LOVE. The best feeling in the world. It’s what makes the world go round. It’s in the air, it’s in the movies, it’s in the songs.
We love our nearest and dearest and remind them often with those three magical words.
But do we love ourselves?
A.k.a, have you looked in the mirror lately and said to yourself, ‘I bloody love you!’? (I’m fairly certain the answer is ‘no’, but get ready to add this to your morning routine). ;-)
So, why is it so easy to love others, but so hard to direct love and kindness towards ourselves? Why do we give the best advice to our friends and family, but will be the first to criticise the person in the mirror? Perhaps it for fear of coming across as big-headed or self-centered? Or maybe it’s conditioned behaviour?
Whatever it is, it’s time we started loving ourselves a little more, and here’s why;
As the saying goes; ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup.’
It’s only when your cup is full, (and ideally overflowing onto the saucer) can you share your love freely and willingly, without resentment, wanting, needing or expecting anything in return.
You are the only person guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with, with whom you’ll certainly spend ALL of your precious time on Earth with. So you might as well be your number one fan and invest a little more in yourself.
‘When you love what you have, you have everything you need.’
When you fully love and accept yourself, it shines through, you’ll attract whatever goodness you’re putting out into the world. You won’t need to rely on false relationships, external validation or approval from others. Self-love helps you to attract the right people naturally into your life, as well as setting the standard for how others should treat you.
As you can see already, the benefits self-love can be a game changer. So how do we practice self-love and set ourselves up for a fulfilling life experience with yours truly?
Here are just a few of the many simple, yet effective ways to bring a whole lotta love into your world:
1: Allocate ‘ME TIME' in your diary:
Just as you would with that important work meeting, or a family commitment; block out a space in your diary exclusively for you. How much time will depend on your current lifestyle, but aim for at least once a week if not more. If you’re saying to yourself, ‘but I don’t have time’, then you need it the most. ;-)
The diary is important, as you’re more likely to do something if you write it down, until it becomes a routine at least.
How you spend this time, is also your choice, and that’s the beauty of it. YOUR choice. This is freedom for you to find your happy place, to perhaps explore your talents, creativity, & imagination. To learn something new about yourself, or that language you’ve always wanted to pick up. It might be to simply rest, it might be something adventurous, it might be a date with your fave book or cafe. Remember, this has to be guilt free time, so don’t waste it thinking about what you think you ‘should’ be doing instead, otherwise, you might as well be doing it. Stay present. Make it sacred & non-negotiable, (unless something reaaaaaaally important comes up, then reschedule rather than cancel it all together).
2: Choose your tribe & raise your vibe:
Surround yourself with those who uplift you and remind you of how amazing you really are. These are the truly authentic relationships, the people worth holding onto and loving back. Spend time with the people who matter & politely ditch any toxic relationships.
Anyone tries to put you down, who makes you feel less than your worth, or doesn’t value you as you are, simply isn’t worth your precious time. Wish them well, i’m sure their toxicity is coming from a real lack of self-love for themselves.
3: SMILE at yourself in the mirror:
Sounds a bit cheesy, but it works. try it next time and maybe even pay yourself a compliment too!
4: Practice Yoga & Meditation:
OK, so of course these are on the list, but this is a core part of self love, self awareness and self acceptance. Connecting with your body and breath really allows you to get deep within, where it all really matters. This is time to check in with yourself, and to be with your beautiful body, your thoughts and feelings, all without judgement.
5: Celebrate & love your body, mind and soul! (Tip: Yoga and mediation helps with this too). ;-)
Only you can do YOU so well. There is no one else like you in the world, you’re unique and you have your special place here. You only get one shot at life & you only get one body. So own yours! Celebrate all of your being! Love your body, it does incredible things for you day in, day out, respect it. move it, appreciate it. Love your mind and soul. We’re far too good at putting ourselves and each other down, whether it’s appearance, judgements, or general negativity. Let’s turn that around.
6: Let go of comparison to others:
OK, much easier said that done, especially in a social media crazed world. We all do it, and we’ll probably do it again. It’s very easy to look at someone else’s life and think they have it all, more of this, less of that. But remember that this is YOUR unique journey, it was not meant to be lived by anyone else. You are the director of your play, so keep focused. If you’re going to compare with anyone, compare with your past self. Which leads nicely onto the next point…
7: Take a moment to reflect:
Take a minute to stop, look back and simply acknowledge and appreciate all of the challenges, life experiences and ultimate wins that have brought you right to this moment. Even if you don’t regard yourself as being in a particularly great place right now, know that it’s part of your journey and here is where you need to be for now., and trust that all will come clear. Reflect on all that you have achieved so far. From the little moments to the significant ones. they absolutely all count. And then keep going, you’re totally bossing this thing called Life. x
8: Be a human:
Something tells me you’re quite good at this one already. Being human means that you’re going to have off days, we aren’t going to feel great all of the time, and that’s normal. Embrace all emotions & feelings, and know that tomorrow is always a new day.
9) Be your best friend (literally):
Next time you notice any negative internal dialogue going on in your mind, I.e thoughts such as, ‘I’m not good at this’ ‘I can’t believe i’m so stupid’. Imagine what you’re best friend/loved on would have to say in response? They simply would not accept these words from you, (assuming you have good friends of course). Be your number one fan, be your bestest buddy and offer yourself words of encouragement, support and positivity just as you would offer to your favourite people.
10: Remember that YOU ARE ENOUGH <3
Yes. YOU. Just as you are. Imperfections ‘n all. Now repeat out loud, ‘I AM ENOUGH’. (If you’re in public, great, the world needs to know). ;-)
There are so many more ways in which to shine your light and fuel up on love. If you have any of your own rituals or recommendations, I’d love to hear them.