As a therapist, I often talk about the topic of about self-love. Many of my clients mistakenly believe that self-love is on par with having a big ego and or exhibiting narcissism. It is in fact contrary to this.
Self-love is having a high regard for your own wellbeing and happiness; taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your wellbeing to please others. In short, self-love means not settling for less than you deserve.
When you begin to love yourself, you begin to demonstrate compassion for yourself. You appreciate and understand your self-perceived shortcomings and weaknesses and accept these as things that make you unique or you can make the choice to change if you desire. Self-love is a practice and it’s a skill that takes work and is the practice of nourishing yourself.
Here are 5 steps that you can take to help you to show self-love:
1. Practice Mindfulness.
When you begin to recognise what you feel, think and want for yourself, you can use this as a baseline and be mindful of how others may or may not be doing things in your best interest.
2. Set clear boundaries.
Establish clear boundaries of what is acceptable and unacceptable. You will begin to show more self-love when you set limits or say no to situations at work or in your personal life that deplete or harm you physically or emotionally, and thus ultimately not allowing you to be able to express who you are.
3. Forgive yourself.
Sometimes taking responsibility for your actions can cause negative and self-loathing thoughts or feelings. It is important to accept your humanism and that perfection only exists in theory. Be kind to yourself and reframe this as a learning from which you can grow from.
4. Protect yourself.
Have the right people in your life.
Consider culling those who take pleasure in your pain rather in your happiness and success.
5. Take care of yourself.
You will find when you take better care of your basic needs that you will begin to love yourself more.
Those who show self-love nourish their bodies with right amount of sleep; a healthy nutritious diet; exercise and meaningful social interactions.