Valentines Day is upon us and as you are no doubt rushing around providing others with all the love and care they need, I’m here to remind you that YOU are important too.
If you identify as a ‘giver’ then it wouldn’t surprise me if you think that self-care and self-love is indulgent or selfish. It also wouldn’t surprise if you tend to put yourself stone last on your list of priorities. If you even make the list!
Self-Love is not selfish. It’s essential! It’s good for your soul, for your health and at the end of the day, it’s beneficial for everyone around you as well.
February is traditionally a month for celebrating the love of others. This is great of course but it should also be a month of self-love and self-care. A month in which we remind ourselves that we are worthy too!
During childhood, we are taught to care for others, be kind to everyone around us, and love our parents, siblings, grandparents, and friends. However, we don’t really learn anything about the importance of self-love or even formally taught how to love ourselves.
It’s no wonder then that we feel guilty or even selfish when we decide to shift the focus onto ourselves. Don’t!
The following 5 reasons will show you why you should not feel this way and why self-love can positively affect both your mental and physical health.
1. Self-Love promotes a positive attitude
Practicing self-love can be beneficial not only for yourself but also for others around you. When you shift your focus onto yourself and value yourself as much if not more than the people you love, you give yourself permission to meet your own needs. In turn this generates a positive attitude within you that will also affect your relationship with the people around you. When you are more positive towards yourself and celebrate all the amazing things about you, you have more patience and headspace to look for goodness in other people as well. You won’t feel like you are ‘left out’ because your needs are being met. This gifts you the grace to be kinder and more understanding with others. So really, self-love is a true win-win for you and for those around you.
2. Self-Love helps you set healthy boundaries
If you are anything like me, you may struggle with setting healthy boundaries. I consider myself to be a giver and helper so I find it difficult to say no to people especially family and close friends. Not everybody struggles with setting boundaries but if you are like me then saying no becomes a courageous act of self-love that we need to practice.
Practicing saying no can help you bring balance back into your life. Time that is taken helping others when you already have a very full plate yourself can then be used to replenish your own energy levels. When you set boundaries, you become more self-aware about your own needs. It gives you the opportunity to define your values and act accordingly but most of all it also tells others how they should treat you. Loving yourself more gives you the opportunity to create balance in your life. Another win win!
3. Putting your own happiness first has a big ripple effect
Putting your own happiness first may sound really selfish. I would like to challenge that thought though and reassure you that it is not. You just need to look at it from another angle. When you are happy with yourself and feel loved (by yourself), you don’t spend precious time doubting and criticising yourself so much. You keep those negative feelings and crazy carousel of thoughts in your head in check. This frees up time and energy to care for and love those people around you who are important to you. Moreover, by being happy, you spread happines. You would have to agree by now that this is a win win too, right?
4. Respecting yourself generates respect from others
How you treat yourself sets examples for how others can treat you. When you present with low self-esteem or don’t respect yourself enough, you may tolerate behaviours from others that perhaps you shouldn’t.
By putting yourself first, you respect your needs which makes you feel good about yourself. Not only will you respect and love people more around you but you give them permission to do the same in return. We could avoid a lot of conflict amongst ourselves and make the world a better place if we prioritised our self-love more.
5. Pursuing your passions generates inspiration in others
Loving yourself and believing in your abilities will help you get rid of fears and doubts that hold you back from pursuing your dreams and passions. When you accept who you are, what you are good at and you follow your heart no matter what others think, you set an example for others. Your way of being you and your attitude may the catalyst and source of inspiration someone else needs to pursue their dream and be their best self.
All you have to do is take care of your happiness and your own needs first in order for your heart to be open to spread more kindness into this world by caring for and helping others. You can’t pour from an empty cup so make sure you fill yourself up first.
Here are a few ideas how you can practice self-love
- Practice Gratitude: Focus on the good in yourself and your whole life. Simply try to think about what you are grateful for every day and write down at least 3 things.
- Treat yourself: From time to time treat yourself to something god without any special reason. They don’t have to be expensive. Instead of making yourself a tea or coffee go out and have one. Let someone make it for you or for a walk in nature or by the beach.
- Don’t be afraid to say “no”: Setting boundaries is necessary, so say “no” when you need to. There are many different ways to say no so prepare some statements that resonate well with you and use them.
- Be present: Focus on yourself and live in the moment without any distractions. If you are reading a book and you hear your phone ping. Let it. It will be there for you when you finished reading. Give yourself the gift of time.
- Accept your mistakes and imperfections: Nobody is perfect so don’t be hard on yourself and don’t punish yourself for your mistakes. Let them go and learn from them.
- Take care of your mind and body: Pay attention to your health. Eat good food. Exercise. Sleep. Medidate. Do what feels good and right for you.
- Surround yourself with positive people: Our surroundings are important. Be with people who give you energy not take it away.
- Try to cultivate an abundance mindset: Having an abundance mindset is a true blessing because it makes you focus on positive things.
- Accept the fact that some people don’t like you: It may be difficult to accept when someone doesn’t like you. But there are some people you also don’t like, aren’t there? So just try to let it go and move on. There are so many other people who love you.
- Give yourself time: Take time for you. You are worthy. Spend some time being alone and reflect on yourself and your life.
What will you commit to doing differently now that you know that you don’t have to feel guilty about looking after your own needs first? Leave me a comment below. I’d love to know.
If you want more information you can download my free Self-Help Guide or grab some Freebies from my website. For the Self-Help guide just scroll to the bottom of the page.