“Self love”, “Be kind to yourself”…these are terms I’ve noticed to be cropping up a lot at the moment; perhaps a result of people becoming more aware of how important it is to accept who we are in a world that can be full of judgement and comparison, exacerbated by social media.
I’d say most of us know what it feels like to wake up in the morning, scroll through our online feeds and immediately compare our own lives to a snapshot of someone else’s. The world of social media is so easy to get wrapped up in, making aspects of your own life seem ‘un-instagram worthy’ and therefore perhaps not good enough. It’s no wonder there’s a growing number of young people suffering from anxiety, low self esteem, body dysmorphia…the list goes on. I’m not blaming social media entirely, I think it’s great in many ways and certainly has it’s place in life, but we also need to remember to take time away from it; focus on ourselves and the quality of our real lives, not just our virtual ones.
This is where I believe the importance of practising ‘self love’ comes in. Not necessarily in the form of treating yourself to a new pair of shoes (not that I’d complain), but I’m talking about taking time out, just for you. I guess it’s similar to meditation, but for people (like me) who can’t sit still for more than a minute. It could be anything from going for a walk, sitting in a cafe people watching or cooking a favourite meal, to having a bath or writing in a diary…whatever it is that gives you space to think and reflect, to restore your balance.
If I’m being honest, I certainly haven’t mastered the art of ‘self love’. In fact, it seemed quite bizarre to me up until about a year ago…it felt like I was being unproductive. I didn’t feel worthy of it, and sometimes I still don’t, particularly if I’m going through a low point. It’s funny how in the times when we are at our most vulnerable, we are often our own worst enemy. If we get into the habit of practising little acts of ‘self love’ on the regular, we learn to recognise the things that make us feel better. Even if it’s just for five minutes, it may provide some kind of relief from a cycle of negative thoughts.
So how do I go about it? Well, writing this blog is one example; creating a space for my thoughts. Sometimes, if I feel really overwhelmed, I’ll take a whole day (if I can) to do whatever I feel I need at that point; maybe meet a close friend, practise yoga, or just lounge around in my PJs all day. It’s amazing how listening to your own needs like this can help ground you, regain your focus and improve your self awareness.
So try it. Start with something small and see how it makes you feel. Happy self lovin’ 🙂