Self-love: Regard for one's well-being and happiness.
Let's be honest – we could all use a little more self-love. As social beings, we feel compelled to nurture relationships with others more than relationships with ourselves in hopes of maintaining the genuine and lasting connections that drive us. Because of this, your average woman juggles several responsibilities and roles at the same time such as being an outstanding friend, a fantastic daughter, a supportive wife, a loving mother, an excellent student, an enriching teacher, and a career woman.
That's a lot, ladies, and the truth is, that list does not even scratch the surface of all the types of relationships we juggle with grace. Every relationship you have, no matter how healthy, requires a balance of give and take, and with so many different obligations, we end up pouring a little bit of ourselves into each relationship until we have nothing left to fill our hearts.
The following fact is sad but true: Females are twice as likely to suffer from depression.
Why, you may ask – because we sacrifice. We are innately connected to loving others and we often sacrifice our time and happiness at the benefit of maintaining our dearest, inter-human relationships.
With that said, the month of February is about celebrating that four-letter word that we spend our lives searching for, finding, and holding on to for dear life – LOVE – and I want to take the time to capitalize on its importance in our community. Therefore, I challenge every woman and man to take the time to adopt the following self-love practices that will help you see the value in peaceful, grounded, and meditative time with yourself.
Warning: The implementation of these practices on a regular basi is will induce feelings of confidence, self-love, and happiness.
Make a "jar of smiles": Take the time to write down a few things you enjoy that help you unwind. For example, I wrote down the following activities: take a warm bath, go to dinner alone, have a glass of wine, and read my favorite book by candlelight. Cut each activity into a slip and fold it. Place the slips into your jar, and anytime you feel overwhelmed, sad, or in need of some me-time, head to your jar of smiles to indulge in an activity you will enjoy!
Waste your time: Now, I know this seems like the total opposite of what you should do, but trust me, this piece of advice is worth it. Take some time to sit there and do anything but what is required from you. Is your laundry piling up? Throw it in the corner and binge watch that show you've been trying to get around to. Are your dishes stacked in the sink? Leave them there and mindlessly surf the internet. Is your house on fire? Haha, okay, you should probably take care of that, but you get my point. Nothing is more fulfilling than taking some time to decompress when things get rough.
Skip the emotional dumping: I can't stress this enough. There is power in protecting your space. Have you ever had that person that you love dearly but only calls when they need to vent, or do you have someone in your life that constantly unloads all their shit on you and you feel more like an underpaid psychologist than a friend? Sometimes, we become an emotional dump in our relationships. Well, no more. Challenge yourself to tell your gossiping neighbor you're too busy to listen to her quarrels with Tammy down the street. Tell your friend that you can't bear to hear the details of the 130th fight that she and her boyfriend have had this week. Negativity transfers! So, protect your space!
Say “no”: Resist the urge to overexert yourself. If you'd rather skip out on brunch with your sister-in-law, call and cancel. If you don't feel like taking that girls trip, don't go! Listen to yourself and your desires. Cater to them. It’s okay to make yourself scarce in order to recharge.
Admit when you're not okay: It's perfectly reasonable not to be able to do it all. Tell yourself it’s okay to need a break, and then take one. The world will go on, I promise!
If you feel compelled to practice some of these activities, please let me know how they work for you! Self-love is a constant journey of getting to know yourself and then loving yourself as genuinely as possible. And please, don’t forget – I'm here for you, every step of the way!