February is known as the month when you show even more devotion and affection than usual to the people you care about most. However, that isn’t the only love you should consider. It’s important to show yourself some gratitude by honoring one of the most enduring loves you should have, self-love.
What is self-love?
Simply put, self-love is the appreciation you have for yourself and the regard you have for your well-being and happiness. The relationship you have with yourself may require as much time and attention as your relationships with others. The practice of self-love will be different for each person, but it starts by focusing on your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being for others. Your self-love can grow from nurturing three key areas:
- Mind: Activities such as learning more about your interests, playing games, or doing mental exercises can all feed your mind.
- Body: A nutritious diet, regular exercise, and restful sleep are the cornerstones of a healthy and happy life.
- Spirit: You should fill your time with activities that satisfy you personally, such as spending time in nature, meditating, or volunteering.
Ways to practice self-love
The development timeline of self-love will be different for everyone. What works for you won’t necessarily work for a friend or family member. However, there are some actions you can take to take better care of yourself.
Figure out your needs
One of the first steps to improving your self-love is to figure out what your needs are. Sure, you need food, water, and sleep, but what people, places, or experiences make you feel fulfilled? If there was a time when you were feeling down, was something missing? Whether it’s a career you’re passionate about or a chance to volunteer for a particular cause, figuring out what you need to feel accomplished and making it a priority can help improve how you feel about yourself.
It’s important to value yourself and focus on your physical necessities, including exercise, getting enough sleep, eating a nutritious diet, and having healthy social interactions. Make time in your schedule for completing a yoga workout, drinking enough water, or relaxing with loved ones. Even some simple forms of self-care, such as taking breaks from work to stretch or avoiding social media, can positively impact you. By meeting your needs, you may feel better about yourself, which, in return, may affect the other areas and relationships in your life.
Self-love means more than saying yes to the things you enjoy; it also means learning to say no to some people or activities in your life. It is difficult to say no to family members, friends, or coworkers. However, it’s essential to occasionally prioritize your needs over the needs of others. Avoid partaking in activities you find physically or emotionally draining. You don’t need to attend every event if you’d prefer to spend your time relaxing at home or on an activity you enjoy.
There’s a good chance you’re harder on yourself than anyone else. And while these feelings can motivate you, they can also leave you feeling pessimistic. If something doesn’t go right, it’s important to remember that everyone makes mistakes, so let go of negative feelings and find a positive way to overcome them. Many people have said something they regret or have forgotten an important event. Instead of labeling your experiences as failures, consider them lessons learned. Remember, even though you may feel everyone notices when you make a misstep, most people tend not to remember your flaws. Part of self-love is acknowledging that no one is perfect, so you shouldn’t hold yourself to an unattainable standard.
Avoid comparing yourself to others
Social media has given everyone an inside view of the lives of friends, family members, and celebrities. However, there is always more to everyone than meets the eye. Many people only post their accomplishments and the exciting moments in their lives. Comparing yourself to a curated online presence can negatively impact how you feel about yourself. It’s important to remember that people rarely post about the everyday difficulties or problems they face.
Eliminate external negative factors
While you can improve self-love through your own actions, external factors can sometimes have an impact. Try to surround yourself with people who treat you with respect and offer positive affirmations. And remember that it’s OK to question if you feel better or worse after interactions with some people in your life. Your loved ones can provide you with constructive criticism and have your best interests in mind. However, to improve your self-love, you may want to limit interactions with individuals who ignore your boundaries, disregard your opinions, or only have negative things to say.
What makes you unique? Celebrate it! Everyone is one of a kind, and you should cherish the things that make you special to develop a more heartfelt appreciation of yourself. Avoid concentrating on traits you consider flaws, and appreciate what makes you you. If you’re having a hard time figuring out what these things are, keep a journal handy, and write down the things about yourself that made you feel good that day. Make sure to celebrate your successes, whatever they may be. You deserve it.