It seemed so easy at the time. A simple business marketing class that had us list monthly themes. Maybe I should have tried harder, not gone for the obvious but I chose self-love as my theme for February.
It never occurred to me that I would have to think about my own self love in order to move that theme forward.
Confession time….sometimes I find self-love very difficult to do.
Most of the time I believe myself to be a good person. To be worthy. To be of value.
Other times the self talk in my head is ruthlessly mean.
I doubt myself. I feel worthless and lazy. I believe I’m a failure. I think I’m unlovable.
Sometimes self-love is the hardest thing for me to do.
What is self-love?
Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. It means treating yourself with kindness and respect. Self-love requires you to make yourself a priority.
I tell my clients to treat themselves like they would their best friend. If your best friend called you up and said the things that you are saying to yourself, what would you tell her?
Would you tell her she is worthless, lazy or a failure? No. You would point out her good qualities and tell her how valuable she is and how much you care about her.
Self-love means telling yourself those things. Even when it’s hard.
Why is self-love important?
People who practice self-love in a healthy way understand that they have flaws and make mistakes. The difference is that they accept and care about themselves despite their perceived imperfections.
Growing up no one ever explained self-love to me. Honestly, I don’t think my parents really understood self-love. They only told me to be kind to others, but never to myself. I grew up thinking I only had to worry about others, and I do that very well. Sometimes to my own detriment.
When we don’t practice self-love, we can find ourselves overwhelmed, anxiety ridden, physically unhealthy and often asking the question “what about me”? Then feeling guilty about wanting our own needs to be met.
Self-love can break that vicious cycle.
What does self-love look like?
Here are some ways you can practice self-love:
- Say positive things to yourself
- Forgive yourself when you mess up
- Don’t let others take advantage of or abuse you
- Prioritize your health and wellbeing
- Ask for help
- Acknowledge your feelings
- Accept your imperfections
- Recognize your strengths
- Do things that bring you joy
- Give yourself credit for your progress and efforts
- Spend time with people who support and encourage you
- Set healthy boundaries as often as is necessary
Self-love can look different for each of us because we all have different needs and ways of taking care of ourselves. Figuring out what self-love looks like for you is an important part of your mental, emotional and physical health.
Not sure how to practice self-love for yourself? Schedule a discovery session with Dr. Melanie and get the support and guidance you need to start loving yourself like you should. Click here for your free session.