Self-Love Means Taking Care Of Yourself
Okay, but what does that mean? Lots of things. It’s not all about watching what you eat or exercising. While those things are important, self-love is more than just about your body. It’s about your mind and your soul. It’s about your dreams and your goals. It’s about knowing your boundaries and taking action on doors that open for you. It’s saying both yes and no when you need to.
Taking care of your mind.
When I was little, I thought when someone told me, take care of yourself, they only meant don’t eat that and watch your weight. A lot of times that might have been directed at me and I built that definition to think that’s what self-love was. It didn’t sound fun. I dismissed the practice and thought I don’t want to do those things.
As I got older and dove into the self-love journey, I had no idea how much taking care of yourself involved my mental health. Sitting in silence, whether it was in the car or on my lunch break under a tree, really helped me heal thoughts I had built up for years. I used to talk to myself horribly.
Sometimes I’m still guilty of these thoughts, I’m only human, but I’m aware of them now. I know what I need to do to get my mind back on track and not wallowing in a black hole of anxiety and bad thoughts. But it takes practice. Starting with not talking bad about myself internally and out loud to others. That’s a HUGE first step love.
I’m all about living in a state of yes, but sometimes we have to say no to things and put ourselves first. What does your body tell you? What does your current state of mind say? You are never alone, you have you. Listen to what you’re trying to tell yourself. Do you need to sit this one out and rest? Have you been resting too much and actually could use some social interaction? Listen to your mind. Listen to your body.
Are you working too hard? Can you just start taking 10-minute breaks to help you reset? Something I started practicing at work is prioritizing the task at hand and politely minimizing interruptions. What do I mean by that? If someone walks into my office when I’m in the middle of something, I simply ask if I can come back to them later and address the issue in about 30-minutes. So far it’s worked. Instead of quickly trying to solve so I can get back to my task at hand, I’m not as short and I am more present when helping them solve their problem.
Putting yourself first.
I’ve been flying a lot these last couple of months. When the flight attendant starts explaining the process of putting your oxygen mask on in case of an emergency, you have to put your mask on first before you help anyone else put on theirs. So how’s your mask? Is it on? Or are you running around without any oxygen putting on everyone else’s mask on first?
Can I give you permission to stop and take a minute to secure your own? Check-in on yourself. Make sure you’re breathing. It’s not being selfish. It’s literally for survival. You have to check-in with yourself before you start prioritizing other people and other things. What does your priority list look like? Did you do one thing from that list that is for you and not someone else? No? Well stop reading this and go do it.
Not giving up.
Self-love is also about action. If you want something, you’re the only one standing in the way of not obtaining it. You have to go out there and work for what you want. It’s not just going to show up on your doorstep. There might be a door that opens in front of you, but that’s just the opportunity. The screenplay isn’t going to write itself, the job isn’t going to fall into your lap until you put in the work. So don’t give up.
Above everything, it’s important not to be too hard on yourself. Remember not to be mean. Treat yourself like a friend. It might take some time, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not trying. The point is to find a lovely life. Keep going on the journey. Aren’t you just a bit curious to see what you’ll find?