With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, I wanted to stay on brand with the theme of love without being too cliche on the subject – one of the most important relationships I will ever be in is the one with myself, so why not talk about self-love. I’ve found it’s been really easy to get caught up and lost in all that we do or don’t have going on that we forget to take care of ourselves.
This blog post isn’t intended to be a self-help manual or guide; judging by the bags under my eyes, I’m not sure how qualified I’d be to advise on that, anyway.
As much as we need to be more cognizant of taking of ourselves physically, we should for our mental and spiritual health. All things I still really need to focus on endlessly. Here are some things contributing to my personal sense of self-love, hopefully you resonate with some of them or even share what ways you have shown yourself appreciation.
Self-Love is listening to my body and actually responding. At the turn of the year, as usual, I vowed to pay better attention to my body – in the way that it looks and feels, rather than paying attention to what it’s asking for (she’s usually valid in her cravings, but that doesn’t mean I need to listen to her). My desire for more attention stems less from vain reasons like I used to focus on in the past and more from the fact that the older I get, the different the weight I gain is carried on my body. Don’t get me wrong, I still have celebrity body goals, I still follow about 10 fitness and health food YouTubers, and I surely have an iPhone note of well thought-out captions for my snatched body Instagram debut (coming soon IJN). But I also know that taking care of my physical health now will make life easier for me even in the next 5-10 years when I have to chase Oliver and Blaire around the house. I've always been a very confident person, even with my big feet and not so flat stomach I always knew I looked good, but once I started to feel like my body wasn't my own, I knew that my idea of my self image and self-love needed to change.
Self-Love is filling up on the word. Unfortunately, I’ve fallen off my Bible Everyday streak, but I’m not beating myself up about it because what matters is my intentionality which has increased notably over the last few years. Plus, the year is still young I can, and will catch up. I’m working more on reading my bible and asking myself and others “why” and “what’s going on here?” more. Sometimes (often times), I notice I am too inquisitive about the wrong things, wasting my energy on things that are trivial and that won’t matter in even five years. Reminding myself I should be focused on what God’s trying to tell me about me and my life. Without surprise, it’s easier to listen when I’m not distracted by fruitless problems. But it’s easier said than done for me, God and I, we’re working on it though. When I start and end my days by reading even a chapter or two, I really do feel refreshed. If you know you know, that coming across a passage that you really needed that day or that week is really exciting and can change the way your entire day goes.
Self-Love is unplugging and limiting accessibility from life sometimes. It may come as a shock that my social media presence could even be limited. Taking the time to learn more about myself through what others have told me and what I’ve also noticed has helped me understand what kinds of things take me out of my “element” or my “groove”. And knowing these things gives me the autonomy over the life I want to either remove myself from that situation or limit my access to it. What this means is setting my DND hours on my phone, muting and blocking people (a new personal favorite), and limiting what I even have a chance to see. I never want to get to a place where I feel my social media presence or lack thereof makes me too anxious or insecure; luckily I have outlets and random interests that keep me from feeling like I do. As if comparison isn't a draining aspect of everyday life at work, school, and at home. It can all get so overwhelming and easy to compare our lives to what everyone's up to, and that's when I decide I should unplug or implode.
All in all, spend more quality time with yourself, find other things you like to do, do a little responsible retail therapy, go to actual therapy - your body, mind, and spirit will thank you for it.