Let’s face it, saying life has its ups and downs is putting it mildly. A more accurate descriptor would be there are cycles of advancement and regression, reworking and awakening, unpleasantness and pleasure, even chaos and calm; with many other experiences in-between that may make it difficult, at times, to show ourselves some kindness and understanding.
When we practice self-love, it’s not centred around feeling good or thinking positively; although both of these represent welcome side effects. It’s about creating moments of action that reclaim and prioritise compassion for ourselves. It’s mindfulness that helps maintain our mental and emotional well-being. Radical self-love is investing in ourselves; weaving resiliency into our lives so that when we feel like we’re going to come apart at the seams, we remember that we have value; we are worthy, we are loved, and we will get through whatever challenges we currently face.
Treating ourselves with compassion establishes space for growth, in all areas of our lives, that builds healthier intentions and outcomes. If we have established self-love as a typical part of our everyday lives; we’re more likely to seek out non-toxic relationships (romantic, familial or even work-based) that look after our physical and mental health. Other benefits could include experiencing less anxiety and depression and even being able to better recover from situations of stress.
Do not ignore your intuition. There is an infinite intelligence within you; let it be your guiding light. | Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom For A Better Life – Cleo Wade
Learning to take care of our well-being is not selfish; don’t believe anyone, even yourself, that may try to communicate otherwise. Having deep-rooted self-compassion, and the strength, stability, kindness and encouragement it produces is something we can gift to those around us. There is no way to appreciate and care for others if we don’t show any tenderness or consideration for ourselves.
Identifying how best to care for ourselves requires setting aside some time to figure out what our needs are and what works for us. It could be anything from nourishing our body with food that promotes physical health; establishing a sleep routine for rest and recovery; setting boundaries that protect our time/energy to practicing positive self-talk, taking nature walks or reading for relaxation. Whatever it is, it’s essential to take action to reclaim kindness and acceptance.
If it’s challenging to make sense of how to show self-compassion; typically during times of struggle, it can be beneficial to journal or work through some key questions that focus on our immediate well-being. Answering them may be emotional or uncomfortable, but exploring how best to alleviate any heaviness resting on our shoulders represents an essential first step on a self-love journey.
Try reflecting on …
- What is hindering me from being kind to myself today? What can I do to overcome those barriers?
- How do I want to feel today? How can I support my mental/emotional/physical health right now?
- What do I want to work through to make myself feel better? What three self-care activities will encourage me to achieve this?
Many times people don’t recognize, in the moment, when self-compassion would help them. The beauty of self-compassion is that it helps us both feel better and do better. It can be very helpful for getting past emotional stuckness. | 5 Signs That Someone Needs Some Self-Compassion – Psychology Today
Ultimately, an act of self-love is giving permission to nurture and celebrate who we are. We provide ourselves with the mental, emotional and spiritual means to uplift ourselves during the good times and carry us through the bad.
How do you show yourself love?
LBGTQ+ Friendly Emotional Health Resources – Everyday Health
76 Top Self-Care Tips for Taking Care of You – Everyday Health