By: April Yee
We’ve likely all heard about “self-love” and “loving yourself.” These concepts may seem good to do and have, but they may also seem lofty and hard to attain.
How do we love ourselves and have self-love? Where do we start, especially when we’ve been our harshest critics or engage in self-loathing thinking and behaviors?
Some ways that we hear about self-care are to get a massage, to get a pedicure or manicure, to treat ourselves to a new outfit or electronic device, or to enjoy a frothy, sweet drink. These are definitely a few ways to show care for ourselves, but at a somewhat superficial level.
When we do things that bring us joy, that is part of self-care.
I want to offer that self-care also looks like this:
- Drinking enough water to stay hydrated and alert
- Speaking to yourself with kindness instead of punishing yourself
- Eating nutritious food to fuel your body
- Going to the bathroom when you need to go
- Sleeping enough to allow your body to rest and repair
- Moving your body enough
- Committing to the things you want to do for yourself
- Thinking generous thoughts about yourself instead of critical thoughts
- Connecting with yourself and your body – listening to what you need
- Creating a supportive relationship with yourself
- Maintaining healthy boundaries with yourself and others
We can build our self-care muscles by practicing daily. Just like any other muscle we want to build, it takes time, effort, and commitment along with the desire to do so. We get to create our own journey to self-love and I believe these are some of the practices that carry us along the way.
When we realize how powerful it is to keep a commitment to ourselves, we start to build trust with ourselves and learn that we can have our own back, no matter what. This is how self-care can be transformative.
Our longest relationship we’ll have is the relationship we have with ourselves. What would our lives be like if that relationship is supportive, loving, kind, reliable, and trusting?
“When you’re at peace with yourself and love yourself, it is virtually impossible to do things to yourself that are destructive.”
― Wayne Dyer
Your turn: What self-care practices are you open to committing to today? What would you do differently when you trust yourself to do the things you want to do for yourself? How would your life be different when you love yourself no matter what?