Everyone is talking about self-love. I used to think self-love was about liking what you see in the mirror, but I’ve realised that it’s so much more than that.My final year of university was much more stressful and challenging than I anticipated. It didn’t just take its toll on me emotionally and physically, it encouraged me to pause and reflect on my relationship with myself and with others. I’m still on the path to loving and accepting myself unconditionally but here’s what I’ve recently learned about self-love.
Me-time is essential
It’s super important to make time yourself (with no apologies), regardless of what you’ve got going on. Dedicate time in your schedule to pamper yourself, spend time with friends and family, do activities you enjoy or doing nothing at all. And, if you can, try to eat healthy, get enough sleep and exercise regularly. You’ll feel better.
Make decisions that are right for you
Don’t do things you don’t want to do. The expectations and opinions of others are irrelevant, so focus on your own needs.
This one, I learned the hard way, but boundaries basically determine what and how much we’re willing to tolerate from others. Think about what behaviour you will and won’t accept, then make that clear to those around you. That way, it’s much easier to speak up when someone crosses the line.
Let people go
This can be really difficult (it is for me), but sometimes it needs to be done. Don’t keep holding on to people and relationships that are damaging to you in any way. Say goodbye to anyone toxic who fails to treat you how you deserve to be treated. Walking away might hurt at first but you’ll feel much better in the long run.
It’s OK to not be OK
According to social media, everything will work out fine as long as we display never ending optimism and radiate “positive vibes” all day long. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for positivity but feelings such as sadness, guilt, anxiety, loneliness, insecurity, anger, vulnerability etc are valid because we’re human. Assess how you really feel and don’t resist any of those so-called negative feelings. There’s nothing wrong with not being OK sometimes, accept it.
Don’t be so hard on yourself
You don’t have to criticize and judge yourself so harshly, you know. Acknowledge any past mistakes, missteps and failures, forgive yourself, learn from it and keep it moving. A bit of self-critique is a good thing but it can easily get out of hand. Make it a habit to celebrate and reward yourself whenever you achieve a goal or experience triumphs. No-one is perfect so learn to embrace yourself, wholly, as you are and don’t beat yourself up so much!
What are your best tips for self-love? Would love to hear them in the comments.