I used to think self love meant "treat yoself".
You know... have a bad day? Get a cupcake. Rough day at work? Go shopping. Feel like total shit and all you wanna do is curl up in bed? Netflix, chill, and probably a bubble bath thrown in the mix.
Now don't get me wrong, there is a time and place for all of the above, but the past few years I've been on a major journey to self love and I realized how wrong I had it for so many years.
Thank you social media for totally messing this shiz up for everyone -- I mean the hashtags #selflove and #selfcare could be such a powerful tool if we actually applied self love in the way its intended! And maybe, just maybe, more woman would learn to actually love themselves.
So...what is the secret to self love you ask?
From my own personal journey, I've found that it rarely has anything to do with the things that are affecting us from the outside in...it's all about the work that you're doing from the inside out.
Here's a self love checklist I made to show you some examples of what I mean...
In other words, are you showing up for yourself every single day and doing the WORK to help you combat your insecurities, negativity, frustrations & anxieties?
Or do you find that you gravitate towards the numbing activities that allow your brain to just shut off because you're so damn tired?
If you're like 95% of the world, you probably find yourself answering YES to the latter most days. And I just want you to know that it's 100% NORMAL. I was there too for YEARS (and some days all I wanna do is numb the fuck out on the latest episode of the Bachelor and turn my brain off). And there's nothing WRONG with that. Hell, society tells us those are the right things to do...so how should you know any better?
Well, that's why I'm here.
Because I've lived on both ends of the spectrum.
I spent years numbing myself on treat yo-self actions because I was just so damn tired, anxious and irritable. And yeah, I'd feel better for a few minutes or maybe a few hours. But I was lightyears away from actually loving myself & being proud of the person I was on the inside.
And after practicing all of those self love actions (some daily, some weekly, some when I feel like it) for the past 2 years, I can honestly say that I actually know what self love is, because I feel it every damn day.
Now, I'll be the first to say this did not happen overnight. Not even close. It took daily inspired action to make these shifts. And a lot of it did not come easily to me, but if you're struggling with loving yourself in any way, I can promise you that if you dedicate yourself to putting some or many of these self love tools into action every single day, you will start to see a shift in you that you never imagined possible.
SELF LOVE TOOLS
1. Positive Self Talk
What are you saying to yourself? Do you use positive words when you're speaking about yourself? Or do you find yourself saying things like: "Man, I look gross today.", "Why can't I be prettier?" or "I'm never going to get that promotion."
It's a tough switch to flip but get curious about what you're actually saying to yourself and when you notice a negative thought, try one of these things to shift your mindset:
- When you look in the mirror, focus on what you DO love, not what you don't.
- Do something that makes you feel on freaking fire. Rock a workout. Throw yourself a dance party. Get out of your head and into you body!
- Quit the comparison game. I know you do it. We all do. If you are following people on social media that trigger you, stop following them. Or better yet, remember that you don't know their story or how they got themselves to look the way they do. Celebrate your own personal victories and remember that we're all on our journeys -- and where you are right now is exactly where you're supposed to be.
2. Moving Your Body At The Pleasure of Your Soul
Believe it or not, this is more of mindset shift than anything but when you're working out, do you do it because you're hell bent on CHANGING your body or because you APPRECIATE your body?
I came from a place of obsession because I hated my body for years, but the second I found programs that actually made me excited to push play & I ditched the scale and focused on how I was feeling, I started actually moving my body every day because it got me one step closer to feeling my most energized and confident self.
So find a program that lights you up, and find a supportive community to embark on the positive journey with.
3. Fueling your body with healthy foods
This one is a no brainer.
Are you putting foods that will help you body work and thrive at its peak? Or are you eating food that makes you feel like shit?
Show your body some major love by employing the "food is fuel" mantra in your life.
The first step to loving yourself is knowing yourself. I mean, how can you love a person you hardly know? It might sound crazy that you could be living as yourself and not really know yourself, but I've had SO many clients (myself included) share with me that when they started the process of journaling, they discovered SO many things about themselves.
HOW? Because they asked themselves questions they had never thought to ask. And they answered TRUTHFULLY.
Were all those answers things they liked hearing? Hell no. There are aspects of all of us that we don't like -- but once we really understand what those things are, we can take action on shifting those areas in our lives and adopting the tools to rise up into the best versions of ourselves.
Don't know where to start on the journaling front? This month we're rocking out a book alllll around journaling, so join our community here and dive on in with us!
5. Personal Development
Yup. I'm talking all things self help.
Think it's crazy? Read this post all about how my mind TOTALLY shifted on this topic -- and grab one of the books I recommend to get started!
Whatever floats your boat in this world (guided meditations, sitting and breathing in silence or hell, even just allowing yourself some quiet time away from any electronics or distractions), creating space in your life for SILENCE allows your body, mind and soul reset.
It gives you SPACE to just be. As you are. Whatever that may look like.
I use meditation as a daily tool to start my day with a clean slate or even to calm myself during stressful or emotionally taxing situations (which, let's face it, we all have them).
It's not about being perfect, it's about finding a practice that works for you!
7. Setting boundaries
Do you constantly find yourself saying YES to things that don't light you up? You over-extend yourself on the regular. Always trying to do anything and everything for the people around you but rarely spend any time on yourself?
While having a servants heart is a beautiful thing (and one I resonate with), it can be so taxing to constantly be saying yes to things. Before you know it, you burn out on all the things and have completely thrown your self care out the window because, you guessed it, by saying YES to something, you're saying NO to something else in your life.
So the next time your friend asks you to go out on a Friday night and all you want to do is go to a yoga class, come home, light some candles, take a bath and go to bed early with a good book, this is your official permission slip to say no.
SELF LOVE? IT'S ABOUT MAKING YOURSELF A PRIORITY SO YOU CAN FILL YOUR CUP UP AND POUR ALL THE GOODNESS INTO THE CUPS OF THE LIVES OF THOSE AROUND YOU.
Which self love exercise are you going to start implementing into your life?
Share in the comments!