We’re hearing the term ‘self-love’ a lot these days and it means different things to different people. Whether it’s a bubble bath with Epsom salts, a sound-healing Gong class, a daily meditation practice or having that brownie on treat day, self-love is being strongly encouraged in wellness and self-improvement spheres. Let’s shed some light on what authentic, meaningful self-love really means and what it can do for your wellbeing and life as a whole.
There are acts of self-love or self-care that are really fun and relaxing (even sometimes necessary!) like a facial or having a dinner out. But is this the most meaningful way to self-love? I’d like to propose a more grounded definition of self-love – one that will nourish you on a fundamental level rather than giving you a short-lived jolt of enjoyment.
So, what is self-love? I like to think of it more as a feeling than an action. As in, choosing to feel a certain way rather than giving yourself something that will make you feel temporarily good. Maybe it’s that feeling of slight relief when you say ‘no’ to a friend’s invitation because you know you need to recharge your batteries. Or maybe it’s that feeling of nourishment when you choose to drink up all the antioxidants in matcha rather than have to hide the anxious coffee jitters. In both of these examples we make a choice, which in turn makes us feel a certain way about ourselves.
How can we love ourselves more? What good would this do?
I’d like you to think about your inner voice. When you make a mistake, what does this inner voice say to you? Is he/she mean, or kind and understanding? Do you talk differently to yourself than you would do to others? Have you ever told a friend the things you tell yourself when you look in the mirror?
Do you take care of your health & wellbeing with simple steps such as good sleep and nourishing food, a good skincare routine, exercising regularly, getting time away from technology, separating work from home- life? If not, it’s time to make some change.
How about we start to show ourselves more love by making choices and behaving in a way that our body, mind and spirit need. By honouring ourselves on a fundamental level we are nourishing our mind, body and spirit, and we are truly loving ourselves. Once we make these small behaviour changes, notice how the quality of the inner voice changes, as well as a shift towards an attitude of ‘my health and wellbeing are important’.
Don’t worry if you have glaring strengths or weaknesses – we all do, and we are perfectly imperfect. Continue respecting the journey of accepting yourself as a human being and you will begin to love yourself not for being perfect, but for being just how you are, along with all the incredible things you can do.
So what action points can we take to develop a self-love practice? Make a list of intentions
Decide on what you’d like to bring to the table in the three pillars of wellness – body, mind and spirit. Do you want to sleep more, be known as the strongest runner or the cleanest eater? Do you want to get to know yourself better, adopt a stronger growth mindset, develop a daily visualisation practice? Do you want to discover your purpose, connect to a new community, develop a stronger connection to nature?
All of these sound like great options – take some time to figure out what is important to you and set some intentions around these values. Notice these are different to goals (which tend to have a more time-stamp feel) – intentions are there to guide you to a life imbued with self-love.
Decide on 5 self-care activities
Journal about them, tell them to a friend or partner, and make the changes. Whether it’s eating a proper breakfast, stopping work at 5pm or doing a weekly yoga class, decide on the small routine changes you need to make to invite in more self-love - then go ahead and implement them! A nice idea is to write them on sticky notes and place them somewhere visible, so you get gentle reminders through the day because sometimes life likes to take over!
If you’d like some more information on self-love or would like to start your own journey to personal power and wellness, you can get in touch with Vicki at email@example.com.