For me, self love is one of the simplest concepts on earth, yet one of the most difficult to carry out. It’s easy to get caught up in the everyday trappings of your job or education and let those things have a significant effect on your identity. As a student, I know that I have put a lot of value on my grades, and when those grade don’t line up with my goals or aims, it is very easy to get down on myself. Speaking negatively about myself is a habit that I have been working very hard to break, because when you speak negatively about yourself, eventually that becomes your reality. If you’re constantly hearing a voice say “you’re lazy” or “you’re stupid” in time, you will accept that as truth and start to really believe those things. It is so easy to fall into these traps of self-imposed negativity, but there is a way out of it.
Self love means what it says. Loving yourself in the way that you would love a friend, or a partner, or a family member.
It’s just as important to your health as eating right and getting a good night’s sleep. When you love someone else, you want to go out of your way to make sure that they are happy and feeling well; you might buy them gifts, take them out, spend time with them or listen to them vent. We do these things for the people we care about but then neglect ourselves when we should really be showing ourselves the most love. If you don’t show yourself love and take care of yourself, how will you be able to show love to other people you care about? Self love doesn’t have to be a big grandiose production. It can be something as simple as telling yourself a compliment when you feel the urge to insult.
In the morning before heading out to work or school, tell yourself that you are smart, beautiful, and ready for whatever you’re going to face. Those little affirmations work their way into your spirit and even if they don’t feel like truths at the start, they will become your truth with time and repetition. Self love can mean cutting off toxic friends and relationships. You want people in your life that will uplift you and give you strength, not drain you and leave you exasperated. Self love can be taking yourself for a walk and enjoying nature, going to see a movie, taking a trip to a local art gallery or museum, or writing down your feelings and giving yourself the time and space needed to properly vent your emotions.
There is no one way to properly love yourself. It takes time and patience to figure out which things work for you.
Enjoy the process because it will teach you more about yourself than you could ever realise. One of my personal tools for self love is cooking. Cooking is a form of therapy for me and when I prepare a meal, I feel at peace. This is one way that I can show love to myself, by partaking in activity that I enjoy and that is good for my mental health. There are so many things in this world that can weigh down heavily on our minds and our spirits. Self love is more important than ever so we don’t succumb to the negativity that seems to be everywhere we look. Deciding to start the journey to self love can be difficult at first, but I guarantee that it is a journey you will not regret starting once you do.
Written by Seunfunmi Tinbu