More love for the self

Traditionally, February is seen as the month of romantic love. In recent years, many have also embraced the celebration of platonic love (friendships or family) during this time. Well, we want to challenge you to go further in celebrating self-love!

What is self-love?

Self-love means different things to different people. For some self-love is all about taking time out of your day to do the things you love. Others focus on taking care of themselves with skincare routines and healthy eating. But, the premise of all those are to learn or practice loving who you are.

The easiest way to approach self-love is to think about how you might care for a best friend, sibling or child and practice that on yourself. It might include a steady sleep schedule, healthy and balanced meals, gifts or fun outings. Arguably the most important aspect of self-love is the spiritual; learning to be kind and patient with yourself.

If a child, for example, struggles with an activity, you would speak kindly to them, calmly and patiently explain how to do the activity. You would allow them to fail and encourage them to keep trying. However, when we, ourselves, try a new activity and fail, we become impatient or rude to ourselves.

Self-love is also very much about practicing ways in which we can be more understanding and forgiving towards ourselves. It’s about speaking kindly about ourselves and to ourselves.

How can I practice self-love?

Start by making a list of the things that you would do to care for a child or your best friend. Consider the physical aspects (such as cooking a healthy meal) as well as the emotional side (for example, complimenting them on a new outfit). Once you have a list together, pick one or two things to focus on at a time. You can add something new from the list every week or as soon as you are ready. Here are a few things to consider:

Health

In terms of your health, self-love could include:

  • Booking regular appointments with your doctor, dentist or other healthcare professional.
  • Exercising on a regular basis with a focus on the kind of exercise that you enjoy.
  • Eating regularly and making healthy, balanced meals.
  • Practicing personal hygiene, including skincare routines.
  • Taking your prescribed medicines every day as advised.

 

Mental

Self-love for your mental health could look as follows:

  • Making time for the activities that you enjoy doing.
  • Taking a holiday or break from your work.
  • Saying no to work or social activities if you feel tired.
  • Seeking out professional health if your mental health needs more attention.

 

Emotional

Emotional self-care is much more personal as each individual has a unique relationship with themselves. If you struggle to see the ways in which you might need to take better emotional care of yourself, consult with friends, family, counsellor or psychologist. They can provide unique insights. Self-love from an emotional aspect could include:

  • Speaking kindly of yourself and to yourself.
  • Be patient when you are trying a new activity, learning a new skill or having a tough day.
  • Allow yourself to feel and express your emotions.
  • Speak up about the things that you dislike or when someone does something that upsets you.
  • Practice setting boundaries with friends and family so that they know what you are comfortable with.

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