A Day for Love or a Day for Selflove?
Love vs Selflove
As Valentine’s Day is now upon us I wish you a day where you feel loved, but most of all I wish for you that it’s something you feel every other day.
Does your partner have something nice planned for you? Whether it’s Valentine’s Day or a birthday, we’re often waiting for someone else to demonstrate their love to us. To prove it.
Who are you waiting for?
For many of us, Valentine’s Day is a painful reminder of something missing in our own lives. Pregnant women are a painful reminder to childless women. Active, healthy people are a painful reminder to those that are living with physical pain or disability.
Why should happy moments in another person’s life cause us pain?
In a world filled with media that allows us to look at other people’s lives, it is increasingly difficult not to compare ourselves to others. We look outside, see what is beautiful and perfect and look at our own lives with disdain. Something is missing.
Or is it? Maybe you already have everything you need.
Over the years, I’ve learned how to be at ease with myself; I learned selflove. These are the top 5 ways you can learn to love yourself:
1. Turn off the noise
Social media, magazines, reality TV shows…all of these portray an image of perfection. Almost every time, you are not seeing reality. Everyone eats, cries, gets angry, goes to the toilet, makes mistakes and feels insignificant sometimes. We are all the same and no one is better than you. So turn off the distractions, even for an hour a day. Stop comparing yourself. If you reduce the distractions, then you can focus on what really matters: YOU.
2. Compare yourself only to you
No one is exactly like you. No one has had the same past, the same genetics, the same diet and the same views in life that make up that unique combination of you. You are physiologically different, you react differently and have different goals. So why would you compare your beautiful originality to someone else? That doesn’t mean you can’t aspire to a quality that you admire, but even when you learn that skill, it will present differently than it does in that other person. Aspire to be a better version of yourself, not to be exactly like someone else. You are perfect as you are.
3. Look inwards
Do you feel discontent with your life? Do you know how you feel? What makes you feel good? What makes you feel badly? How do you feel today? Do you feel good taking time for yourself? Do you get energised in the company of others? If you never tune in, it’s hard to identify how you feel and connect it to what is happening. So tune in and listen to yourself. Then you can answer your own needs. Maybe this means stopping what you are doing and just focussing on your breathing. Look outside, let your mind wander. Maybe it’s meditating for 15 minutes or laying in bed after the alarm goes off to check in. Find what helps you tune in to yourself.
4. Be kind to yourself
Do you ever criticise yourself? Call yourself names? Repeatedly put yourself down? When you notice this, take a step back. Would you say these things to a friend? Are they really stupid? Will they really never get that job? Are you really stupid? By noticing when you do these things, you can stop yourself. The way I stopped this negative self-talk was by doing one of two things:
- Turn it around and say the opposite. Instead of being stupid, “I am so smart! I am so smart that MIT is begging me to join them!”
- Exaggerate it. Instead of being stupid, “I am so stupid, even a flea’s baby toe is smarter than I am.” Exaggerate it to a point of being ridiculous or funny so you have to laugh. Laughing helps reduce tension!
5. Fill your life with what resonates
Once you start listening to your body, you’ll see what makes you feel good and what aligns with your goals. That often means you start evaluating what is there already and either changing it or bringing more of it into your life.
- Good food; many people find that by including more vegetables and reducing animal products, their digestion improves, they think more clearly and have more energy. Good food also means you are enjoying what you eat, actively considering what tastes and feels good to you.
- Exercise; movement improves digestion, energy, mobility, organ function and so much more. You don’t need to spend an hour at the gym, but go for a walk after dinner or to watch the sunrise or cycle to the shops.
- Drink water; fill your cells with fluid to keep your skin supple, your joints moving and your head clear as it helps flush out toxins
- Friends & pets; the family you choose gives you the support, respect, human touch and love we all crave in addition to what we can give ourselves. It’s secondary to the love we show ourselves, but connection with others is important
- Good sleep; studies show that an average of 7-8 hours of quality sleep help us reduce stress and get more out of life by increasing energy. Maintain a regular rhythm to your waking and sleeping cycle, keep good bedtime habits and eat foods that help sleep