The internet is agog with the need for self care, self love and the likes for some time now and its become something that i give a lot of thought to these days and i decided to do a blog post about self love.
For the month of August, I've decided to run a series i have termed "Yourself". Check out the first series on how to build your self esteem . It has gotten a lot of love from readers and i hope you relate to a thing or two when you do read it!
So, is the idea of loving yourself first before being able to love someone else, ludicrous? I mean what is the whole idea about?
Well, self love is self love. Learning to love you for you. Giving yourself love before projecting that love unto someone else.
The whole idea sounded a bit crazy to me i must say (because i don't have a selfish bone in me) but the more i thought about it, the more i understand what it truly means to love oneself and the more it makes sense to me.
Self love is the foundation for great self esteem, self confidence, good health, success and your total well being. It is the appreciation and compassion you have for yourself.
Table Of Contents
About Losing Yourself, Losing Self Love
There have been times i lost myself loving other people ranging from friends, family and a partner or two. I am the sort of person that will go all out to help out, at work and my family and even my past relationships. Talk about women who love too much!
A friend is getting married? I am at the forefront. Organizing (chief event planner lol), a do at home? I am always fully involved, financially, mentally and physically. A project at work? I will do all i can to ensure everything goes well and project goals achieved.
Then with time, i discovered that a lot of people even my own family takes my "being caring" and "can do" nature for granted. Everyone believes you have everything and that is why you always help out. They begin to act 'entitled" so expect you to ''show up'' when they snap their fingers or come calling. I mean!
THEN, when i have my own thing to do, birthday, a departmental project etc, everyone forms busy lol. Oh Jennifer is self sufficient, she is capable, she can do it herself, she will be fine. Those are the usual responses i get. Eye openers for sure.
Well, it took me time to discover and i decided very "selfishly" that i was going to be doing ME, MYSELF and I from henceforth. That is where self love comes from.
The Whole Idea Of Self Love
Self love is love of self or regards for one's own happiness or advantage.
I know you are beginning to think the whole idea of loving yourself is being selfish. Well, it is. To an extent. I am not saying, loving other people, helping them and all that is bad. You all know i am an advocate for the underdog anytime, any day but doing all that to the detriment of your own well being is absolutely a No No.
Your wellbeing: physical, emotional, mental and all that depends on you. You alone. I got myself in a "bind" last year in something that was so devastating, i wanted to blame the other party but the truth is i let myself be in that position. So i cannot not afford to blame anyone. The experience was so 'impactful", i wrote a blog about ten life lessons you need to learn now. You can check it out HERE.
At one point or the other, you will realize that you need to do more for yourself, take care of yourself, pamper yourself and love yourself more!
Self love must come first. Should come first before every other thing. When you don't love yourself or take care of yourself, you won't be able to achieve those things that you have set out to do, you will never be healthy or strong (think about it, how can you be healthy and strong if you don't practice self love and care?) to do the things you want to do, to have a meaningful life.
Self Love Practices
There are a number of self love practices out there and i have decided to do these ones (some i am already practicing and others i can do well to start ASAP).
Anytime, any day. Choose yourself over anything and everyone else. This year has been fraught with financial "obligations" that have set me back miles financially. The i "should care and contribute" mindset that i have been "plagued" with has often been to my detriment. Only do what you can if you must! Do not give to the point of putting yourself in peril. Start your self love journey by choosing yourself. Every. Single. Time.
Develop Positive Habits
Most of our ability to realize and achieve our dreams depends on the kind of habits that we keep/have. Daily habits, small habits all contribute towards our achievements. I started eating healthy earnestly this year (I've fallen off the wagon a couple of times but get back on because i know being healthy is important), i formed the habit of reading something positive and also doing something towards achieving my career goals. Even sleeping early instead of binging on your favourite show on Netflix ("wink"). Eat healthy, exercise as much as you can. Positive habits that you can develop are numerous, Explore. Then Do.
Darling, if there is one thing you shouldn't slack at, it is pampering yourself! I was so caught up with work last year, trying to climb one more step on the corporate ladder (oh, the way the corporate world sucks you in!), i didn't do any fun thing till end of the year when i went on holiday. I have resolved to do more by way of pampering myself and that is why i have booked some me spa time next week. Yeah! We all need to pamper ourselves.
Take yourself out to that fancy new restaurant you keep looking at on your way back from work, let the heat from a sauna take away those kinks from your shoulder and let a masseuse work their magic on you, have a Moroccan bath and scrub. Indulge. Love yourself!
Avoid Negative Vibes
Someone trolled me on the internet a while back, on Instagram to be precise after i put up a popular post on Body Shaming . I was upset. Deeply so because the comments were bordering on racism and of course you all know cyber bullying. It was not until one of my followers called out the guy and others joined in, that i was able to regain some of my usual upbeat self. That's what negative vibes can do. Kill your shine and dull your edges.
Put away negative vibes, people who tend to put you down because they feel they know all, friends who never have anything good to say or invariably do all they can to bring you down by their actions and in actions.
Avoid Negative Self Talk
We all do this to ourselves when we are faced with negative situations or when things don't go as planned. God knows i am number one when it comes to this. We beret ourselves to the point of self pity we become "nuisance" to ourselves and those around us. So things didn't go as planned? Big deal! We all need to stop talking ourselves "down" just because of one or two isolated issues happened that will not have any bearing on our goals at the end of the day.
The way you are. I have this big scar on my left heel that i talked about on Day 9 Of My 30 Day Blog Challenge and i have always had this love/hate relationship with my ears (the petty things we do to ourselves smh). It took me a long time to accept them as unique parts of me. Accept yourself. Flaws and all. I believe It is only when you have been able to accept yourself as you are, you will begin to build on your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
Adopt A Healthy Lifestyle
Like i mentioned above, i decided to mind what i feed my body and what better time to start, than right NOW? Afterall, if you are not healthy, you cannot pursue those life goals you set out and want to achieve. "Baby steps" is the best way to start. At work, i try to use the Samsung Health App on my phone to track my steps on a daily basis. I do this by going to the conference room, walk round while the App tracks and records my steps.
Well, i must confess i don't always do this (at times work gets in the way or sheer laziness knocks on the door and i succumb) but the most important thing is i know i need to adopt a healthy lifestyle and i am making the efforts to do so. You should too because that's one of the ways you definitely know you love yourself.
What Self Love Isn't
Self love is not narcissism
Self love is not being selfish
Self love is not a destination, it is an every day practice
Like Oscar Wilde said, "To Love Oneself Is A Lifelong Romance". So go on, begin that lifelong romance with yourself by loving YOURSELF and thank me later!
So is the idea of Self Love delusional? Well, i leave you to answer that. For Yourself!
What are some of self love practices you do for yourself? Let us know in the comments section. You know i love to hear from you all! Enjoy the rest of the week and stay tuned for the last blog post in the YOURSELF series.