3 Tips For Practicing Self-Love and Self-Care
Updated: Mar 26, 2020
There are a million days a year that help to remind us of the people we love and give us the opportunity to express that love to them, but not many that help us to remember how important the love of self is. Practicing self-care means practicing self-love and learning to be okay with every aspect of who you are. Today's post shares three tips for practicing self-care that involves self-love.
Self-love isn't the total absence of insecurity, fear, or sadness.
It's the presence of understanding and kindness toward
ourselves in those moments.
1. The idea of "self-love" is a practice and a journey, not a destination.
No one magically picks up the art of self-love in one day; and even those who have worked toward having healthy and loving relationships with themselves are constantly working to maintain them. We often think that loving ourselves means we won't ever have bad thoughts about ourselves, or that we won't ever feel insecure, less than, or as if we are falling short. Self-love isn't the total absence of insecurity, fear, or sadness. It's the presence of understanding and kindness toward ourselves in those moments. One of the things I am attempting to master is the idea of simply being kinder to myself in small ways, and counteracting my negative thoughts. If I feel I've fallen short on something, I practice saying "It's okay" or "you'll get it done" instead of going off on myself about how I have failed. This takes practice and conscious thinking every single day.
This journey requires us to ask ourselves often whether or not the relationships we're in are providing us with the things that we need emotionally and mentally.
2. Self-love has everything to do with how we allow others to treat us.
We dedicate ourselves to removing toxicity from our lives. We pamper, we read, wash, rinse, and repeat, but then we continue our involvement in relationships and friendships that are exhausting. A part of practicing self-love is removing ourselves from toxic situations with other people, however difficult it may be. I wrote in a 2018 reflection post about stepping away from transactional relationships - this was a part of my work on self love. This journey requires us to ask ourselves often whether or not the relationships we're in are providing us with the things that we need emotionally and mentally. Is this friendship draining? Is this person constantly negative? Has this person been the friend or partner to me that I've needed?
There are other tasks that fall into the category of self-love that we may not often understand to be a way of "loving" ourselves.
3. It isn't always about pampering ourselves.
If you do a quick search on self-love on apps like Pinterest, you often find lists of ways to pamper yourself. Take a long bath. Get your nails done. Treat your skin to a good facial. All of these things are great ways to treat yourself and relax, especially when you're under stress. However there are other tasks that fall into the category of self-love that we may not often understand to be a way of "loving" ourselves. For example, putting yourself on a budget or creating a plan to pay off your debts can be a form of self-love. Deciding to eat healthier instead of buying fast food can be a form of self-love. As contradictory as this one may seem, even being of service to others by volunteering or doing something kind for someone can be a form of self love. If you're religious, prayer, worship and bible study can be a form of self-love (especially if your spiritual relationship is what brings you peace.) Your goal should be to take action within your life to do what makes you feel good - but also what is better for you long-term.
As we celebrate the other big loves in our lives, let's remember that the most important love we'll ever have is the love of self. We are better people when we are able to give love to others that mirrors to love we have internally.