By virtue of the fact that today (Monday 10th October 2022) is World Mental Health Day this blog post seeks to throw more light on you; loving yourself and what it means to love yourself. Mental health encompasses a wide range of topics but it’s important that we always shift our focus to self love; appreciating ourselves for who we are because that’s the best antidote for our mental health.

Self love is important for leading a happy, healthy life. But, rather unfortunate, the concept of self love is often overlooked and misunderstood. 

In a world that grows more demanding, stressful and complex day by day, self love might be something you’re struggling with. Well, with that said here are eight things you need to know about self love.

  1. Self love is not simple process

The process of loving yourself will have ups and downs. 

On this journey, you will probably have days where you feel great, energised and positive. But also know that there will be days where you don’t and that’s more than okay. Even when you consciously practice self love you may sometimes feel grumpy, tired, anxious, sad, lonely or defeated. On those days, remember that you’re a human in the process of growth and you are allowed to feel the full range of emotions on any given day. Life can pretty hard sometimes, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking the bad with the good. Part of loving yourself is feeling and expressing these emotions without criticising yourself. Self love is a complex process full of leaps forward and steps back. Each day that you choose to keep going and choose to love yourself, you’re making amazing progress, even if you don’t feel like it. ❤️

2. Self love is not selfish

Now I understand that sometimes stepping back from a commitment might make you feel guilty. Or perhaps you feel self absorbed when you say no to someone. Feeling this way is normal and totally understandable because society has led us to believe that prioritising our own needs is selfish. But this is not true. 

Despite everything that society has told you, taking care of your own needs is one of the most important things you can do. Your health and happiness are yours to protect and maintain. Taking the steps to do so is never selfish.

3. Self love is a gradual and slow process

The truth is even with the people we love most it took some time for us to love them firmly and completely. 

Likewise when you begin to learn how to love yourself, it may take some time for you to feel it. Understand though that similar to loving other people, loving yourself is a process and a journey. It may not and probably won’t happen overnight and that’s okay. 

Maybe you tend to dwell on your flaws but I want to remind you that your flaws are what make you unique. They’re part of what makes you the wonderful human that you are so embrace them fully as you work towards becoming a better version of yourself.

4. Self love is important because through it we learn to love others better and we teach others how to love us

Probably you’ve heard the trope which goes like “love yourself first.” Well, it’s true. The way you love yourself shows others how to love you. 

Forming a healthy relationship with yourself that is full of care, understanding, compassion and healthy boundaries will help you achieve that kind of relationship with yourself and others. 

Uncovering the sources of healing can be difficult. 

If you find yourself in the process of emotional healing then kudos. You should be proud that you’re taking the steps to heal for it isn’t easy. Like self love, healing not only takes time but it’s also very complex. Unravelling possible years of buried trauma is daunting. If you become overwhelmed during this process, know that you aren’t alone. Digging deep and healing from past wounds, or reoccurring ones can be an overwhelming process. Part of self love and practising self care is knowing when to step back in the healing process. Though it may be very tempting to keep pushing, remember that part of loving yourself is acknowledging your own boundaries and this is especially important in healing. In order to avoid uncovering memories and moments in ways that may wound you further. 

5. Self love means following the yearnings of your own heart, even if that’s not what others want

Have you ever felt obligated to do something because you were being pressured by others; taking up a certain hobby or going down a certain career path that you didn’t want? While this complacency might seem to resolve differences and issues in the short term, it can leave you unfulfilled later on. Part of loving yourself is giving yourself the right to follow your own dreams and your own heart. No matter what others have to say. 

Those who judge you or impose their dreams on you also have their own chances to take. Your personal passions are strong and beautiful. They’re unique to you. 

That which makes your heart sing is yours to cling to. 

You deserve to feel happy and fulfilled no matter what others have to say. 

6. Self love means giving permission to accept your own compassion

Have you ever noticed the negative connotation that surrounds self compassion? Perhaps disguised as making excuses or feeling sorry for yourself? The truth is that one of the greatest sources of strength is being able to have kindness and compassion for your own experiences in life. We have this unfortunate quality to automatically blame ourselves when things go wrong. If you didn’t get a job or get into the university of your choice, you tend to believe that you aren’t qualified enough. If a friend is mad at you, you tend to blame yourself first, rather than objectively examining the situation. This could lead to lower self esteem, more negative self talk, and even self loathing if it goes unchecked. Self compassion is something that lives inside of you. Rather than suppressing it for the sake of others, the more you consciously accept the understanding and kindness you want to offer yourself, the more your self esteem and confidence will grow.

7. Self love isn’t always fun. 

Sometimes self love is hard. 

It’s doing what’s best for you even if it doesn’t necessarily excite you at the moment. Self love can be going to bed early when you know tomorrow is an important day, choosing to stay in so you can finish an assignment, saying no to a loved one so you can have time for rest or going to the gym after a very stressful and exhausting day.

You have restricted yourself and are respecting your own boundaries and that is a great thing. 

Sometimes, in order to love yourself, you have to prioritise what is best for you and make sacrifices. 

The sheer ability to do this confirms just how much you have your best interest at heart. 

What are your thoughts on self love? And how do you practice it? Let me know in the comments below.

I hope this helps you and everyone else who reads this. I appreciate you if you made it this far. If you’d want me to write on a topic of interest please reach out to me using the contact us page. Also I’d love to know your thoughts on this article and where you might agree or disagree. All entries are exclusively between myself and you, thank you and be safe!❤️

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