What is self-love?
Before a person can practice self-love, first they need to understand what it is.
Aunt Bonnie’s is all about the practice of self-love as a way to promote health and wellness.
Loving yourself is having an attitude of gratitude, for yourself and everything you have, which grows from actions that support your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Self-love means having respect for your own self and giving healthy boundaries to others.
Self-love means taking care of yourself and your needs, not sacrificing your well-being to please others.
Self-love means knowing what you deserve and not lowering your standards.
Self-love is different for everyone, figuring out what self-love looks like for you can only benefit you in the long run.
What does self-love mean to you?
For starters, it can mean:
- Speaking to yourself with kind words and love
- Putting yourself first
- Not comparing yourself with others
- Believing in yourself
- Trusting your intuition
- Being nice to yourself
- Putting boundaries in place
- Respecting yourself
- Sticking to your word
- Forgiving yourself when you don’t stick to your word
Self-love is another way to say self-care, we need to practice self-care daily
- Listen to your body
- Consciously and purposely breathe
- Put your phone down and connect to yourself, enjoy the moment
- Eating healthily, but sometimes indulging in your favorite foods.
- Sleeping and resting well.
Self-love means allowing yourself to just be as you are in this very moment.
Accepting your imperfectly perfect self. Respecting your emotions and not closing yourself down when you are overwhelmed, you are human and the more you allow your emotions to come to the forefront the better, blocking them and pushing them down will only cause havoc later in life, put your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being first, love yourself!
Now, how can you love yourself that little bit more?
We know that self-love helps you make better choices in life, going down the healthy route just becomes part of you when you love yourself.
When you know you deserve more, you will choose things that nurture your mind, body, and soul.
These things may be in the form of eating healthy, working out, and having relationships where you hold healthy boundaries and respect for one another.
Here are some ways to practice self-love:
- Stop comparing yourself
In this era, with social media we are socialized to be competitive, it is a natural behavior for women and men, but it can be very unhealthy, especially with what we can do on social media now with photoshop and filters, some things are not what you see.
There is no point in comparing yourself to anyone because there is only one you.
Rather, focus your energy on yourself and the journey you are on instead of anyone else’s. The shift of energy, alone, will help you feel free.
- Let go of people who drag you down,
Not everyone understands they are responsible for their own energy, they don’t realize what they put out into the world just comes back on them, so they don’t take responsibility for it.
When you understand energy and realize how it works, you will not allow any toxic energies into your life.
If you feel negative or toxic energy around someone, you have the choice to keep your distance from them, you are only putting yourself first and that is your right, it’s not rude or wrong.
When someone brings toxic energy into your life and won’t take responsibility for it, don’t be afraid to walk away, even though it may be painful, even if it is someone you have known all your life, you need to remember to protect your energy.
- Face your fears
What does this mean, we are brought up with “big girls don’t cry”, and “go to your room” if you are upset, we are taught to bury our emotions, then as we grow older, it all comes flooding back, with fears, anxiety, etc, when we face our fears, we learn to understand them. We unblock our bodies and begin to feel more whole and balanced again.
This can really help with our minds, our emotions, and of course, our basic health, digging deep and facing your fears helps you to see what is holding you back, it will help you reveal any issues in your life that were causing you anxiety. This in turn will help alleviate some of your anxiety, hopefully, it all.
- Put yourself first
This is an issue for a lot of women, they feel the need to look after everyone else first then they come last, women need to stop feeling bad about putting their own needs first.
We need to remember we cannot pour from an empty cup, yes, we have to be responsible for our family, but looking after ourselves is looking after our children.
We need to recognize this and looking after our families should not cost us our mental or emotional well-being.
Find the time to relax and let things go, without that time to decompress and recharge you can put a serious strain on yourself. Whether it’s spending the day in your pj’s or outdoors walking in nature, find what works for you and dedicate time to doing it.
- Speak kindly to yourself
Words are very powerful, and we are our own worst critics, we need to speak to ourselves the way we would speak to someone we loved dearly. Celebrate how far you have come, and how much you have grown. You have got this; you are doing your best, and that’s all you can do.
Finally, to begin your self-love journey, start by being kind, patient, gentle, and compassionate to yourself, the way you would with someone else that you care about.
It may not happen overnight, but in time and with practice, it will become second nature to you, you may struggle sometimes, but it is all stepping stones in the journey of life.