self talk we are having with ourselves. And we work to change this dialogue being more gentle and compassionate with ourselves.
2. Practicing self love has the power to change your life
When start speaking more kindly to ourselves, we engrain new positive affirmations within our subconscious which in turn helps us remove ourselves from from negative people or situations.
Self-love helps us see our own potential, allows us to forgive ourselves when we take a step backward, helps us build our self esteem, and helps us take time to fill our own well, so we can then help our loved ones from a more self assured and loving space.
3. Loving yourself frees you from worrying about what other think of you
Possibly the best reason for loving yourself. When you start to accept and love yourself, you will gradually feel the pressure of other peoples options of you fall away. Tuning our other peoples options and tuning into the gentle whisper of your own soul. It takes practice but when you do you will slowly feel the weight of exterior expectations and options being lifted off your shoulders.
What does self love look like?
Self love is life long journey that will help your forgive yourself, build your self esteem, be more compassionate and establish healthy boundaries. However, ourselves and many others out there who are new to the concept of self love, what does it look like? Here are some simple practices you can implement this valentines, this month and perhaps even for whole of 2021 and beyond, as you start your self love journey.
1. Love your body
Your body is a loving vessel that does so much for you every day, if we were to start somewhere first then it would be with our lovely bodies. Make a green smoothie, have a herbal tea, hydrate with enough water, work more greens and super foods into your diet. The way we feed, hydrate and nourish ourselves is the perfect way to set a good foundation for self love.
2. Take yourself out on a date
If you’ve never taken yourself out on a date before then make this the month that you do it. Taking yourself out on a date is about spending quality time with yourself. Here are some lock down friendly options, lighting your favourite candles and drawing a hot bath with essential oils. Snuggling up under a wooly blanket and reading a book, playing music and dancing around the living room, popcorn candles and your favourite movie. Make time to do something special for you and you turn that love and attention you would be giving someone else when going on a date, you pour it in on yourself.
3. Gratitude Journalling
In our fast paced worlds we can get so caught up in the striving we focus our attention on all that we do not have yet, so much so we forget to see all that we currently have. Spend a couple mins writing down a handful of things your grateful for right now in the present, you can write it in a notebook or on your phone. Really feel into these things and notice your mood shift, by practicing this daily you can help shift negative self talk, and set yourself up for more love and abundance in your life.
4. Express yourself
When we were kids we weren't afraid to play, create and express. But as we get older other things become more of a priority that we often forget to make time to express ourselves. Whether it’s dancing, writing, singing, painting, sculpting, cooking, making music, sketching, DJ’ing, pottery or poetry – everyone has something that does it for them. It’s often something we did naturally as children. It’s always something that makes us feel fully alive. Carve out space to fully embrace all that is you, follow your joy and watch yourself light up and you really express yourself from the heart.
5. Mirror work
A technique we picked up from author and publisher Louise Hay, we are constantly talking to ourselves every day, the inner chatter. Everything we say internally our subconscious then starts to believe weather its good of bad. Mirror work is the chance to realign your inner self talk, as corny as it may sound. Write down a list of all the things you love about yourself, think of it as a love letter to you. Then stand in front of a mirror look yourself in the eye and list off your love letter to you, it will feel wildly liberating to give yourself the love and admiration that you might perhaps otherwise look outside yourself for. Repeat as often as you can to help rewire your self talk to be more loving and compassionate to you.
6. Digital detox
Its very easy to get overwhelmed in a sea of information, and in the last year especially with lock down after lock down. It seems like we are spending more time then ever inside of our houses and glued to our screens. Why not take a couple evenings this month where you do a digital detox, notify anyone that is a priority that you will taking a break from your phone for the evening. Turn your phone on airplane mode or just turn it off all together, turn your laptop off as well. Even a couple of hours doing this will help you feel more present, you’ll feel like you have more time, take back your time even for a little while.
Self-love helps us see our own potential, allows us to forgive ourselves when we take a step backward, and eliminates the shame spiral that so often lands us right back where we started. One of the best ways to recognise if we are not giving ourselves love and respect is how we are treating our body, our mind, our heart, and our time. So weather you in a relationship, single, together and socially distanced. true and lasting love starts with the person you'll be spending the rest of your life with. YOU!