Our lives are way too busy these days.
We seem to have a modern imperative of the utmost importance to fill each and every second of each and every day with “important” things to do.
“Important” can mean school drop-offs followed by work (office or home) with hopefully some food and exercise thrown in somewhere, then catching up with people we like (and don’t like), picking up the kids, cooking/cleaning/washing/ironing (at least pretending to), looking after our partners, planning our week/month/year/life ahead, checking the almighty socials, bingeing on Stranger Things, etc etc etc – you know the drill!
To quote something I heard recently, “if all I do is eat, sleep and work, then why am I always hungry, tired and poor?”
Science proves that we need to take the time to look after ourselves mentally, physically and spiritually – we need self love.
What is self love?
Self love means treating yourself with kindness and respect and nurturing your growth and wellbeing.
According to the Brain and Behaviour Research Foundation, ways to practice self-love include:
- Becoming mindful. People who have more self-love tend to know what they think, feel, and want.
- Taking actions based on need rather than want. By staying focused on what you need, you turn away from automatic behavior patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self-love.
- Practicing good self-care. You will love yourself more when you take better care of your basic needs. People high in self-love nourish themselves daily through healthy activities, like sound nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy and healthy social interactions.
- Making room for healthy habits. Start truly caring for yourself by mirroring that in what you eat, how you exercise, and what you spend time doing. Do stuff, not to “get it done” or because you “have to,” but because you care about you.
Tips on how to look after yourself
Easy to say, but we need to start small.
- Make time for yourself every day – even if it’s just 10 minutes. This is your time to do whatever you want, without stress or obligations. Relax and rejuvenate!
- Get enough sleep! Our bodies and minds need rest in order to function properly. Make sure you get at least 7-8 hours per night.
- Eat healthy and exercise regularly. This doesn’t mean you have to become a gym-junkie or dietician-approved eater, but just be mindful of what goes into your body. A healthy body equals a healthy mind!
- Take some “me” time every week. This could be getting a massage, reading your favourite book, going for a walk in nature, etc. Do something that makes you happy and relaxed.
- Connect with loved ones. Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself – those who build you up, rather than tear you down.
- Be positive and grateful. Think about all the things in your life that are going well, no matter how small they may seem. Gratitude is a powerful emotions that can help shift our focus from negative to positive.
- Do something nice for someone else. Helping others can make us feel good about ourselves, and it’s a great way to build positive relationships.
- Accept yourself – flaws and all! We are all imperfect human beings, so cut yourself some slack. Learn to love yourself, faults and all.
It’s not selfish – it’s essential!
Self love is something that we often forget about in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We need to remind ourselves to take care of our mental health, just as we would our physical health.
Take the time when you can, practice self love, I promise it won’t make you go blind…