Six Secrets to Self Love
Selfish. Self-centered. Conceited.
These are just some of the words that may come to mind when you hear the phrase “self-love”. Love should be selfless, right? Love should be about spreading joy and embracing others. Love should flow out, not in. Right?
What is self love?
Here’s the thing about love…you have an infinite amount. There’s not some reservoir in your heart that gets lower every time you commit a little time to yourself. Self love is a way of thinking about yourself and recognizing that your wants, needs, and desires are actually SUPER important. Without taking the time to meet your own needs, it gets really tough to meet the needs of others. Whether you’re constantly trying to be there for your family, your partner, or your friends, you’re gonna get burned out real quick if you don’t save a little bit of love for yourself.
So how can I practice self love?
Honestly, it’s not that easy. A lot of the self love “rules” are things that are kinda drilled out of our heads at a pretty young age. If you’re a people pleaser it gets even tougher. That’s why we’ve come up with six ways to practice self love…and it does take practice! A lot of these tips are going to mean you have to <gasp!> put yourself before others. But guess what? THAT’S TOTALLY FUCKING OKAY! So let’s take a look at six habits (that are NOT selfish, self-centered, or conceited) that will help you practice self-love.
Have Some “Me Time” Every Day
This is a big one. Most people think of “me time” as a special treat. “Oh, I’m going to get a mani/pedi this weekend and have a little “me time”!” That’s a great plan, but here’s the thing about “me time”…it shouldn’t be a plan. It should be a normal, everyday part of your normal everyday life. The sooner you stop thinking of “me time” as an extravagance, the sooner your self-love score is gonna go up. And the best part is, “me time” can be anything. Love baths? Take one every day. Set aside an hour of TV time, grab a novel, take a nap, or just shut your phone off. (Seriously…shut your phone off.) “Me time” isn’t about what you’re doing, it’s about what you’re not doing…mainly you’re not thinking about what anyone else wants or needs for a little while. Whatever you’re doing, it’s all about you.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
Okay, this one’s gonna be hard for you people pleasers out there.
Say it with me: No.
Small word, big impact. Learning how to say no to people, especially people that you love, is a HUGE element of practicing self-love. Nobody wants to hear the word no, but hey, guess what? It’s not going to kill them. So many of us are on autopilot to always make other people happy that the word “no” gets lost in our vocab.
Here’s a scenario: Your bestie wants to hit the club on Friday night. She wants to get decked out, dance her ass off, and get totally shitfaced. Sounds great, right? You’re in…right?
But here’s the thing…
You had an absolutely killer week. Super long, insanely stressful, and all you want to do on Friday night is get under your weighed blanket, binge Netflix, and eat something with eight billion calories. But your friend reeeeaaallly wants to go. And she can’t have fun without you!
So you go. And the whole night you’re in this hazy funk because you’re fucking tired, and you don’t want to be there, and your friend keeps shoving shots in your hand, and she can’t understand why you’re being such a pain in the ass.
It’s because saying “yes” just about killed you.
Scenario two: “Sorry, I’m not feeling it tonight.”
Will she be pissed? Maybe, but she’ll get over it. Will she be less pissed than if you went and dragged your ass so much that neither of you had a good time? Definitely.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
We all have this thing where we tend to feel like success is something that there’s only a limited amount of. But just like that endless reservoir of love in your heart, success, and the ways to be successful, are absolutely endless. Just because one person achieves something great doesn’t mean that you are now incapable of doing your own amazing thing. We constantly compare ourselves to others, “Oh, she’s so gorgeous, omg, she has so many subscribers, and on and on and on.” While those things may be true…so what? What does that do for you? Your life’s journey is just that…yours. It’s not dependent on what someone else does, so give yourself a break and stop comparing what you’ve done to what someone else has done. Even better? Be happy for them! The happier you are and the easier you accept someone else’s success, the more people are going to do the same when it happens to you!
Don’t Worry About Others’ Opinions
In the same vein, we have the self-conscious, the people who are constantly worried about what other people may think. But in the grand scheme of things, the opinions of other people amount to fuck-all. Practicing self-love is all about being happy with yourself, not despite what people think, but by being unbothered by what other people think. The sooner you can take a negative opinion and shrug it off because you know you’re still amazing and gorgeous, the better off you’re going to be. And I know, when you make your living on social media, it’s MUCH easier said than done. But you’ll be surprised at how much happier you’re going to be when others’ opinions are nothing more than dead air to you. Put the shoe on the other foot: did your opinion of someone else ever make any kind of impact on their lives? Nope. It’s impossible. Self love means there is only one opinion that truly matters…yours.
Put Yourself First
It’s hard to put yourself first. If you’re in a family, a relationship, or have any type of bond with other people, putting yourself first can bring those ugly little words to mind: Selfish. Self-centered. Conceited.
But the thing is, putting yourself first is none of those things. It’s actually helping you to be better prepared for being there for others.
Here’s an example. You’re a car (just go with it). And as a car, your primary duty is to get people places. So let’s say you spend a long hard day being driven all over the place and by the night, you’re running on empty. Now unless your needs (gasoline) are met before someone else’s, nobody’s going anywhere. Self love is the same thing. You can very quickly get burned out by only being there for other people and never taking time to meet your own needs. And just like “me time” this isn’t a once in a while treat, you should have this mindset every single day. Don’t think, “What do I need to make happen today?” Change it to, “What do I need to make things happen today?”
At the end of the day, you know you better than anyone else does. When it comes to understanding what you need, what you want, and what you have to do, no one can make better decisions than you. Rather than looking outside for validation, trust yourself to know what’s best.