I realized this post and last weeks post probably needed to switch, but sometimes it’s good to start with what you can do to practice more self love and then follow up with why it’s so important. You may say that you’re good and love yourself a whole bunch and I’m sure that you do, but when we get busy. When work, life and all the things we need to do begin to overwhelm us it’s on those days that we may be a bit more critical and judge ourselves a little more or allow comparisons, procrastination, excuses you name it creep in and take over.
I get it because I was just there and what I realized is that I allowed a lot of bad habits that started around the holidays follow me into 2019. I wasn’t working out at all, I was still eating like I was in holiday mode and just not taking good care of myself. I also let a lot of my own self love and self care practices just fall off. At the start of February I had, had enough and hit the restart button on my own self care/self love practices. And what I learned is that practicing self love happens intentionally in our daily lives.
So, if you’re like me and need a little reminder about why it’s good to practice self love, here are four benefits.
When we’re practicing self love, we’re setting boundaries. We’re taking social media breaks and we’re giving ourselves time to connect with ourselves and the people we love. By doing this we reduce our stress considerably.
But when we get busy, when our to do list are long. We say Yes more than we say no, it’s easy to feel stressed, overworked and overwhelmed and that doesn’t even include what can happen when scrolling social media and we easily fall into the comparison trap. All this does is keep us in a circle of judgement and negativity and we spend time looking at what our lives are lacking instead of focusing on the good.
So if you’re looking for a place to start, look at reducing the screen time, hitting that unfollow button, doing more things that spark joy in the season of life we’re in.
Increases Healthy Habits
When we’re intentionally making self love a habit, we take better care of ourselves mentally and physically. We practice self care but we are also aware of our diet and eat healthy meals and workout regularly. When we’re caring for ourselves inside and out we do more things that intentionally keep us healthy which in turn also keeps us happy.
When I’m practicing self love, I’m giving myself grace. I know not everyday is going to be great and some days, you need the cookies or ice cream. But when you’re practicing self love it’s easy to extend that compassion (grace) to others. Because we know we’re all doing the best we can and it’s easy to extend that to the barista, a co-worker, a friend or family member.
We know that some days will be great and others we will wish we could just stay home or get a do over. Instead of beating ourselves up when a mistake is made or things don’t go right and getting on spiral of judgement that can quickly turn negative, we realize that these setbacks are temporary. That adversity and failures happen and that there’s plenty of lessons to learn and it only makes us stronger.
When we encounter adversities in the future, it causes us to bounce back quicker and not spend as much time focusing on things that may or may not have been under our control.
What I learned for myself is that I have to be intentional about practicing self love because when I don’t so many areas of my life suffer. One of the biggest ways I can love myself is by creating boundaries.
We’ll talk more about boundaries in the next post.