It’s easy to think that self-love is all about treating yourself. And while some part of that is true, we can’t say that’s completely all there is to self-love.
If anything, self-love is an ongoing process. It means a lot of work and effort to give yourself the love your body, mind, and spirit deserve.
I’ve been talking a lot about self-care and mental health recently, especially as we all adapt to the new normal in our own ways and lives. So here’s a list of 6 ways to show yourself some real self-love – no bath bombs or Netflix marathons included (but a welcome bonus if you really need it).
Set boundaries between yourself, work, and social media
Boundaries are one of my biggest core values as a person, and that extends to all parts of my life. I’ve personally seen the positive impact that setting clear boundaries can do for my mental health, including feeling better about my relationships with other people because we are aware of each other’s boundaries.
If you’ve never really set clear boundaries before, here’s how you can start.
The easiest place is to set boundaries between work and the rest of our lives. That could mean turning off pesky email notifications (nobody likes them anyway), updating your Slack status, or verbally telling colleagues about your strict no-work days.
Yet another boundary you can set is between you and social media. When it’s so easy to compare our progress to other people’s highlight reels, especially from social media, we need to take a step back.
Mute accounts that give you negative thoughts. Unfollow influencers that make you question your contentment in your own life. Stop watching Instagram Stories of people you don’t really want to be watching Stories of anyway – you are in no way, shape, or form required to engage with anybody online, so set those boundaries, yo.
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Accept the pace your life is going as is
If you’re anything like me, you can get impatient at the pace your life is going. But one powerful way to show yourself self-love is by accepting that your pace is your pace; you’re not going too fast, you’re not going too slow.
Trust in the timing of your choices and decisions – even in the things you can’t control.
Find a creative outlet for your feelings
Recently, I had a conversation with some dear creative friends, both dancers, about the importance of staying creative in the middle of this new normal. And in the middle of this conversation, I learned an extremely valuable thing:
Creating is an outlet for our feelings.
Sometimes we can’t verbalize our feelings. Sometimes we can’t understand where our feelings are coming from.
But having a creative outlet can help us process these feelings in a truly unique way. So next time you’re feeling stressed or worried – or even when you aren’t sure what you’re feeling – try taking a pen to paper, or dancing to your favorite song, or painting a huge canvas with your hands.
Consider starting a passion project where you can devote some time and energy. This can be a healthy way to process your feelings, and there can be something to look back on after making some progress.
Not sure what kind of passion project to start? Here’s a list that can help you create the passion project of your dreams.
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Forgive yourself for any off days
Remember that you’ve overcome 100% of all your “off” days in the past. So you’ll get through any off days in the future.
It can be really hard to forgive ourselves, especially when we start dwelling in things like “I should have done this,” or “I should have said that.” But lingering on those thoughts won’t do you any good, sunshine.
Instead, tell yourself things like, “Today wasn’t a good day. I’m not okay, and that’s okay” or “I know I could have done better, but I won’t always be able to operate at 101%. That’s human, and that’s okay.”
Talk to someone who won’t judge
There can be a lot of reasons you’re feeling down or anxious. Maybe there’s tension in your family. Maybe adapting to online learning has been tough on you.
Or maybe you’re experiencing a breakup – in fact, BetterHelp explains that people coping with the stress of breakups can also experience social anxiety, where you often worry about what choices you make and what the future holds.
In any case, feel no shame in speaking with some who won’t judge you. Be it a licensed therapist trained to handle people experiencing stressful experiences or even a family member you can trust with all your heart.
Self-love is letting yourself process your emotions and feelings with someone who wants what’s best for you. It may not be easy being open and vulnerable, but it can be really healing when you can speak to somebody without judgement.
Reevaluate your goals
Another great way to show yourself some self-love? Reevaluating your goals this season.
Many things can knock our initial goals off the rails (sometimes by miles and miles), and that happens.
So one of the best ways I’ve found to cope when things don’t go according to plan? Reassessing my goals.
Doing so can help you move forward more productively. When you need to realign, it’s easier to not get caught up on “what ifs” and “could have beens.” Also, reevaluating your goals can also give you a lot of clarity – were your goals even yours to begin with? Did you only make those goals to please somebody?
You can show yourself self-love by setting goals that are meaningful to you, not goals that you feel you “should have” based on anyone else’s standards.
How will you show yourself self-love?
Loving ourselves wholeheartedly can be a lifelong process – but one that is worth every single step. I truly believe when we are kind to ourselves first, we can show up to our other relationships, other commitments, and other duties even better than before. Are there other self-love practices you want to share? Comment down below so others can learn from you too!
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