With Valentine’s day knocking on the door I can’t help but think about love in all of it’s glorious and sometimes messy forms. The family kind, the romantic kind, the kind we have for pets (which probably falls under the family kind if your house is anything like mine) and finally the kind we have or should have for ourselves. Self-love is a tricky thing for most of us. If some of us struggle with feeling that self-care is selfish, self-love might be even harder to grasp.
I think there are two opposite schools of thought on the self-love spectrum. There are those who don’t want to embrace the idea because they are flooded with images of staring at their reflection in the mirror doomed to the same fate at Narcissus- you know the one-the greek God who fell in love with his own reflection.
And then there are our sisters on the other side that find it easy to bestow love on others but can’t muster those same feelings for themselves. This is often based on stories they have been told (or those they’ve told themselves) about who they are and who they are not. They find it difficult to see anything good while staring into that mirror.
However most of us fall more in the middle. We realize there is a need for it. We have some level of self-love but we want to embrace it a little more, in a healthy way. Here are three ways to practice a little more self-love and not just on Valentine’s day.
Set healthy boundaries-I posted an Oprah quote to IG the other day about how when you say yes when you mean no, you are being a slave to someone else’s desires and not your own. It resonated with so many women on my page. Apparently, I am not the only one who struggles in this area. If you read my book you know that I had what I refer to as a Year Of No. I was so overextended in my commitments that I was physically suffering. I had no choice but to say no until I was able to get my health back on track. I found out the hard way that it is impossible to be all things to all people and ultimately the one who really suffers from your let downs is you.
Now I believe in creating healthy boundaries. I do say yes to a lot of things that really add value to my life and to the lives of those I love but there’s no all or nothing thinking for me anymore. I’m getting more comfortable with being able to discern when to say no. And I certainly don’t voluntarily commit to anything that takes away from my inner peace. Honoring your true feelings when it comes to others by saying no or leaving relationships that are causing you stress is a part of your self-love practice.
Speaking of relationships, it’s also so important to make sure that you stack your deck of positive and supportive friends. All of them don’t need to be singing your praises all the time, but they should be the kind of people you believe have your best interest in mind- the kind that will offer you a positive word, a gentle dose of truth and clap when you win. If you have longterm relationships with people who aren’t on team You Go Girl, I’m not saying you should end those friendships or that they don’t have any value. That’s for you to decide. But what I am saying is make sure they aren’t the majority of your friendship team. That quote about you being the sum of the people you spend the most time with is true. Make sure your friends are filling your cup more than they are taking from it. When you see people in your corner sharing positive things about you it helps you to see the positives in you too.
Be Intentional about your self-care-I can’t stress this enough. A lot of the advice I give about fashion or beauty isn’t because I am some high-end fashionista doling out what’s hot or not. I’m really just coming from a place of wanting to try things that make me look and feel my best and then share that with other women. I’m a true believer that when you look good you feel a little better and vice versa. It is so easy to put yourself on the bottom of your to-do list. If you make sure you are intentional about the kind of things you do that make you feel and look good you are telling yourself that you are important and worthy of the same love you give to everyone else.
Those are my three tips for fostering self-love. I’d love to hear what you do to foster self-love too!
Until Next Post,
xo Tonya Parker