Cultivating Self Love
To some, self-love sounds like a luxurious day at the spa for folks with too much time on their hands. To others, it’s a simple look in the mirror speaking a few words of love and encouragement to self. No matter what you perceive self-love to be, consider it a necessity to a fulfilling life. You can’t pour from an empty cup, sis.
We all have our fair share of insecurities and bouts of self-doubt, some we’re transparent about and some we’d rather deal with alone. Living in the days of social media, it’s easy to interpret someone’s life as more entertaining or glamorous than yours. However, comparing your life to someone else’s highlight reel is not only damaging to your self-esteem but you eventually find yourself in a cycle of self-sabotage which can lead to depression and in some cases, serious physical health issues. The first step towards healing and self-love is understanding the symptoms of depression. According to WEBMD, a few symptoms of depression may include:
• Persistently sad mood, "feeling blue"
• Feelings of hopelessness and a pessimistic outlook on life
• Guilty feelings, feelings of worthlessness
• Loss of libido (low sex drive)
• Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
• Decreased appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
• Loss of interest in hobbies and other social activities
• Fatigue, decreased energy
• Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
• Restlessness, irritability
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
*** If you or someone you know is suffering from depression or experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, seek professional help. ***
At some point, you have to decide you’re enough and deserve the happiness you seek. Self-love is not just about feeling or looking good. It’s a state of appreciation for yourself. Self-love allows you to accept your weaknesses along with your strengths, and to have compassion for yourself as you seek to find personal meaning and fulfillment.
“Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as YOU see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different ~ Stacey Charter
So how do you cultivate feelings of self-love and self-care? Where do you begin? I’ve come up with a few tips.
In the past and even now, I noticed I’m extremely hard and over critical of myself depending on the circumstance. We all do it. Understand that every thought or action first forms in your mind. Shift your mindset from “punishment”, to “healing and growing.” View mistakes as lessons and opportunities to grow and learn. Mistakes are a clear indication that you’re trying. Always remember, there’s a lesson in every mistake. Let go of those toxic thoughts and forgive yourself.
BECOME MORE SELF-AWARE
One of the most effective ways to becoming more self-aware is to write down your goals, plans and things you enjoy. Sometimes, having a conversation with someone you trust for clarity helps. Develop an attitude of mindfulness and learn to appreciate just being in the moment.
SET HEALTHY BOUNDARIES (A BIG ONE)
Say “NO”, scream it if you have to. (Just kidding- or not). But seriously, sometimes you just need to take a break from certain people, relationships, and activities that drain you. AND IT’S OKAY!! Just be sure to communicate to people that you need some time for you and they’ll either adjust or show true colors. At that point, it’s up to you weather you’ll invite them back into your space.
KNOW YOU ARE WORTH LOVING
If no one has told you they love you and are proud of you today, let me tell you, YOU’RE THE SHIT AND I LOVE YOU. After all, you’ve read this far. =) Don’t wait on anyone else to validate your self-worth. The only change you should ever make to yourself are those that you feel will ultimately benefit you.
MY PERSONAL FAVORITE- SELF-CARE!
Need I elaborate? As I stated earlier, you can’t pour from an empty cup. The love you so freely give to others ALWAYS starts with yourself. Self-love is a journey with no destination. When I created House of Reine, LLC my goal was to empower women and young girls everywhere. Create your own standard of beauty. Forget what others think you should look or act like. I was raised by strong women who, at an early age, instilled in my sister and I to love and respect ourselves, fiercely. My goal is to do the same for every woman and girl I come into contact with.
I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to post in the comments below what self-love means to you and where you are in your journey.
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