Self Love Starts with Self-Care
Have you ever heard of the term self-love and wondered what exactly that is? Did it make you question if you love yourself or maybe that things you do in your daily life are totally separate from this notion? Well, today I want to encourage you to increase your self-love and explore what that looks like for you. It is not some philosophical theory that can only be achieved by those with lots of time to meditate and explore nature or read huge textbooks with extra long words and even longer chapters and footnotes!
To me, achieving self love is an inside job and I believe that self love starts with self-care. Simple. You can use your daily self-care habits to strengthen and achieve your sense of self love.
At one point, I did not differentiate the two. I, like many, thought that self love and self care were the same thing, however, as I began to make self-care a lifestyle and daily practice, I began to recognize the difference between the two.
I look at the two terms like this - Self love as the "mindset"- the inner way of being, thinking and the perspective that drives our behaviors, therefore, self-care is the “action” as a result of this notion. Interesting right?!
When I searched through many sources to find a concrete definition for self-love and how it can pertain to us busy moms, I came up with this: "Self-love is when you prioritize your own personal happiness and well being." This “definition” may get the side eye, however, I’m not defining self-love in the manner of arrogance, selfishness or like having a superior complex, where you look down on others to boost your own ego... I'm not defining it as a means or platform to neglect or ignore the other important people in your life...That is not it at all!
I am specifically highlighting the act of loving yourself enough to treat yourself well, without second guessing, hesitation, or feeling unworthy. Yes mamas, this is real and we as busy moms can sometimes get in the mindset that we have to put everyone first, tend to their needs, think about their feelings and make sure we pay them the attention they need and that we feel they deserve… but what about us moms? Why do we put ourselves on the back burner and ignore our own feelings, thoughts and needs.
Think of it like this, when you love someone how do you treat them? Do you neglect their feelings or needs? Do you just ignore and let them be? Do you leave them to just fester in their feelings and act as if they don't exist? Do you ignore their cries for attention? Do you talk negatively to them or put them down? I’m sure you’ve answered “No” to all of these questions, if not, then that is a story for another time :)
Look at the way you treat those you love and give yourself the same love by taking the time, energy, and space to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Once you start taking care of yourself and practicing daily self-care, you shift your perspective from the mindset of “it is wrong to put yourself first” to one where you are confident in taking care of yourself because you love yourself! You take care of yourself because you understand that when you are happy, fulfilled and feel loved, you can do the same for your family, friends and those around you.
Now that you see how self love starts with self-care, how will you begin to love yourself today?
Check out my post 10 Self-Care Tips for Moms if you need some ideas to get started.