Why Is Self-Love Important – The Definitive GuideJun 10, 2022
Self-love is not just green smoothies and yoga pants and this is why it’s so important to understand what self-love really is and what it can do for your life.
There was a time when I thought self-love was only for hippies and self-development junkies. I also thought it was only for people who had time, which was so far from what I believed. Here I was a country gal with two small kids, a side-hustle and desperate for a bit of time to myself to think.
In this article I’m going to cover what self-love is, the signs it’s time to introduce a little self-love into your life, the danger of not filling your cup and why we always seem to end up last on our list. Plus I’m going to share with you how to start incorporating self-love into your life.
So, here it goes…
What is self-love?
Self-love is the act of loving yourself. It’s where you prioritise your own well-being and happiness. Self-love is not ego-tripping but it’s understanding that our own self-worth is equally as important as others.
When I first started playing with self-love I realised that the concept was misconstrued due to the increase in the self-help and personal development industry. Here I was thinking it was green smoothies, meditation and yoga wear was a non-negotiable.
Instead, I understand self-love to be our ability to see ourselves as whole, imperfect, quirky while holding ourselves in high regard. It’s about self-regulating, self-celebration and knowing that life comes with its trials but it’s up to us to persevere as we traverse lives ups and downs. Failure is a lesson, not something we need to torture ourselves with.
Self-love is the capacity to honour who we are inside and out, share our quirks, celebrate the lessons, and focus on our emotional and mental wellbeing as a priority.
Self-love is a process, its not something you will achieve overnight, but with time and persistence, you will change your life.
What does self-love look like?
So if self-love is not just green smoothies, yoga pants and massages, what exactly is it? Here is what I believe self-love can look like when it’s applied to your life.
- Prioritising your health and wellbeing
- Forgiving yourself when you mess up
- Standing up for yourself, and your needs & wants
- Asking for help
- Not letting others take advantage of your kindness
- Spending time with people who support and celebrate your magic
- Letting go of grudges or anger that holds you back
- Know who you are inside out
- Live in accordance to your values with healthy boundaries
- Pursuing your interests, passions and goals
Signs you need a little self-love
YOU’RE TIRED, EXHAUSTED & NOT SLEEPING
Sleep is so important and getting enough helps us to function the next day. Everyone requires a minimum of 6-8 hours of sleep a night. When we wake up feeling refreshed, we are not groggy, sluggish or feel like we are fighting the day that has hardly even begun. Not prioritising enough sleep to be your best self is a total give-away that you are not nurturing your wellbeing.
STOPPED MAINTAINING BASIC HYGIENE
Perhaps you have dropped the ball a little on your appearance? Maybe even skipped a few days of showering but has this become your new normal. From dirty hair to not getting a haircut. Taking pride in your appearance is not about ego it’s about maintaining a healthy relationship with your body. Basic hygiene keeps our bodies clean, but it also leaves us feeling clean and fresh.
CONSTANTLY STRESSED OUT & ANXIOUS
When we live in our heads, with constant thinking, to-do lists, what if’s – it’s a total giveaway that we are not prioritising our mental health which is just one part of our overall wellbeing. Finding ourselves in a place of overwhelm leaves us feeling stuck, helpless and thinking that there is no way out. Well, this post will help you discover the best way to not be consumed by your mind – is a little self-love.
ALWAYS LOOKING FOR A QUICK FIX TO GET YOU OUT OF A SLUMP
Perhaps you are one of those people who starts a new health kick every Monday to find that by mid-Tuesday you can’t be bothered. You’re constantly searching for a quick pick-me-up but avoiding the real work that is required to love yourself inside and out.
DON’T FEEL YOU DESERVE IT
So you have all the excuses as to why you don’t deserve a little love? Don’t worry I’ve heard them all from I don’t know what self-love is to I don’t have time for that. At the end of the day, most of us feel like we don’t deserve to be pampered. It’s a hard truth but once we work on this, the change is like a ripple effect on our own life and others.
The dangers of not filling up your cup?
When we don’t love ourselves and priortise our wellbeing it can lead us to lose our identity, we lack self-esteem, life isn’t fulfilling, your stuck in a loop of unhappiness and possibly chasing all the things that you think are going to make you feel good but once you have them, you still feel the same.
Not filling your cup has knock on effects to those around you due to the nature of you giving more than you have in your tank. I like to think of us as a vessel that we top up with love, when we give to ourselves it restores our energy which we can then pour into something. But if we keep tipping out our energy and not topping it up, it leads us to burnout.
Burnout, stress, anger, resentment, dragging our feet can compound over time and lead to major health issues. This is the real danger of over-giving to others than to ourselves. We are robbing our own life to be of service to others.
