I’ve been thinking more about self-love and what it means and looks like for me. Yesterday, I shared some thoughts in this piece. Today, I’m sharing more examples. I hope these inspire you to think through your own definitions and how you can start embracing and loving yourself. Because you can. No matter where you’ve been and no matter what others have said to you, you can. Start small. Start now.
Self-love is eating to nourish my body and satisfy my taste buds.
It is asking for help when I need it instead of isolating myself.
It is taking frequent breaks to rest and reminding myself I’m not a robot.
Self-love is accepting myself as I am—the strengths, the challenges, the weaknesses, the fears, the insecurities, the poor decisions.
It is carving out time and space to participate in activities I love.
It is exploring what a fulfilling life means to me instead of what it means to our society or someone else.
It is knowing my priorities and giving myself permission to actually prioritize them.
It is trying not to hold myself to unrealistic standards or punishing myself when I don’t perform.
It is sitting with pain when it arrives. It is letting joy in, absorbing it with all my senses.
Self-love is recognizing an achievement instead of downplaying it.
It is acknowledging when something is hard and appreciating the weight of that challenge or situation—rather than wondering why my stupid self can’t figure it out.
Self-love is an intention. It is the intention to treat myself with kindness. The intention to be my own close friend. The intention to be patient and understanding. The intention to nourish myself and my needs. There is a big difference between moving your body because you hate it (and want to beat it into submission) and moving your body because you love what you’re doing and want to honor your health.
And it is a lot of reminding. A lot. Reminding myself that it’s OK. Reminding myself that I don’t need to compare myself to anyone else. Reminding myself that I am worthy. Reminding myself to be kind, to cut myself some slack. To be light-hearted. To forgive myself for my imperfections. To embrace my humanity. To be me.
What does self-love mean to you? What’s one small loving act you can start with today? Tomorrow? This week? Or a change in your mindset or approach to something more self-compassionate and caring?