In the last year or so the term Self-Love has been floating around more and more… which is a good thing, but also a bit confusing if you don’t understand the concept. Self-Love is the regard for one’s own well-being and happiness. Two things that seem really simple when you say it like that, but when you add in work, school, kids, pets, significant others, and possibly attempting to have a social life it is very easy to let those things slip into the background.
You may see the word self-love and think oh you must be selfish? You are putting yourself above and before anyone else, who would be so arrogant? First off not true! There is absolutely nothing wrong with working on your own well-being and happiness (Mothers re-read that sentence several times so you stop guilt tripping yourself) Second if you yourself are struggling, unhappy or tired, how in the world are you going to be able to be the best you to deal with the mountain sized list of people and things you need to work on? You can't! And that is why self-love is something you need to work on not just for yourself but for the others around you.
It is ok to want to be happy and it is ok to spend time on your mental and physical well-being. It is ok to enjoy life and live it in a way that makes you happy, unless that requires illegal things cause that is socially frowned upon.
Now that we all can agree that we need to work on Self-Love, how in the heck are we supposed to do that? I know it would help my self-love if I bought that new Kate Spade purse I have been eyeing, but my budget would probably yell at me. Self-Love is working hard mentally and physically every day to incorporate things that are good for you and that make you happy. And that doesn’t mean you need to spend tons of money. Hell it doesn’t even require you to leave the house if you don’t want too. Don’t think of this as another chore that gets added to your to do list. Believe me I have been that person, think of it more as the start to you time.
Below is 7 ways that you can use as an outline to start your self-love journey. Whether you practice one of these guides every week, once a month or do every one each day, all that matters is that you start! Here we go…
1. Stop Negative Self-Talk:
It is so very easy to talk negatively about ourselves now a days. With constant comparison to others on social media. Wishing you had this or that, thinking you will never look like that, be as smart as or popular as someone else. I can say first hand I could probably get a Master’s Degree in Negative Self-Talk. Because of that, I make myself my worst enemy and my meanest judge. But what I have realized in the last year or so is that by me talking shit about myself it literally helps NO ONE! It doesn’t motivate me, it doesn’t teach me a lesson about my choices and decisions, and it sure as hell is not going to help with body issue problems. Talking negatively about things we do not like about ourselves seems so much easier then to say something positive. That has to stop! When I get into one of those rough mental places here are some tips you can use to stop and adjust your thoughts.
- Take a deep breath and tell your brain to shut the hell up! And say something nice for every mean thing said.
- Stop comparing yourself to other. You are trying to be the best YOU, not a version of them. We don’t need 9,000 Kim Kardashian’s, one is just fine.
- Remember the things you have that you are thankful for. Sometimes I get down about living in an apartment when I dream of having a house. But I remember how ridiculously proud I am that I can afford and live in my apartment. Put your situation into perspective.
- Shit Storms Happen… Grab an umbrella! Let’s be real when you are having a bad day it always seems to get worse. Everything goes wrong, one thing after another, and it can instantly start your negative self-talk to go into overdrive. Take a deep breath and just keep going. How much will this day matter to you in a year? If it’s not going to affect you grab a piece of chocolate and go to bed.
- Meditate! Don’t knock it till you have tried it.
2. Freshen Up Your Environment:
Don’t underestimate how much impact your environment has on your mood. Little adjustments to the space around you can really effect your well-being. One piece of Self-Love that I feel like people don’t fully grasp is that it is all encompassing of your life and lifestyle. You adjust your lifestyle/environment so that the results make you happy. Here are some tips.
- Start cleaning more. I try to tidy and clean my house for 5 mins a night before I got to bed. It has made a huge difference on 1) how clean my place looks 2) it reduces my stress about things being messy. Which I think we can all agree a single dirty dish in the sink can turn into 15 overnight if you don’t keep on top of it.
- A lot of people, myself included, work in offices all day or rarely see outside during an 8- 5 work shift. Sometimes you need to get up and be outside. I walk my dog every morning before work and I noticed how more mentally prepared I feel for the day.
- Travel: Whether it is down to a different part of your town, a park or a different continent. It is nice to change your environment.
3. Physical Care:
Be honest, there are things we could do in our life to better our well-being. Here are some tips below and they don’t cost a thing.
- Exercise. You don’t need to spend any money for a gym membership or even leave the house if you don’t want to. Youtube has been amazing for finding great workouts for free. My favorite trainer is Lucy Wyndham-Read, here is her link.
