Self Love, Self Compassion

SELF LOVE (Noun): regard for one's own well-being and happiness...

The relationship we have with ourselves is arguably the most important, and yet for one reason or another, often overlooked.

How we see ourselves determines how we treat ourselves!

It also determines how we treat family, other people, our environment, and drives our choices in romantic partner, occupation and fitness to name some…

There’s an old adage about ‘loving yourself before anyone can love you’.

High self-esteem is a prize worth acquiring. So many external factors shape our thoughts, feelings and inner voices that nourishing our minds with positive self-image can drastically improve our daily reality. How? Because we give ourselves a break; we become our own friend; we develop a conviction that we are worthy and deserve love, affection and happiness.

Encouraging mental wellness is a good way to set boundaries for what we will and will not accept from others. Natalie Lue in her blog ‘Baggage Reclaimed’ advises building boundaries for healthier relationships, saying they ‘force you to be accountable and take responsibility for your own happiness…or your misery.’ (Source)

This isn’t to say your whole world should solely revolve around you - no - in fact a recent study suggests doing things for our loved ones as beneficial to our own self esteem too. (Source)

Furthermore Psychology Today say the Millennial mindset of selfishness is making younger people less skilled in building relationships and thus more miserable than ever. (Source)

The secret lies in Self Compassion - giving yourself a break for being a mere ordinary mortal; a human being, just like the other 7 billion inhabitants of Planet Earth.

Stop what you’re doing and complete this task: say ‘I am worthy, I am worthy of love, I am loved, I am loving’, and mean it.

This video by School of Life talks about Self Compassion from a psychological perspective.

SELF CARE

Romantic ideas we have are taking a lover on holiday, running them a bath, cooking a beautiful 3-course meal, and buying them special token gifts. But why can’t we do these things for ourselves? Take our self out on a date.

What is it about ‘us’ that makes us less likely to put in the effort? Maybe we don’t seek our own approval as much as we do someone else’s.

We keep ourselves busy with family, work and social commitments, so it’s important to schedule in some ‘me time’ too - doing things you want to do, simply because you like it and it makes you feel good.

Massage your skin with botanical oils before jumping in the bath or shower and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a spa. Cook up your own favourite foods for no reason other than you love them.

Holidays like February 14th can even for happy couples be stressful, with people feeling underappreciated, undervalued or gestures unreciprocated. By showing ourselves unconditional love, and that does mean without conditions, (ie, no ‘if I change this’, ‘if I was better’...), then we don’t need external gratification or approval.

Whatever you chose to do this Valentine’s Day, make yourself a promise that you will love yourself so much that anything else is a glorious bonus. You are worthy, you are a universe within a universe, and you are just as important as anyone else.