February is considered the month of love the world over. Everywhere you look, from shop windows to our social media feeds, the opportunity to declare your undying love for a significant other is a constant reminder of our need for connection.
But where do we feature in this love story? How connected are we with ourselves?
So often we compare ourselves to what social media, the advertising industry and society deems important and we lose out on the greatest love story of our lifetime. The love we owe ourselves.
Self-love is not a selfish or indulgent practice, but rather an opportunity to treat oneself with the same level of kindness, compassion and support we usually reserve for loved ones close to us and is essential to a fulfilled and balanced life.
Here are some ideas of things you can do that will set you on a course of discovering the love within yourself.
We often beat ourselves up for mistakes we’ve made, whether it be in our relationships, career, etc. Sadly, instead of seeing mistakes made as life’s way to teach us lessons in order for us to grow and evolve, we fail to see it as such and end up focusing on what we did wrong.
Pick one thing and work on forgiving yourself. Imagine that this happened to a friend or family member you love dearly who is too hard on themselves. What would you say to them, how would you encourage them? Now offer yourself the same kindness and compassion you would to others.
Celebrate Your Victories
Henry Ford’s quote “Whether you think you can or can’t – you’re right.” is a powerful, yet simple example of how what you think you are capable of can have a direct effect on what shows up in your life.
When you allow yourself to celebrate the small victories, you undergo a mental shift, which then increases self-worth and positivity. And once you are in this mindset, you will be able to accomplish even more.
And a victory, no matter how small, is still a victory. Allow yourself to acknowledge and be proud of it.
Choose Something Different in Your Routine.
Routine is safe, and while comfort is vital to keep unnecessary stressors from our lives, stagnation is not. Shaking up your routine helps you change your perspective and makes things interesting, inviting more joy into your life.
Start small like swapping your first coffee in the morning for warm lemon water, taking a different route to get to work or try a different item from the menu at your favourite restaurant (or go to a different restaurant all together!).
Kickstart Your Day with Gratitude.
Get up 15 minutes earlier and take time to reflect on the things you appreciate in your life. Choose 5 things you are grateful for, and try to add to or change the list daily. You can write them down in a journal or go through them in your mind, taking time to reflect through a simple meditation practice.
Committing to these small acts of self-love, when practiced over time, will bring a shift in your life where you will have not only an abundance of love for yourself, but for others close to you as well.
For more ideas on self-care and self-love read here.