I’ve been thinking a lot about love over the past few weeks. The love we share with our families, with our partners, with our friends, but mostly the love that we should have for ourselves. Robert Morley once said “to fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness”, and this is something that I have discovered over and over throughout my life. Recently, this quote has been at the forefront of my mind as I have worked to embrace the love that I have for myself and for those around me.
In order to most effectively love those around you, you must first be able to love yourself. As I’ve been exploring self-love, I’ve discovered a few things that have helped me deepen my relationship with myself.
To your emotions, to your body, to your wellbeing. Kindness is the first step to embracing every inch of who you are, both inside and out. It is giving yourself permission to be human; allow yourself to feel your emotions, acknowledge that you don’t have the same body you did at 22, know your physical and mental limits!
There are times of both great joy and great sadness in life, and I’ve found that the best thing to do is to live in every moment. Negative self-talk and blame won’t help when things are bad; instead, I choose to feel my feelings to their fullest extent, to live fully in everything.
Above all, you need to trust yourself. Your body and mind know when something isn’t right, and there is nothing wrong with listening to your intuition. You know who you are, and honoring that person is the first step to finding self-love.
Every once in a while, you just need that special something that warms your soul. Take yourself on a luxury getaway, indulge in that delicious dessert, buy the expensive dress that you’ll only wear to fancy parties. Sometimes, you just need to add a little bit of joy to your life. Do something that you told yourself you “can’t” do, and unlock an abundance mindset; there is nothing in this world you can’t do.
Establish Healthy Habits
Loving your body and mind can look like a variety of different things, but one of my most tried-and-true methods is to create a healthy lifestyle. Build yourself an exercise routine, work to eat healthy (but if you want that chocolate cupcake one night, eat the chocolate cupcake!), find time to journal and practice self-care. I make time each day to run and to write, both of which help me to honor my feelings, and embrace the people and things in my life. Establishing these habits has helped me to build a life that makes me feel powerful and proud of who I am and what I have built.
Learn to say “No”
You may have many priorities in your life, and “you” should be one at the top of the list. When life gets busy, it can be easy to fall into a “yes” pattern; yes, I’ll go to this event, yes, I’ll take on this project, yes, I’ll do this thing. But sometimes, the answer needs to be “no”! Loving yourself means acknowledging the things you’re feeling, and one of those things might be “I don’t want to do (blank)”. Instead of forcing yourself to go through with it, find ways to honor these feelings. You (and your time!) are important, and the best things happen when you treat it as such.
Sometimes you just need a break. Turn off your social media notifications, and put your phone on “do not disturb”. Eliminating distractions can help you get deeper within yourself. Want to take it a step further? Treat yourself to a vacation! Or find time to meditate. Finding time away from the distractions of day-to-day life creates the perfect environment to explore your feelings for yourself.
Falling in love with yourself means having more love to give to the world around you. It means having a deep appreciation for your capabilities and strengths, but also for your flaws. Loving yourself means loving the whole of who you are, not just the pieces you think shine the brightest.
By embracing your truest self, you can create the life you’ve always dreamed of living. Loving yourself helps you to stand in your own power, and makes it so easy to look at the world around you and think “I created this”. Take pride in who you are, and the things that you have accomplished, and know that you will experience more great things.
Flavor Your Life with an Ounce of Salt. A Lifestyle Blog by Jen Oliak