You can’t love another properly until you love yourself. But what exactly is self-love when it’s not being shouted about on social media?
Two HQ rounded up the best of the internet as well as our own PROFESSIONAL (*cough*personal) opinions on what self love is and how to practice it in our lives.
Own your emotions. This is the cornerstone of self-love; rather than waiting for another person to impress love or happiness upon you, go out into the world and create your own. Nobody knows better than ourselves what makes us happy and it is our business to make room in our lives to enjoy these pursuits. Self-love is the belief that we deserve to feel happy and that this happiness comes first and foremost from ourselves. Choose happiness. Chase happiness not relationships.
Respect yourself and your needs. Feed yourself well and often. Nourish your body with healthy, wholesome foods that enable you to feel good on the inside and perform efficiently. Move; take advantage of all the wonderful ways your body can move. It doesn’t have to be intense or results driven exercise, remember as unfit as you may be or feel your body was created to move, so run, walk, dance or skip and relish in the amazing endorphins exercise releases. Your body is your home, it protects you everyday, it fights to keep you healthy, to help you recover and repair quickly when injured or sick. Give it the respect it deserves.
Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. What more can we say? You deserve to rest, you deserve to shut down and shut off and just shhhh.
Meditate. Meditation is not something reserved for hippy communes. Allowing time during the day to quiet the mind is key to reducing stress and refocusing on what is truly important in life. If meditation is really not your thing try writing in a journal, three things that you liked about the day, or three things you are glad for in your life.
Be real with yourself and with others. Speak up if something is bothering you or on your mind. You deserve to be heard. Equally you deserve to listen, listen to your body or mind if it is trying to tell you something. Headaches, heart palpitations, loss of appetite or interest in activities, aches or pains are all ways our body tries to alert us that something is not quite right, pay attention.
Say no. If it doesn’t suit you, if you just don’t want to, if it’s not something you believe in or support saying no and setting boundaries are important ways to show other people as well as yourself who you are, what you are about and what to expect of you. There is no medal for people pleasing or running yourself into the ground. It is not selfish. You are not here to make others lives easier at the expense of your own. Be polite, but be firm and most importantly believe in your right to refuse.
So what does any of this have to do with having a successful relationship with someone else? EVERYTHING. You teach people how to treat you by how you treat yourself. If you want love from others, you must fully wholly and completely love yourself first.