This is what self-love looks like for me:
- Forgiving myself for mistakes I’ve made, and forgiving others so as not to waste my energy on anger. Forgiveness is a choice you make every day, to acknowledge and honor your hurt feelings/mistake, and then let them go. Life is so much sweeter when you do.
- Being as nice to myself as I am to my best friends. It’s easy to get caught in negative thought loops, but I’ve been training myself to cut them short in the same manner I use with my friends. After having a few negative thoughts, I say to myself, “Hey. Quit it. Yeah, you fucked up, but move on and do better, you are more than capable.” Or, “You are doing so much better than you give yourself credit for! Own that!” I could go on, but you get the idea.
- Acknowledging when I need to step my game up, and then doing just that. I think a lot of people view self-love/self-care as just cutting yourself slack, taking bubble baths with a glass of wine, or midday naps. While those types of things are exactly what you need sometimes, they are not the only way to show yourself love. Sometimes, self-love looks like waking up at 5am instead of sleeping in because I have to get a study session in. Sure, being up before the sun in the dead of winter kind of sucks, but future me will benefit from the choices present me makes. That discipline is loving myself enough to push and achieve my goals.
- Honesty. To sort of piggy back on that last one point of holding yourself accountable… Self-love is being honest with yourself about your feelings, about what you want, about who you are. It’s easier than you think to lie to yourself–Barlow just helped me realize in my last therapy session that I was lying to myself about a relationship in my life for a while. I told myself I was happy, but really I was just lost. Self-awareness and self-love go hand in hand (in my opinion), but they are not one in the same. I’ve always been extremely self-aware, but sometimes my awareness falls short of understanding. I can identify my behaviors, my problems, even my feelings, but I don’t always know the reason behind them. So, self-love is searching for my truths, and being able to own them.
Some simple ones:
- long showers
- writing in my journal
- spending time with my mom
- spending time alone
- talking to at least one of my really good friends each week
Aaaaannnnd one silly one for good measure:
- Wrapping myself up in my blanket like a Severn burrito when it’s really cold outside (or I’m lonely or whatever 🙃)
What does self-love look like for you? Let me know in the comments!