Do you ever lie in bed feeling depressed, thinking “I am full of flaws”, “I hate myself”, or even “I am worthless”?
Self-love is never an easy job. When you do something below your expectations, you may sometimes fall into the anxiousness of not being good enough, judging yourself harshly instead of appreciating yourself for what you have done. It can be hard not to blame yourself for the problems in your life.
But since resentment and disgust with yourself will only keep you from living a happy and fulfilled life, self-love is one of the most important skills for everyone to learn. Before you reach outside yourself for validation, you should learn to love yourself.
But what does self-love actually mean?
Self-love means that you accept yourself fully, that you treat yourself with kindness and respect, and that you nurture your growth and wellbeing. Self-love is not only about how you treat yourself but also about how you think and feel about yourself. This simply means you can try to imagine what you would do for yourself, how you’d talk to yourself, and how you’d feel about yourself that reflects love and concern.
Why is self-love important?
In my experience, three of the most important reasons are:
- Life becomes simpler and lighter
When you love yourself more then things simply become lighter and easier. You won´t overthink or worry as much as you used to. Or beat yourself up or drag yourself down over mistakes or temporary setbacks.
- You’ll have more inner stability and less self-sabotage
When your opinion of yourself goes up then you’ll stop trying to get so much validation and attention from other people. You become less needy and find an inner stability and strength even when your world might be negative or uncertain at times.
The increasing self-esteem and self-love also make you feel more deserving of good things in life and so you’ll self-sabotage less and go after what you want deep down with more motivation and focus than ever before.
- You’ll be happier
The main reason why I value self-esteem and self- love so highly, is simply because it has made my own life so much happier and more fun. You can and will enjoy the small things in life more, you will be approached differently by others and you will eventually, by giving yourself more love, receive more love!
What does self-love look like?
It really is not so difficult to be kinder to yourself and to start loving yourself more, here are some examples of what self-love can look like in action:
- Say positive things to yourself
- Forgive yourself when you make a mistake
- Acknowledge and meet your own needs
- Be assertive
- Do not let others take advantage of you
- Make your health and wellbeing a priority
- Spend time around and with people who support you and that give you energy (and avoid people who don’t)
- Ask for help
- Let go of frustrations or anger that hold you back
- Recognize and be proud of your strengths
- Value and listen to your feelings and inner voice
- Make healthy choices most of the time
- Live in accordance with your values
- Pursue your dreams and goals
- Keep challenging yourself
- Hold yourself accountable for your own deeds
- Treat yourself and enjoy a little pampering every now and then
- Accept your imperfections
- Don´t set your expectations too high, be realistic
- Write down your progress and effort and be proud of yourself!
How to start?
To get started, I suggest that you think of one loving thing you can do for yourself today. It could be as simple as a supportive thought (I really worked hard today, I am a pretty good cook) or action (buy yourself some flowers, take a long bath or slowly enjoy a nice cup of tea). Next, write down what you’re going to do in the following days/weeks and when you will do it. Writing it down increases accountability and makes it more likely that you’ll follow through. As you add more and more loving thoughts and actions to your daily life, they’ll begin to crowd out some of your self-defeating thoughts and behaviours. With practice, self-love will become second nature.
Or try the 7 day self-love challenge to kick start your self-love and boost your self-esteem!
Good luck and keep falling in love with yourself!
Written by your SISters in Wellness Femke