- Drink more Water. You should be drinking half your weight in oz of water a day… are you? Probably not. Get a cute water bottle or a free water tracker app on your phone that reminds you to drink up. TIP: always keep your bottle or cup on the side of the hand you us. If you are left handed keep it on the left side of your desk. You will naturally reach for it more than if it was on the opposite.
- Take Your Vitamins! I put mine next to my makeup remover so when I get out of the shower and start my skincare routine I just pop them in. If you hate pills go get the gummy version. I have no shame in being 25 eating Adult Gummy Vitamins! Trader Joes has good ones that are affordable.
- Make sleep a priority. We all run on not enough sleep. Make sure you are trying to set a bedtime and stick to it as much as possible. I have an alert on my phone that alerts me 30 mins before I should be in bed.
4. Tackle a Concern:
There are nine million items on our To-Do List we would love to tackle but they just seem to get flushes away. Organizing something, trying to find time to budget, house projects, children. Start to tackle those little concerns one week at a time. By the end of it you will have done so many things it would amaze you.
- Start writing a list of concerns that you want to tackle. They can be anything you think needs to get done, planning for the future, organizing. Writing it out also helps because it can take it out of your brain for a bit and reduce that stress.
- Then each week pick a task from your list that you want to tackle.
- Slowly but surely you will whoop that lists butt and feel much for accomplished. And there is nothing better for your happiness than feeling accomplished.
Work on reconnecting with the people and things around you. This one is so important and becomes something we really let take a back seat when life gets busy. Especially if you are a new mom. Having a newborn can be overwhelming but your friends and family can be a text away. Remember to stay connected it might help you through the rough nights.
- Try to spend 10 mins a day talking to your friends. Via call, text, facetime, funny memes. Talking with people you love and care for will always make you happy, so make time.
- In the opposite turn of that statement don’t spend time with people that are toxic for you. If it is not good for your happiness to constantly deal with that person, don’t. Don’t put all your effort there if it isn’t needed.
- Plan friend dates. Even if its 30 mins to get ice cream or to come over and watch a movie try to plan time with people you care about.
- If it is really hard for everyone to meet try calendaring for events at the beginning of the year with your family or friends so you know well in advance that you are busy during those times.
6. Try Something New:
It is easy to get stuck in the same rut. Same routine, same food, same people. Doing the same is easy but it doesn’t mean that it is always the best for us. Here are some tips to add some newness to your life.
- Look up different recipes on Pinterest with keywords of food items you have in your house. You may cook something you never knew you liked.
- Try to find new parks or open walking paths in your area. Take your dog or kids to tire them out, that is good for everyone’s mental health.
- Update your closet. Go through all your clothes and reorganize them. Place the items you love the most at the front so you constantly see them when you are getting ready. And donate anything you don’t need.
- If you are new to an area or have a hard time finding local things that are happening, go to your town website and check their events page. They also probably have a local office as well that you could pop into and get the activities magazine from.
- Start up a new hobby or activity. I just recently started cross-stitching to calm my mind down at night before I go to bed and I am absolutely loving it. Try an art class, cooking class, or even maybe a dance class!
7. Pamper Yourself:
When I hear the word pamper honestly my first thought is how much is that going to cost me? Getting nails done, waxing, buying new make up, skin care its racks up. Although I love all those things I know my budget is not as happy as I am after. There are simple things you can do to pamper yourself without your budget being mad after!
- Moisturize! We all forget on busy days to lather lotion on. It just sits waiting for you to use. Even more in these hot months when the life is getting sucked out of us in this heat… help your skin.
- Sephora. Sephora is amazing at samples. If you want to try a new face mask for the night or test out a new foundation. Just ask one of the sales reps for a sample of what you may like.. and no you don’t have to spend any money. They also teach different makeup classes on the weekends that are entirely free! Just look at your local Sephora for a schedule.
- Paint your nails at home. I know I personally have more nail polish then I can use. Find time one day when you have 20 mins of no movement and paint your nails. It saves money and might even put a pep in your step.
- Take a bath… I personally solve a lot of problems while in the bath. I find it the easiest way to calm down instantly. Burn those candles, turn the lights off, and just soak.
- Netflix and Chill: sometimes There is nothing more you need in life than to get sucked into a tv show for a few hours. Just do it, and do it guilt free. We all have times where we need to veg out so we can recharge.