A definition is always a good place to start! Self-love means the regard for one’s well-being and happiness. If it sounds narcissistic than you are not alone. Many people and especially women are prone to put everyone else above themselves, and that creates problems when burn-out and other symptoms arise.
How much or how little you love yourself can influence whom you pick as a life partner, your friends, and how you cope with life stressors. Unfortunately, self-love has to be grown and tended to instead of bought, in other words, you must work for it.
Some tips for growing more self-love are:
1) Know your core beliefs and truths. You can listen to other's beliefs and appreciate that person without having to change your own beliefs to match theirs. Everyone is different, and it’s about accepting those differences while still knowing that your beliefs are just as valid and true for you.
2) Practice self-care. Many people think this is mani-pedis or a spa day, but it can be much simpler if you want it to be. Eating healthy, spending time outside without your phone, getting adequate sleep, physical or massage therapy, and maintaining healthy relationships are very much a part of self-care.
3) Know your boundaries. Some of us don’t know our boundaries until they are crossed, and that is OK. Once you know your boundaries, don’t allow anyone to cross them.
4) Have a life plan. Of course, this plan will change many times, but having a definite plan and goals to work at to reach the execution of that plan means you will be living intentionally instead of allowing life to blow you all over the place, which can lead to feelings of losing control and apathy.
Allow yourself to make mistakes. We are all going to make many small and large mistakes in our life but learning to forgive yourself and in turn, learn from those mistakes is the only way to move one from them.
Remember self-love is a process and takes time and dedicated effort. Don’t beat yourself up when you fall, pick yourself up and try again.
Photo by Tommie Huffman - www.WomynintheWild.com
P.S. We are not medical professionals. If you realize that you can’t pick yourself up, or things are too out of control for you to manage, please seek professional help right away. Seeking professional help is self-love.