BUILDING SELF-LOVE FOR A HEALTHIER, HAPPIER, MORE CONFIDENT YOU
We step on the scale and feel disappointed. We look at ourselves in that picture and cringe. We scroll social media and suddenly feel like our own life is lacking.
I once lived trapped in the belief that only when I looked a certain way or reached my goals would I attract the things I coveted most in life: love, happiness and confidence. It took an eating disorder and a roller coaster of highs and lows to learn those things will never come from something as superficial as your appearance, a promotion or your relationship status on Facebook. Love, happiness & confidence come from within and we must work to uncover and cultivate these feelings so that they elevate every other aspect of our life. It all starts with self-love.
It seems like we hear about self-love everywhere these days but what does it really mean? I think of it as having a strong understanding of what makes you thrive and then making space in your life to practice and honor those things. It doesn't mean life will always be picture perfect and it's not as simple as standing in front of the mirror repeating “I love you” to yourself. It simply means that you understand what allows you to feel your best and you aim to live from that space as often as possible. It's a balance of nourishment, movement, personal growth and selfcare. Below are four self-love practices that have significantly helped me on my journey to health, happiness, less stress and more confidence:
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
If we want to make peace with our body we have to start working with it. The first step is learning how to listen to all the messages it is sending us throughout the day. A body scan is a quick way to check in. Find a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down. Start to slow your breath, and focus on breathing deeply into your belly. Notice the thoughts passing through your mind. Slowly scan
your body from your toes to the top of your head and get curious about any sensation, emotion, tension or pain you may be feeling. Imagine sending your breath to any spots that feel tight or sticky. Are you happy, tired, nervous, excited, sad, hungry, thirsty? You might feel uncomfortable at times and feel the urge to get up but stick with it and ask your body, “What are you telling me?” Learning to listen to your body and acknowledge what it is asking for is one of the greatest ways we can practice self-love.
CREATE A PERSONAL NOURISHMENT MENU
Make a list of things that fill you up or give you energy. Avoid listing things that you think “should” give you energy. Instead think about what you would do if all your “to do” lists disappeared and you had an hour to yourself. Think reading, playing tennis, taking a nap, making a beautiful meal, hanging out with friends or writing. There are a billion people on this earth and everyone's list is going to look a little different. It's all about recognizing what nourishes you.
CARVE OUT TIME FOR YOU
Now that you have your personal nourishment menu the next step is actually making space in your busy calendar for the items on the list. Easier said than done in this overcommitted world that often has us sacrificing our own health and wellness to keep others happy. The reality is we can't show up as our best selves when we're running on empty. It's lose/ lose. Look at your calendar: Cancel or reschedule one thing that you already know is not going to fill you up or ask a loved one for support so that you can create some time for you.
Energy flows where attention goes... and nothing makes appreciation grow more than appreciation itself! Most of us have a terrible habit of focusing on all the things lacking in our life instead of celebrating all that we have. Creating a ritual around giving thanks encourages us to look for the good in our lives. The more we look for it, the more we start to see. Try starting a gratitude journal or create a ritual around dinner where everyone says something they are grateful for.
I believe the number one needle mover in creating a life you love is living from a place of self-love. When you learn to appreciate, embrace and leverage all the incredible things that make you unique, you unlock the ability to change your entire life. You can love the person staring back at you in the mirror, feel amazing in the body you've been given and have a life you love.