These are words we hear on a daily basis, but what do they really mean? How do you practice self-love?
Articles, podcasts, books, and all sorts of material tackling this concept abound. One would think there is no question about how to show self-love and practice self-care.
Read: 10 Books to Help You Break Bad Habits
However, I have noticed that often, “me time” and physically pampering one’s self in various ways are the go-to recommendations. And why not? We all need these, and they definitely embody taking care of ourselves.
Ever wonder, though, why we need to constantly put an effort into these things? I do think that “me time” and pampering can only take us so far. It is akin to treating symptoms while not addressing the underlying issue.
At the core, I believe that self-love and self-care are all about being kind to yourself.
Being kind to yourself.
What does it mean?
One simple idea is paying attention to how you talk to yourself.
We all have conversations with ourselves, sometimes in our heads, sometimes aloud.
When you do, what name/words do you use to refer to yourself?
You’re an idiot.
What a stupid idea.
You’re so weak.
Stop being a wuss.
Ever said these things to yourself?
How about making a shift and saying the following instead?
It’s all right, [your name].
You’re going to be okay, dear.
You made a mistake, but it’s not the end of the world.
It’s okay to admit you’re not feeling brave or strong right now.
It’s okay to be sad.
If you can call people who are dear to you “love”, “sweetheart”, “darling”, etc., why can’t you do the same for yourself?
Being kind to yourself starts with your inner dialogue. If you treat yourself as the precious person that you are, everything else will follow. You’ll sustain a pattern of self-love because you acknowledge your worth, and no one else can do that for you.
Talk to yourself as if you were the most important person in your life. Because you are.
First published May 2020; Republished February 2022
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