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Practicing Self-Love


All our lives, we are taught to be kind to others. You should be sympathetic, compassionate, altruistic, welcoming, accepting, forgiving. But we are not told as often to be kind to ourselves. To be respectful and mindful. To be accepting of our flaws and recognising of our qualities. To take care of ourselves and put ourselves first. To nurture our personal well-being and growth. 

 

Well, today's post is all about practicing self-love: an oath to appreciating and honoring our worth. Self-love is not judging yourself, valuing your character and potential, trusting yourself and your capabilities. It is not settling for less than you deserve, and setting healthy boundaries in both your personal and professional life. 

 

Loving ourselves is a journey that is not linear, nor the same for everyone. It is challenging at times, rewarding at times, and always a lifelong process. But when we get to that stage where we feel happy with our imperfect selves, accepting the good and the bad, we become more sure of our value as individuals and become happier. In our daily lives. With our work. With the people that surround us and that are a part of us. 

 

Overall, practicing self-love makes us: 

  • More joyful 

  • More optimistic and hopeful in the face of difficulty, change, or uncertainty 

  • More confident 

  • More understanding and forgiving of ourselves (we are all just human beings trying to figure it all out as we go) 

  • More empathetic to others 

  • More emotionally intelligent 

 

So, the million-dollar question: How can we cultivate and practice self-love? 

 

  1. Stay in the present: As the saying goes ("Carpe Diem"), it is really all about enjoying the moment. Try to step back from the uncertainty of the future or the established nature of the past, and focus on what you are grateful for at this moment. What brings you joy, what makes you hopeful, what you love. It doesn't have to be something life-changing about you or your life. It can be as simple as breathing in the morning air or feeling your feet in the sand. It can be catching up with an old friend, or going to your comfort place. It can be sleeping in, or watching the night sky full of stars. There is so much beauty in this world, so document it (so many simple, yet amazing memories). 

  2. A compliment a day: Yes, it might be awkward in the beginning, but try to create a habit of complimenting yourself on something you like about yourself (anything really). It can be your capacity to multitask, or it can be your cute outfit. Positive affirmations lead to positive mindsets, and there is so much about us that is great and worthy of praise! 

  3. Be your own best friend: when you see yourself being mean and impatient with a certain weakness or failure, ask yourself: Would I talk to a friend as I do to myself? We see so much beauty and strength in the ones we love, why not see ourselves in the same light? 

  4. Distance yourself from the online world: we all need an escape from time to time. Although a lot of content online is inspirational and empowering, the constant exposure to an overwhelming amount of information online can make us fall into a rabbit hole of imposter syndrome, self-doubt, and FOMO. So, take the time to disconnect, click on "do not disturb" and just enjoy some peaceful time in nature, with your loved ones, or by yourself doing something that brings you happiness and comfort. 

 

Remember, we are all worthy of love and happiness, and who better to remind us of that than ourselves? It takes time, and it won't always be easy to love yourself, and that is okay. We are learning and we are growing. And we will get there. 

 

And you? How do you practice self-love? 

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