Around this time of year, many of us have kissed our new years resolutions (and sometimes dates) goodbye! You may be bitterly eyeing your co-workers while they receive bouquets or other lavish surprises for Valentine’s Day, you aren’t alone. Sometimes in life, self-love is the best love. In the words of Ru, “if you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?”
Women are often taught to take care of others. I’m sure you’ve read the viral posts about women in the workplace realizing–after years of doing it–that they didn’t HAVE to start the coffee for their peers in the morning, that it shouldn’t be the expectation. Growing up, it was quite important to my mom that I seemed sensitive to the needs of those around me. I mean, no one wants to raise a sociopath. As an adult, it took me years (still a work in progress) to voice my needs and desires. I was always extremely concerned with how everyone else felt, a blessing and a curse. But where were the lessons in self-love?
Self-love is the best love for many reasons. Keeping numero uno at the forefront of your mind and decision making can be incredibly beneficial to your state of mind and overall well-being. Self-love influences how you cope under pressure or with stress, how you deal with criticism and rejection, how you choose your friends and mates, your eating habits, etc. If you don’t set high expectations for yourself, you will usually accept less-than-worthy company because you feel undeserving of anything better. Like many things in life, fake it until you make it! I’m a professional thrower of self-pity parties. I jump to rock bottom headfirst with an anvil attached to my ankle sometimes. It’s perfectly okay to get down, and if you implement the right practices, you can turn all that shit around.
Self-love is something you cultivate, like a garden or a killer playlist. You incrementally add things over time, taking a step back to evaluate your progress and what can be eliminated. It is a process. It is the dynamic and multifaceted decision to take measures to improve your vision of yourself. When you practice self-love you have a measurable ascension towards maturing your soul and enriching your day to day. Self-love isn’t selfish, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Loving yourself allows you to love others and be more present in your work, life, relationships, literally everything. The kicker is that when you practice self-love, every other aspect of your life improves.
As a personal goal I’m going to practice some self-love every day, and I hope you join me!
- Make a list of activities that get you feeling well: Massage? Mocha? A bike ride? 60 minutes of uninterrupted Kardashians? You do YOU!
- Make a list of the things you do to avoid self-care:For me it’s TV. I think to myself, “I should workout…” This is quickly replaced with, “but I’ll continue to fail so why bother, pass the chips.” Get that shit out of your life. Avoid the things that inhibit you from nourishing your mind, body, and soul.
- Make a list of all the things you did accomplish that day: Made coffee, submitted that form at work, made it to Dr.’s appt, got the car washed. Nothing is too big or too small. As someone who works from home, I have to tell you that qualifying the things that I AM getting done can have a significant impact on my self-esteem.
- Don’t forget your body!: We need whole foods and exercise. No one worth shit will tell you otherwise. I’ve never completed a workout that I’ve regretted, ever. Start small and add it to your “list of things I did today.”