Show Yourself Some Love: Self-love is not Selfish
We need to reframe how we look at the word selfish. ‘ISH’ can either mean approximately, relating to, or having the characteristic of. In any case, adding ‘ish’ to self, is not negative in any way, until we give it meaning. It is the meaning we give it, as it relates to others that makes it negative. I just want to say here, that taking care of ourselves is in no way negative. In fact, having and showing love for self is so important. If you have ever traveled on an airplane, you know that they tell you to secure your oxygen mask first before attempting to assist others. We can’t take care of others if we don’t take care of ourselves first. This is true as it relates to taking care of ourselves. When we don’t take the time to rest, restore, and energize ourselves, we end up hitting exhaustion so much faster. Our fuse gets shorter and even though our intention in de-prioritizing ourselves is so that we can be there for other people, we end up showing up in a way that we aren’t always proud of. A lot of times, this ends up creating even more work emotionally, because communication in relationships will suffer when we are overwhelmed and exhausted.
Ways of Showing Self-Love:
Rest: Resting is self-love. It is medicine for the soul. Resting is never a waste of time. It is what recharges us so that we can show up as our best, most intentional self…Whatever it is, it will be there when you are done resting…and it will be easier after you have recharged. I used to think sleep was overrated…I always figured I could catch up with my sleep at some point. It is during our sleep that our body heals itself and we move our memories around, clearing space for more resilience when we wake up. The realization I came to a few years ago is that if I don’t give my body time to heal and restore itself, it will force me to give it time, which naturally happens at the most inopportune times. I highly recommend scheduling your rest regularly so that you aren’t forced to be an unwilling participant at the most inconvenient times.
Restore: These are the things that feed and calm our soul. The things we can get lost in for hours with no clue how much time passed. These can also be small pieces of time that you carve out to literally restore your body and mind like meditation, a massage, a walk, sitting in nature, doing something creative, reading a book, stretching…
Energize: These are the things that give us energy, which will look different for everyone. Exercise is one of my top tools for re-energizing. When I feel exhausted, my temper is short, or I am just in a funk, a brisk walk, run, row, or elliptical workout will pull me right out of this and I will walk away clear headed and energized. My other favorite thing to re-energize is laughter. There is not much in the world that restores energy and can be as healing as a good belly laugh. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
Celebrate: Each day, if you have no time for anything else, make time to start your day with celebrating things you are grateful for. Gratitude is such a restorative energy. This takes just a moment and will give your mind instructions to focus on positive things throughout the day, which will inherently provide you with higher energy. Then at the end of the day, take a few minutes to recognize times when you were at your best. When we do these on a regular basis, we are changing the thoughts in our mind, giving ourselves permission to show ourselves love.
It is only when we know how to love ourselves, that we can truly give or receive love.
Tip: Prioritizing your energy and confidence are great ways to show yourself love while also giving you better resources to show up in the world and for others in an intentional and impactful way.
Exercise: Make a list of things that give you energy or confidence. Make another list of things that deplete your energy or confidence. Now, make a list of your normal day and see how many items replenish vs. deplete you. The key to managing stress and all the to do’s is to replenish more than deplete. See if you can find a way to remove one item that depletes your energy or confidence and add at least one more thing into your day that gives you energy or confidence.