Self-love: what it does and doesn't mean“Self-love” is something we throw around in conversation often these days. Sometimes we refer to it as “self-care” or “self-compassion.” We’re searching earnestly for a better way to exist in a world that demands so much of us. We are hard-working, successful, organized, and we meet so many expectations–most of them at the expense of our own health and wellbeing.

We can skip over self-love with the excuse that it’s frivolous and unnecessary. It’s become a cliché to “love ourselves”. When our time is in high demand, focusing on ourselves is often the last thing on our minds.

Unfortunately, without self-love, we will find ourselves overworked, run down, and exhausted. Although I would love to, I cannot tell you how to love yourself. When it comes to this subject, you are the only expert. If you don’t feel like an expert in self-love, there are a few tips and tricks that will help you get there.

  1. Self-love requires you to know yourself.
    Many of us are so busy that we’re not even paying attention to how we’re doing mentally, emotionally, or physically. Mindfulness is a good way to begin working toward better self-awareness. It requires us to slow down and be present with ourselves in each moment. This provides enough space for us to notice the aches, the vague discomfort, the over-worked mind, the persistent anxiety—whatever it may be that is keeping us from feeling our best. You must know yourself before you can love yourself because you cannot love yourself until you know what you need.
  2. Self-love is an attitude.
    There are practical applications for self-love, which we’ll get to. But before self-love can become part of our day-to-day lives, it has to become deeply rooted in our thought process. The critical internal narrative that reminds you of your failures, questions your value, and constantly drags you down—that has to go. Self-love begins with the way we speak to ourselves. Do we speak to ourselves with the same respect and kindness we offer to others? If the answer is anything but a resounding yes, we have some work to do.
  3. Practical self-love is not strictly puppy yoga and bubble baths.
    Puppy yoga and bubble baths are great, don’t get me wrong. They’re not for everyone though. Self-love can be paying off that credit card that always nags at you. It can be taking a long walk outside in the sunshine. It can be ending the day with a cup of tea. It can be almost anything that eases your stress and helps you show up in the world as the best version of yourself. I have friends who practice self-love through exercise and others who practice self-love through mediation or taking a nap. This is where knowing yourself becomes so important. Whatever you need in the moment, knowing it and giving it to yourself—that is practical self-love.

This month, forget about everything the world tells you about love and Valentine’s Day. Instead, focus on understanding yourself and what you need and turn that into a self-love habit that will revolutionize your wellbeing and empower to present your best self to the world around you.

If you’re looking for a boost to help you get started on your self-love journey, join the Love, Me challenge in my Shine on Purpose group. There will be daily inspiration and challenges to help you build habits of self-love and self-respect. For more support, schedule your complimentary 30-minute session with me today! Don’t let another day go by without loving yourself in the way you deserve.

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