Self-love is definitely having its moment, it seems to be the buzz phrase on everyone's lips, but, unlike other trends, this is one we can get behind. And if you're wondering what self-love actually means, well we're here to clarify it for you with the help of some experts!
Let's talk about self-love
Hands up if you've ever said yes to something when you desperately wanted to say no (we sure have), or if you simply put your wants and needs right at the bottom of your to-do list. If you're nodding along while reading, this means you need to start treating self-love as a necessity instead of a luxury.
Now we're not referring to bubble baths, pedicures, and cucumber masks as great as these may be. There is much more to self-love than just pampering ourselves, it means that it's time you accept yourself fully, treat yourself with kindness and respect, and nurture your growth and wellbeing.
Most of us in the Western world have been raised to believe that perfectionism is a great quality to have. After all, being obsessed with perfect details leads to perfect work, and this personality trait gives us the opportunity to humblebrag during job interviews.
In reality, however, perfectionism is bad for you. Not just "not ideal" or "harmful when excessive," but actively bad. Like cigarettes!!!
So, where to start?
The best place to begin is by listening to yourself. This can mean two things. Firstly, paying attention to how you internally talk to yourself is crucial for learning to cultivate an intimate feeling of self-love.
What type of language do you use with yourself when you notice a flaw or make a mistake? Do you insult yourself or do you take a more kind and understanding tone? If you are highly self-critical, how does that make you feel inside?"
Often, we are much harsher with ourselves than we would be with others. So, to replace this harsh inner voice with a kinder one, you can simply notice it — which is already a step toward quietly subduing it — and actively try to soften it.
How self-compassion aids self-love
Research shows that having more self-compassion builds resilience in the face of adversity, helping people to recover more quickly from trauma or romantic separation. It also helps us to better cope with failure or embarrassment.
But what is it, exactly? Drawing on the work of Prof. Neff, Sbarra, self-compassion is defined as a construct that encompasses three components:
- "self-kindness (i.e., treating oneself with understanding and forgiveness),
- recognition of one's place in shared humanity (i.e., the acknowledgment that people are not perfect and that personal experiences are part of the larger human experience),
- and mindfulness (i.e., emotional equanimity and avoidance of overidentification with painful emotions)."
Things you can do today
Sometimes these things can be overwhelming so we'll help you start small. Incorporating any of the below is a great start!
- Saying positive things to yourself
- Forgiving yourself when you mess up
- Meeting your own needs
- Being assertive
- Not letting others take advantage of or abuse you
- Prioritizing your health and wellbeing
- Spending time around people who support you and build you up (and avoiding people who don’t)
- Asking for help
- Letting go of grudges or anger that holds you back
- Recognizing your strengths
- Valuing your feelings
- Making healthy choices most of the time
- Living in accordance with your values
- Pursuing your interests and goals
- Challenging yourself
- Holding yourself accountable
- Accepting your imperfections
- Setting realistic expectations
- Noticing your progress and effort
Some benefitial apps that we're absolutely loving at the moment are :
So let's make the month of LOVE all about self-love and show cupid we've got this! We'd love to hear from you if you prioritise self-love and how it works for you, so please comment below!