How I Practice Self Love
I see people searching all the time for “ways to show self-love.” These generally include buying yourself flowers, taking a hot bubble bath, dousing yourself in coconut oil and laying around reading your favorite book, all of which I have done many, many times. However relevant these things may be, I have found myself recently thinking more about how I’ve been taking care of myself and showing myself love mentally and emotionally through the things I allow to permeate my mind and my spirit.
If you read my last post, Finally Loving Myself, you’ll know that my journey to doing just that started this January and after years of self-hate and loathing, I’m FINALLY LOVING MYSELF. This is the follow up post to how I’m practicing self love on a daily basis.
I’m putting this into a list format but there is no order.
- I stopped apologizing for who I am. I used to find myself apologizing ALL THE TIME. Stop for a second and think about how many times you utter the words “I’m sorry,” in the span of your day. Bonus points if you're a woman because damn if we don't apologize all the time! I used to apologize for everything. At some point along this journey, I realized that this was completely unnecessary and I changed my verbiage. I no longer apologize for things that do not warrant an apology or for being who I am. This may sound selfish or rude but I’M NOT SORRY.
- I’ve cut out the negative self talk. I stopped looking at myself in the mirror and wishing things were different. I do not talk down to myself. I raise myself up and I raise others with me. Change the way you talk to yourself and about yourself and change your life. I swear it!
- I’ve become mindful of my food. You’ve read all about this all over my blog and you know I’m a huge advocate of Whole30. This elimination diet has taught me so much about my body, my mind, my spirit and what I’m capable of. It has cultivated a relationship between my mind and body that I absolutely love. For the first time in my life, I am really in-tune with what's going on in my body.
- I’ve become mindful of the people I follow on Social Media. This is a big one. So often I would find myself comparing my life and my experiences with strangers on the internet until I realized that it was really effecting me in a negative way. So I started unfollowing people and guess what? I don’t miss them. I don’t get off of Instagram or Facebook now wishing my life looked like anybody else’s and that allows space for me to see how wonderful my life really is. So go unfollow some people, I bet it will make you feel great!
- I say no to things and protect my “recharge” time. I do not stretch myself thin. I’ve talked about this need to “recharge” before and it’s honestly so important to me. If I don’t want to do something, I try my best to say no. Not because I don’t want to hang out with you or because I don’t think you’re important. I do it because I am important too and in order for me to function at my optimal level, I need my alone time.
- I have reinstated my at-home yoga practice. I’ve done yoga #everydamnday since January 1. Yoga is all about union, yoking the mind, body, and spirit. This practice keeps me rooted and it’s something I look forward to every day. Sometimes I practice in the morning, sometimes in the evenings but no matter what, I do it every day. My practice is more than just the Asanas (poses). I pay attention to my Pranayama (breath), my emotions, my feelings, and yolk them with the Asanas. This mind/body/spirit connection has me loving myself daily.
- I’ve consistently kept a Gratitude Journal. Everyday, right after my yoga, I practice gratitude. I spend a few minutes each day thinking about three things I’m grateful for. Sometimes I alternate between three things that I’m looking forward to that day or three things that is going to make the day great. This action of showing gratitude really helps me to focus on how much love I have for myself.
- I have prioritized sleep.* This, along with being mindful around food, is my main focus in 2018. I’ve been working diligently to prioritize sleeping and it's paying off. I'm seeing improvement in mental capacity, mood, and more.
Taking care of yourself is not easy. It takes work and sometimes it seems selfish. BUT, this is your one and only life (I think). You need to be the best version of yourself for your partner, your kids, your dogs, but most importantly, you need to be the best version of yourself for you. You deserve it.
With so much love for you and me,
*If you want more information about why you too should prioritize sleep, check out Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew P. Walker. PREPARE TO HAVE YOUR MIND BLOWN.