Why does self-love come last in our list (all too often?)
As humans we love to be helpful it makes us feel good, it helps us to connect to others and often gives us a sense of purpose. So when it comes to giving ourselves a little love, we make all the excuses and keep over-giving to others, let me introduce you to People Pleasing – click to read more. This is hands down the number one reason why self-love keeps going to the bottom of our list of things to do. And the only way to trump that is to actually prioritise our own needs. Because when we are constantly doing for others we are often left depleted, resentful and questioning how we keep ending up in this place.
Benefits of self-love
When you start incorporating self-love into your life daily you will start to notice shifts in yourself, your energy, and your mind. You will become more positive and driven with a clear direction of what you deeply desire.
Self-love reduces stress, anxiety, and depression because instead of pushing through, you take time to nurture your own needs.
Other benefits include a more positive outlook on life, more resilience in challenging situations, we become more productive and confident.
The greatest thing self-love can do for us is that it creates healthy habits, through taking action and making smart choices. Through daily action, we cement in the importance of our well-being and these healthy habits we form stick, and yes it does take practice to change those habits but once implementing them regularly they become second nature. Self-love becomes our new normal – a healthy relationship with ourselves.
How to incorporate self-love back into your life
As I mentioned earlier, self-love is a practice, it takes time to cultivate. It’s not a list of quick fixes instead it’s about doing the work to help you prioritise your needs and to promote a happy and healthy wellbeing.
The process is different for everyone, life is a journey and we have to continually build this muscle, because as mentioned earlier when we don’t fill our cups we are left depleted. So I’m going to share a few places to help you get started incorporating self-love back into your life.
#1 – Mindfulness & cultivating awareness.
This is simply noticing how we are behaving and observing where we are giving more to others than ourselves. When we see our patterns this opens us to change the outcome. Awareness is being present in the moment instead of skipping ahead to the what-ifs. And mindfulness is accepting that the present moment is what it is and having no attachment to it being good or bad.
#2 – Prioritise You
When you become self-focused it leaves less time to be concerned about others. This does not mean you will turn into an egotistical maniac. But what it does do is it allows you to understand what your focus is. This means that you can differentiate between what is important to you and the outcome of when you deny yourself things. This practice is a work in progress as we journey through life we change what is important to us. And right now it’s a great time re-investigate what it truly is you want. If you know what you want, you can set up boundaries to support you to bring it to life. It can be as simple as going to a weekly yoga class (if that is your thing) to chase your dream career.
#3 – Celebrate your magic
In order to love ourselves, we need to acknowledge how awesome we really are and that means we need to take some time to get to know ourselves. Celebrating our quirks, personality and even our wild hair make us who we are. Celebrating your magic is about sharing with the world what you already know to be true but perhaps have been hiding from others due to past conditioning or not wanting to stand-out. Being normal is boring – being unique is beautiful so celebrate it all inside and out.
#4 – Ditch the inner-critic (the negative nancy voice)
When our voice pipes up with all the negative thoughts that usually stop us in our tracks from standing up for ourselves or going after what we want. This is the moment where we need to say – go and get stuffed negative nancy and remind yourself about your focus, what you are wanting to create. Our inner critic is a nasty piece of work and if we can limit it’s air-time we can cultivate a more positive state of mind geared toward our success.
#5 – Move your body & take action
Through movement, we are focused on being in our body – from walking to typing away at a keyboard. Action is the cure to stop living in our heads. It pulls us back into the present moment and the task in front of us. When we are stuck it’s a sign that our heads have won the game, it’s doing it’s job YET when we express ourselves, dance, create, relax walk we are bringing our awareness back into our body and back into the present moment. Which is an opportunity to remind ourselves what it is we want.
SELF LOVE is about ensuring our wellbeing is our number one priority. It’s about knowing what we want, how to fill our cups, not letting our inner-critic (negative nancy voice win), it’s taking action while showing the world our magic.
And in order to do all of that, you must learn to love yourself inside and out. It’s a journey and one that we all need to revisit regularly as we grow and change throughout life.
- Start doing things that make you feel good (build a feel-good toolkit)
- Switch out negative thinking for more positive thoughts
- Detox the negativity from your life
- Accept that you will make mistakes and this is a part of the journey
- Focus on your emotional and mental wellbeing first
- Be kind to yourself and remember this is a journey its not about the destination
- Commit to your happiness and know that when you feel good you have more resources to pull from
- Don’t compare your journey to others
- Move your body and get out of your head
- Self-love is not selfish – so celebrate who you are because you deserve it