Updated: Feb 28, 2020
Self-love isn't just about feeling good.
What woman doesn't enjoy a hot tub soak with detoxifying bubbles caressing her skin, and a glass (or bottle) of red wine that relaxes the mind, body, in addition to heightening the libido?
On my AfroSensual Podcast episode titled SELF-LOVE, I speak candidly about my own personal journey of learning how to love myself. And let me tell you, it didn't feel as good as those photos on instagram make it look. Self-love is defined as: regard for one's own wellbeing and happiness. But, exactly how do we love ourselves?
When we commit acts that help us mature and grow, we begin to have a new sense of appreciation for who we are. Caring for our mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health are acts of self-love, and essentially, is conscious decision making.
Here are a few ways to increase your self-love:
1. Self-awareness - People who have a healthy sense of self, are more aware of what they think, feel, and need and have the ability to communicate and express this clearly. They know exactly who they are, and base decisions on this knowledge.
2. Know the difference between need and want - staying focused on what your needs are, rather than acting on automatic behavior patterns based on trauma, you are conscious of what you really need, vs what you think you want. The line between wants and needs can become blurry if who you are isn't clearly defined.
3. Have a routine for self-care - we feel empowered about ourselves when we make healthy lifestyle choices that nourish our mind, body, and soul. Good habits, such as nutrition, exercise, sleep, intimacy, and a sense of purpose through meaningful work all have a positive effect on our wellbeing.
4. Protect your energy - it's important to become more aware of the people we surround ourselves with. Have you found your tribe, and are they supportive of your goals and dreams for yourself? Are there energy vampires in your circle? This could be family, friends, or even a spouse. Set those boundaries with who you allow in your space.
5. Forgive yourself - we've all made mistakes that left us feeling disappointed in ourselves. We may have chose the wrong partner, or said something out of character to a loved one, or even lost our temper with our children. It's easy to fall into a self-critical mindset, and beat ourselves up over a mistake. Negative self-talk only perpetuates an unhealthy relationship with yourself.
Self-acceptance is the root of self-love. Trying to mold ourselves into someone who meets the expectations or wishes of others, is considered to be an act of self-betrayal. Define who you are for yourself, and love her fully.