Self Love – sure that’s easy right?
When I started therapy a year ago, one of the first questions my therapist asked me was, “What are the things you do for yourself to feel good, things you just can’t function without doing?” I thought and thought and stared at her with this face: 🤨
And she stared back at me with this face: :/
LOL! It was obvious to her I had no Self Care practice, and the more we talked it was obvious I struggled with Self Love.
Throughout the year I’ve worked on Self Love and this is what I’ve learned: Self Love comes first. Before you do anything for anyone else you must take care of yourself.
The first thing you should do in the morning is take care of your own needs. Now I know this sounds hard because we take care of so many other people. How the heck are we supposed to take care of ourselves first? This is how – love yourself as much as you love everyone else and make yourself a priority. You wouldn’t let down your family, so don’t let yourself down!
When we aren’t practicing Self Love, we get ourselves into a big funk, and it’s very hard to escape. Things start to happen like people pleasing, making ourselves smaller than we really are, taking on too many things, putting our dreams on the backburner, not being true to our values, negative self talk, anxiety, depression and so much more. This all compounds and before you know it, you’re lost.
When you shift from everyone-else care to self care, it can be hard and feel uncomfortable. People won’t understand it at first, but I ask you to lean into that discomfort, and then practice even MORE self care. Discover what you need to do to take care of yourself, to get yourself back to a good level.
Recently I got back into a funk and immediately I could feel something was wrong. I went back to my self care rituals, and sure enough, I wasn’t doing them. I got back on track right away and I’m back to feeling better than ever.
My therapist asked me again, “What are the things you must do for yourself to feel good? I rattled off about two pages, LOL. The main ones are this: get enough rest, stay sober, be creative, help others, connect with my husband, exercise, eat a healthy diet, pray, make time for friends, and nurture my children. I must do ALL these things, and I must do them with intention each and every day.
What I’ve learned is that by taking care of my needs first, I’m able to show up as the best version of myself for my family and friends. Now that I put myself first, I’m showing up for them in ways I could’ve never imagined.
This is Self Love. I ask you friends to use this Valentine’s Day of Love and after you pour your heart out to your children, and your partner, and your family — take some time to focus on loving YOU. Do something nice for yourself. Talk to yourself. Ask yourself what you need. Fill your cup up so full that it overflows to everyone around you, and I promise they will respond not only with love, but they will start practicing Self Love too. Show them what that looks like.