My psychologist recently posed the question: "For you, what is self-love?"
I've devoted every day of the last few years to building a business and a brand that revolves around the tagline "love yourself," so I was surprised to find myself without an answer.
It is often said, "We teach what we need to learn." For me, there has never been a truer statement. Though I have come a long way, as of late I have noticed old thought patterns and habits popping up that prompt me to question how much I have truly loved myself.
At the end of our 90-minute session, we concluded: loving yourself is about acceptance. Loving someone means accepting them, whether or not you believe that someone needs a little work. Same principle applies if the person in question is you. Follow the steps below to start showing yourself the love you deserve.
1. Take time for you.
Our society thrives on being busy. Between working full-time, driving the kids to school, ballet, soccer and clarinet, cleaning, buying groceries, eating dinner and all the rest, where could we possibly squeeze self-love into the agenda?
In a world where there's always something to be doing, we neglect the very thing that allows us to do those things -- ourselves.
By allowing and yes -- scheduling -- your "me time," you show your body and mind the love they deserve. What you do in that time is up to you -- be it a long soak in the bath, treating yourself to a massage, or simply watching your favorite TV show, those moments are important exercises for a soul walking along the path to self-love.
2. Observe, rather than judge.
As children we were taught that judging others is wrong. But what about judging ourselves?
As my therapy session progressed, I realized I was using unkind words to describe myself. I thought of my constant attempts to "one up" my partner and my reaction was self-loathing, calling myself a piece of shit. Why couldn't I stop myself from jumping from point A to Z? Wasn't there something in the middle, like acknowledging the fault, and trying to work on it?
While we can all confess to behaviors and habits that are less than becoming, those things are still a part of us. Self-love asks us to observe and acknowledge our thoughts and actions, rather than judge them. If you're seeking an improvement, remember that acceptance may yield solutions long before judgement.
3. Take care of your body.
Among other amazing things, your body fights off illness, keeps you breathing and secretes the right hormones at the right time. Your body wants the best for you. Show your body some love in return!
Working out and eating well allows your body to obtain what it wants most: a happy and healthy life. Exercising and eating nutrient rich foods is key to giving your body the love it deserves.
If you're struggling with finding balance with healthy eating, watch my video here to learn how to establish a healthy relationship with food.
4. Become your own best friend.
Would you ever tell your friend they look terrible, fat or disgusting? I don't think so. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend, and I promise, you'll drastically improve the quality of your life! The words we use matter. Choose them wisely and you'll reap unparalleled rewards of self-love and self-respect.
Self-love is not a destination. Expect a journey instead, littered with imperfect moments. Be prepared to invest continual effort and attention. By following the prescription above, we say YES to love -- at the end of the day, isn't that what life is all about?