The Art of Self-Love
February is the month of LOVE and love is definitely in the air! This month instead of focusing on loving someone else, we are going to be focusing on another type of love. Self-love.
In a world where we’ve been taught to put others first, self-love can seem self-ish. In speaking with my clients, I often refer to the in-flight instructions from the flight crew, “You must first secure your own oxygen mask before helping others.” We often wear many hats in life; parent, co-worker, partner, family member, community member, friend, the list goes on and on. The various roles we play sometimes make it difficult to identify that we are in fact INDIVIDUALS with very important needs that must first be met before we can help to meet the needs of others. We often put the focus on others which can result in showing up to our loved ones as a less-desirable version of ourselves.
Here are some steps you can take to add more self-love to your life!
Identify - Figure out what makes you happy. Is it having the time to pamper yourself? Journalling? Spending time working on a hobby? Taking care of your body? Identify the things that you could add to your daily routine that would contribute to your happiness.
Prioritize- Break your To-Do lists into smaller lists of must do, should do, and want to do. Cut out all the time-sucking things that prevent you from doing the things you want to do to feed your mind, body, and soul. Instead of spending hours scrolling through Facebook, shopping on Houzz or pinning recipes on Pinterest, use that time to do something that brings you joy. Move some items from the “Want to” list and make them a “Must-do”. Now schedule them them just like another appointment on your calendar.
Set REALISTIC Goals - We often set ourselves up for failure by setting unrealistic goals and then beating ourselves up for not reaching them. Allow yourself to dream big but break the expectations down to smaller bites. “Today I will spend 30 minutes doing something physical” is a lot easier to chew than “I need to lose 30 lbs.”
Set Boundaries- Learn to say “No” when attending to the perceived needs of others. (Notice I said PERCEIVED) People sometimes make their “things” seem urgent and more important than what you’re doing. Think about the time something requires before you commit to doing it, and wether or not it interferes with meeting your goals.
Stop Playing the Victim - Self-love is about taking responsibility for the role you play in your own life. Instead of saying to yourself “Bad things always happen to me.” or “No one understands me”, instead, find what role you’re playing to contribute to these things. Are you constantly getting sick but not taking the proper steps to stay healthy? Are you bottling things up instead of sharing your feelings with those you claim don’t understand you? By paying attention to how you show up in life and in relationships, you shift the power away from the “things” that happen to you and return it to YOU. Once you make this shift, you begin to realize that YOU have control over every aspect of your life and having that control allows you to also change it.
Ditch the Negative Self-Talk - we have enough battles to fight in this world, we don’t need to waste energy fighting them with ourselves. Be gentle with yourself. Cut out any negative statements you find floating around in your mind. Replace “I can’t” with “I can” whenever you find yourself saying it.
For more tips on self-love and self-care, check out my blog post from October 2015 by clicking here.
By giving yourself the time, care, and patience that you need, you allow yourself to become the best version of YOU. Isn’t that the YOU that you want share with your loved ones?
Wishing you health & happiness & self-love,