Let’s be honest, with me included I think that the majority of us give ourselves a hard time. Whether that be beating ourselves up because we didn’t make it to the gym, we ate more chocolate than was intended, your favourite dress doesn’t fit anymore or that healthy eating plan has just gone off track. Similar scenarios of guilt and self-hate can be extended into work and family life too. But, imagine all the amazing things that could happen if we truly embraced the art of self-love.
Taking care of ourselves goes far beyond looking after our physical being by eating well and exercising, that’s barely scratching the surface. There is also and important need for self-love – to love yourself enough to create the life that you’ve always dreamed of living. Hell, you deserve it! Having a positive outlook on your life, appearance and aspirations is by no means an easy feat. Of course, life isn’t about unicorns and rainbows and events and certain situations will occur that will make us feel like total crap about ourselves, this is perfectly OK. I discussed with my email subscribers earlier this week that giving yourself the permission to let go of perfection is a heavy dose of self-love. Once you learn to accept your flaws this is when the real magic truly happens.
Like all of you, I’m not immune to crappy days when I look in the mirror and hate what’s looking back at me. We’ve all been there and got the t-shirt, right? For me, these days are thankfully becoming less and less as I’ve slowly learnt to deal with these challenges in a positive way. This has been a gradual change and something that I’m always working on to help me honour myself and realise my self-worth. After letting my self-care and self-love practises slide the past few weeks I’m on a bit of a mission to restore these acts of kindness towards myself.
If you’re wanting to dip your toes into the self-love pool, but think this means spending huge amounts of money on a faraway retreat, then this post has you covered. There are many simple and beautiful ways that you can practise kindness towards yourself and they don’t have to break the bank:
Do what you love
I always say that life is far too short to being doing something that you hate and living your dreams is a wonderful act of self-love! You don’t have to go to drastic lengths, like moving house or quitting your job. It can be as simple as writing a book or crafting, things that you can channel into your every day but you have dreamed about doing for so long.
Stop comparing yourself to others
‘Comparison is the thief of joy‘ is such a popular quote where the comparison trap is concerned and it’s so true. We are all individuals and being unique is what makes us beautiful. Focusing on yourself, what is positive in your life and your own abilities cannot only be empowering but enables you to forget about the comparison trap and be happy with your life.
Don’t get eaten up by negativity
There are times in our lives when we are going to be surrounded by negativity. It may seem hard at the time, but releasing these negative feelings is essential to not become consumed by them. Talking things through and confronting the negativity head on can work wonders for your mental health, although it may not seem that way at the time. Equally, it’s also important to deal with those who have shown you negativity by rising above it and moving on.
Striving to be someone whom you are not or feigning interest in something to try to impress someone means that you have to hide who you really are. This can only lead to unhappiness and let’s face it, it must be damn hard work trying to keep it up! Being happy with who you are is the first sign that you are comfortable in your own skin and love who you are.
Silence your inner critic
Your inner critic can be effed up at the best of times, especially when we’re already feeling vulnerable. Everyone has the right to feel greatness and sometimes we put limitations on ourselves, not giving us the space we need to grow. Believing in yourself is a major act of kindness, so silence your inner critic and start on the path to living a happier and healthier life.
Make time for yourself
I wrote a post a while back about the importance of being selfish and making time for yourself, which you can read here. Having a day or even just half an hour to yourself to indulge the things that you love can have a positive effect on your well-being and health. Occasionally prioritising your own needs and focusing on yourself is such a simple act of self-love.
Be forgiving towards yourself
In today’s world, we tend to concentrate on chasing perfection. At the end of the day, we’re all human and are prone to making mistakes. I truly believe that challenges and mistakes are brought to strengthen us and not to pull us down. Accepting that you’re not perfect and to stop punishing yourself is very important.
Remember that you are enough
Sometimes we can be our own worse enemy and constantly put ourselves down or feel that we’re not worthy enough. Always keep at the front of your mind that you are deserving of love and success, otherwise, you will find that you may miss out on some fantastic life enhancing opportunities.
Listen to Your Body
In today’s fast paced lifestyle we often neglect our bodies and forget to listen to what it craves. Being in tune with what your body really wants means that you will always be able to honour its needs, helping to nourish your body and feel fabulous.
Write yourself a love letter
This may seem like a crazy thing to suggest, but we so often hate talking or praising ourselves and getting it all down on paper is revolutionary. There is nothing arrogant in appreciating how awesome you are. Pull out all the things that you love about yourself and write them in your letter. Keep the letter in your desk or bag for when you need to be reminded of how bloody brilliant you are.
Loving yourself is essential to enjoying life to its fullest in all aspects. This isn’t always going to be the case and although I’m a very positive person I know that there are times when this approach just isn’t going to work. Practising self-love and having self-respect for yourself can influence many of the life decisions that we make. Appreciating our own self-worth, which can be developed through many acts of self-kindness, a few of them listed above can allow us to grow as people and enhance our health and well-being.