How to practice self-love

How to practice self-love

When people hear self-love they often think someone is being narcissistic and vain, but this is not true. To love yourself is something extremely powerful and it’s something I am working on right now to improve my mental wellbeing. As humans we often look to other people to show us love and to make us feel fulfilled, which I have found out doesn’t work. We must first love ourselves to feel complete and not search for it from other people. Below are some of the things I have been practicing to self-love.

  • Look in the mirror and appreciate something about your appearance, however small.
  • Take 5 minutes every day to practice mindfulness. For me I like to breath in for 3 seconds and breath out for 5 seconds and just focus on the breathing. It’s extremely relaxing and helps me connect and not be stuck in my own head.
  • Appreciate when you have done something difficult even if it’s just going to work that day.
  • Do what excites you. Find your passion and do it, mine is writing, but I also enjoy drawing and baking.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others. You are your own person, you are unique and special and you need to own that.
  • Wake up every day and pay yourself a compliment and mean it. Maybe you did something the day before which was particularly difficult and you handled it well.
  • Surround yourself with positive people who encourage you to succeed and also make sure you do the same back to them. My friends are a huge source of encouragement to me and I hope I am back to them.
  • Choose food that nourishes your body. That McDonalds may taste good at the time, but how does it make you feel after?
  • Treat yourself to food that makes you happy. I know I’ve just gone against the above point, but everything in moderation and sometimes a block of chocolate is good for your soul. Eat it mindfully and enjoy it.
  • Remember to pat yourself on the back even if the achievement is only small. Care for your inner child and say well done.
  • Accept your flaws. My body isn’t perfect, but it is mine and it’s grown two humans and nourished them. Loving your body is probably one of the hardest ones, especially for us ladies, but remember how amazing it is and all it’s gone through.
  • Get active. Exercise makes you feel good and there is no excuse not to. I hated the gym and running, but have found a love in team sports, which encourages me to perform and work harder for my team mates.
  • Push yourself out of your comfort zone, even if it’s only small steps.
  • Leave toxic relationships. Certain people in my life did seem to project a lot of their own issues on me for a long time. Now I am able to notice it, I don’t let it affect me in the same way it used to.
  • Be forgiving of others, but most of all yourself. Don’t beat yourself up and just forgive and move on. Don’t spend time and energy going over the same thing that is now in the past.
  • Treat everyone you meet in the same way you want to be treated. Be polite, have manners, be kind and remember everyone is having their own struggles in life.
  • Don’t be alone when you need help. If you are struggling, seek out a friend or family to gain some perspective on the situation.
  • Don’t seek approval from others. I tried this for so long and it’s not helpful and constructive in any way. If someone doesn’t approve then it’s their problem not yours.
  • Let go of the past and any trauma. I know from experience this isn’t easy and may require therapy, but believe me it is worth it and so freeing to move on.
  • Shut up that negative voice in your head. I know it won’t go away, but just don’t acknowledge it and let those negative thoughts wash by you.
  • When you are feeling good write down all your best traits, achievements etc and when you are having a less than perfect day reflect back to it.

Self-love takes time and practice and won’t happen over night, be patient with yourself and remember anything worth having takes dedication.

 

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A mothers unconditional love for her baby

The day I met you, my darling baby, everything changed. I would never be able to just think about me anymore as my actions would directly affect you. I will be the role model to you and I will be the first person in this world that will show you what love is. There has never been anyone like you in my world before and I still can’t believe how instantly I fell in love with you. When someone says they don’t believe in love at first sight they must not have been lucky enough to become a parent like me.

I will never forget the way you smelt as you were laid on my chest for the first time. I felt exhausted, relieved , overwhelming emotions of love and fear of how I was now responsible for this tiny person for the rest of my life. From that day I became a mother which is something I will cherish dearly until my dying day. I had to learn quickly how to wash a baby, dress a baby and how to feed, which was hard to begin with and nothing like when I had played with dolls as a child. You needed me and were relentless with your needs, but I sacrificed it all as I wanted to do it all for you.

I cherished my time feeding you, taking you for walks and rocking you to sleep, as you are not just my child, but also my friend. I would sometimes get you out of your cot, still asleep and sit with you in a chair rocking you and stroking your face, desperately trying to remember the way you felt in my arms. You soon grew, much quicker than I had anticipated and were soon toddling around my house, causing destruction. We started going for walks to the park, just us two, to feed the ducks and I can honestly say I was so happy in your company. We spent many a day cuddled on the sofa, playing dolls and painting together, then the day came where you had to leave me.

You ran off without a second look back through your classroom doors and began a life away from me. I wasn’t there all day to help, guide or teach you right from wrong and I missed you terribly. I still had your baby brother at home, but I missed having my darling little girl with me. When I collect you from school my heart fills with love and I’m so happy to hear your stories and what you have learnt today, but I’m secretly jealous that someone else gets you. I loved the day you told me about the dinosaurs and how they were ‘stinct’ and then asked if I knew any of them.

The days we have together are not as often now and when I reach for your hand to hold, you soon let go to be free, ready to explore the world on your own. I know at bedtime no one does bedtime stories as well as me and that you will make any excuse to keep me in your bed just one more minuet longer. I will hold you as long as you let me, kiss you on the forehead, stroke your hair and breath you in. You will never stop being my little girl and the promises I made to you when you were born will be forever. You are my love, my darling, my baby and I will be with you forever.

 

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