Self-love can be as simple as a warm cup of tea and a good book for 10 minutes. It doesn't have to be complicated or costly.
Giving yourself the small things is an act of honouring yourself simply for being. You will be happier and more fulfilled when you discover an appreciation of who you are and what you uniquely bring to the world. In my Flight Attendant days we demonstrated putting your own life jacket on first before helping anyone else, the perfect analogy for self-love. When you give without nurturing self, it is not the healthiest of giving. The best nutrients are gone.
So, what is self-love? It's not your own power, importance or vanity that runs wild, but rather profound, quiet gratefulness for the distinctive parts that make up your whole.
How Do We Practice Self-Love?
Over the decades during my personal development journey, I have learned many ways to nurture myself.
Step one is always to bring awareness to what is. Notice your thoughts and feelings and be with them. Understand them and feel them all fully. Watch out for 'musts' and 'shoulds' in your thought processes.
Go Easy On Yourself
If you make a mistake, be easy on yourself and move on. Think twice before you start to beat yourself up. Suppose you can see the humor in what happened and how you probably made an innocent mistake. Just like; you would be a friend who had made a mistake; show yourself some kindness.
Sack the Inner Critic
You might have been brought up with criticism and judgement and in turn created a harsh inner critic. So is it time to sack your inner critic and develop a new, more supportive friend? Practice examining your automatic negative thoughts to ask yourself if they are true. You'll more than likely find they simply are not. Now, re-frame them by choosing new thoughts, ones that are true and uplifting.
All the little things you've just learned mean even more when you bring your awareness of appreciation and gratitude to the moment. Give yourself a bath of approval and appreciation from time to time. It only needs a thought.
It is easy to think about caring for your child or job, but how about yourself? When have you last loved yourself enough to treat yourself to a massage, a hot chocolate, a new book, a fabulous outfit, or a new briefcase? Think about your five senses and ask yourself: What makes you happy? Then, list at least ten things for each of the senses you enjoy, and do at least one thing for yourself every day.
Tune into Yourself
Stop, breathe, feel into your centre and ask yourself often: What do I need right now? The answers are usually more straightforward than you expect: I need to take a deep breath, lie down for twenty minutes, give myself a break, make a hot drink, go for a walk. Make it a habit to follow your inner guidance.
The practice of self-love is not about being someone you think people will like or think others want you to be. It's about you being your authentic self. When you are loving and kind towards yourself - and realise you deserve to live a fulfilling, happy life - you will not
only feel better on the inside, but I believe everything around you will start to align with
your new self.