Mental Health Student, LSRG Assistant
Self-love has become a household term in our society. It’s all over everything from our favorite TV shows to the silliest internet memes. Friends, family and coworkers talk about how important it is for our physical and emotional well-being and how necessary self-love is to work into our daily routines. Everyone seems to be aware of it and people regularly use their favorite social media platforms to demonstrate just how effortlessly they practice it. People around us make it seem simple and easy. But, is it?
When we think about the “how” regarding self-love, almost anyone could make you a list of activities or practices for what to do, when and where. Some people like going to the gym every night or practice yoga in the morning, some people read their favorite book before hitting the switch on their bed-side lamp, some people bake themselves their favorite confection and some people travel the world.
“Do something you feel excited about!”
“Live your passions!”
“Connect with nature!”
“Bond with your family!”
Such plain language, such clear instructions. So why do many of us struggle with the practice of it in our lives? The answer is mindset. A list of exciting activities and clear instruction are nothing without the proper mindset. No one teaches you how to get yourself in a mental and emotional space where you can carry out these instructions effectively. So how do we get in the mindset that paves the way for self-love?
You know that feeling you get when you’re falling in love with someone for the first time? All those butterflies in your stomach? How about all of that energy that is seemingly derived from an infinite well for this special someone? Or how about for your child? You feel this incredible drive for these loved-ones to do whatever you can just to bring a smile to their face. You plan weeks in advance for their birthday to make it extra special. You learn to bake their favorite cake when you’ve never even turned your oven on once in your life! You find out their favorite color, animal, or seasonal coffee drink just to randomly surprise them and you take SO much pleasure in this!
What if… you turn all that energy and bring it to yourself? The secret to self-love isn’t just love. It’s FALLING in love with ourselves. It’s realizing we are worthy of love and we are worthy making ourselves feel special. We deserve the compassion, for instance, when we are hurt that we would so eagerly give our child or our partner. We deserve the care and understanding when we are sick or tired. WE deserve the special surprise delivery of our favorite meal to our workplace when we’ve had a bad day. We deserve to right to feel entitled to deliver that FROM ourselves TO ourselves.
When we can focus our energy on flipping our mindset, then and only then, can we effectively practice self-love.