I’m sure we’ve all had a friend who judges herself unfairly. And as a great friend, you help build her back up and see the beautiful and incredible things that she has to offer. If we are so good at seeing the wonderful qualities in others, why are we so hard on ourselves? It’s time to take some of that compassion and understanding and build yourself up with self-love!
Women, especially mothers put everyone else’s needs before their own. It is so important that you take time for yourself and make sure that your well-being is taken care of. And no, this does not make you selfish. The people who depend on you will benefit from you being at your best so it’s imperative that put your health first.
A huge part of self-care is self-love. If done correctly, you can’t have one without the other. The journey of self-love is different for everyone. Check out this self-love guide to help get you started along your journey. In order to begin, you need to be honest, open, vulnerable and compassionate with yourself.
4 Stages of Self-love
These four steps are meant to help you start your journey of self-love. It cannot be stressed enough that this is a journey. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t click right away, as you go you will discover different practices that work best for you.
Stage 1: Recognize negative forces in your life.
Take a step back and evaluate issues or things that are causing you to be unhappy or stressed. Take ownership of your feelings, recognize that they are valid and that you deserve to be happy and healthy. To do this, you will need to find the root causes of your stress and negativity.
If you are having trouble with finding the root of your issues, try mind-mapping. Write down the last time that something went wrong. Then work backward and write down everything that lead up to that point. This may give you some key insights about yourself and how you handle different situations. Use this information to figure out the steps you can take in the future to avoid that situation.
Stage 2: Deny inner and outer negativity
Figure out what you really need when negativity comes out. Instead of complaining or getting frustrated with yourself or others try to take a step to help your situation. Say “no” to negative voices that spew unproductive criticism.
For example, if you are having negative thoughts about your appearance don’t indulge them. Instead, engage in an activity that makes you feel your best. Maybe that’s painting, yoga, writing, running or practicing an instrument. Turn negativity into productivity by doing what makes you feel great.
Try writing yourself a letter as if you were your own best friend. Be honest but compassionate as you would talk to someone that you love. So many of us are our worst critics so try looking at yourself through a kinder lens.
Stage 3: Practice self-love and care
Take what you’ve learned about yourself and make it a regular practice. You will need to make a commitment to your well-being and make a point to stay on top of the great self-love work that you’ve been doing.
Try to approach everyday tasks with a positive mindset, because there is no point in wasting your energy on negativity. Reward yourself by making time to do things that you love. Try out new hobbies and practices that interest you. The goal is to find things that motivate you and enrich your life. Reflect on your progress and growth regularly and recognize the impact it has on your life overall.
A great activity to add to your practices are positive affirmations. Speak them out loud and with conviction. It may feel a little silly but this has been proven to have a positive effect on your self-image and mindset.
Stage 4: Cultivate your self-love network.
Self-love is a journey that will not always be smooth. Sometimes you will need to lean on a loved one for support. It is very important to have a network of supportive friends and family that understand you and your needs. This may mean cutting ties with people who have become more of a negative force in your life than a positive one.
To strengthen relationships with those close to you, keep an open channel of communication. People can’t read your mind so communicate your needs clearly. Communication is a two-way street so try to be receptive to others’ points of view. With better understanding comes healthier and happier relationships.
In order to empower others, we must truly love ourselves and feel empowered. Best of luck along your journey of self-love. Don’t be afraid to adapt, try new things and challenge yourself — you may discover something that you never knew you’d been missing! Check out this self-love infographic by ProFlowers that covers the topics discussed in this post. Share your favorite self-love or care practice in the comment section below!
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