Anyone who has been following me, whether it has been on this blog or on Instagram, has seen me use the phrase #selfloveisntselfish countless times. I decided it was about time that I wrote about my belief in this statement and explained how acts of self love can benefit those around us.
Why Self Love Isn't Selfish - Let me Count the Ways:
Putting yourself first, taking time for yourself can make you a kinder and more positive person. So many of us, myself included, can find reasons to put the needs of someone or something else before our personal needs. I write this as a reminder for myself as much as I write it for everyone reading it: Self love is possible, we all have it inside us, it is just up to us to put the work in and make it happen. #selfloveistruelove #selfloveisntselfish #mefirst
How often do you take a moment to appreciate the things around you? Most of us don't stop to smell the roses and recognize the small, simple pleasures in life. We reserve phrases like "I'm SO grateful" for when someone does us a favor or when something big happens. Taking a moment to recognize little luxuries and everyday occurrences forces a positive thought into our minds daily which can have a cumulative and lasting impact.
Everyday might not be good but when we start to practice daily gratitudes we can find the good in everyday. By having these positive thoughts daily we can rewire our minds to be more grateful which will help us feel happier overall (similar to the "reprogramming" I covered in the affirmations post). Really take a moment to be with the thought you are grateful for, turn it over in your mind and ask yourself why that moment stuck out to you. What made it special? Let the feelings sit with you and feel the positivity.
Many of us recognize outward things we are grateful for, such as a sunny day or a delicious meal, but we can also use this practice to improve our relationship with ourselves. There are many ways that we can make the connection between self love and gratitudes.
Be grateful to yourself for:
There are many easy ways we can incorporate this habit into our lives, it does not need to be an elaborate daily event. I personally have bounced between a few different methods but my favorite gratitude practice has been to end my day by thinking of 2-4 things that happened that I am thankful for. As I am tucking myself into bed and ready to go to sleep I reflect on the day and try to look back on what I am grateful for. Some people find that writing their gratitudes in a journal or sharing them out loud is best for them. I encourage you to try a few different methods on for size and see what works best for you.
Gratitude is not only about being thankful for the good things that happen. We can be grateful for events and people that challenge us because they give us an opportunity to learn and grow. This is a great way to turn something that could potentially bring us down or make us feel bad into something positive. There is power in positive thinking!
I challenge you to find three things you are grateful for each day! #selfloveistruelove #selfloveisntselfish #mefirst
I can't overstate the power of taking time for yourself each day. I used to believe that in order to be successful I needed to fill every minute with work and activities, that being idle meant I wasn't doing enough with my day! I still believe in working hard and staying busy but I have learned that managing my schedule better and creating time for myself each day makes me more productive, easier to be around and overall happier.
I know it doesn't sound easy, and for many people reading this the idea of carving time out of your day to do something for yourself sounds like an incredibly daunting task. Many of us live lives that are dictated by meetings on a calendar -- I hear you! I am not suggesting that you neglect your duties and wipe your schedule clean in order to sit on a mat and meditate. You do not need to create hours and hours of free time to give this a try. There are a lot of small ways that you can find time to do something that is just for your benefit.
The method that has been most effective for me has been waking up just a little bit earlier than I used to. This gives me time to do a variety of different things that help me start my day nicely. One of my favorite "me time" activities is going to the gym in the morning. It is healthy, it wakes me up and most importantly it is something that is 100% for me. As much as I encourage sticking to a routine it's ok to be flexible, there are times that I am not able to go to the gym in the morning. I try not to beat myself up about it, it's important to be gentle with yourself. On those days I either swap my schedule and go at night or I substitute with another activity that makes me feel good such as taking a walk, getting a mani/pedi or reading a book.
There isn't a right way or a wrong way to do this, as long as you are finding some time to do something that is just for you it will help you reboot, get in touch with your personal thoughts and give you a chance to rediscover what your body and mind need. It can be as much or as little time as you are able to devote. When we take time for ourselves (even if it is just a few minutes of solitude) we are practicing good self love habits which will improve our relationships with ourselves. The way you treat yourself sends a message to others on how to treat you so be sure to take care; a healthy amount of self love can improve your relationships with others.
Taking time for yourself isn't selfish, saying no to plans because you need alone time isn't selfish and most importantly self love isn't selfish. Whatever you want to do, that nourishes you from the inside out, do it. #selfloveistruelove #mefirst
When I first learned about using affirmations to encourage self love and self esteem I admit I was a little skeptical. How could a simple phrase help me change my view of myself? After all, I always believed that words only had as much power as I wanted to give them. The reality is that the words alone probably wont do much but by making a commitment to clear the negativity from your head and replacing it with positive thoughts you can start to build confidence in yourself. If we think about using affirmations as a way to re-program our thinking it becomes a little easier to understand.
Positive affirmations work best when we incorporate them into our daily routine. Affirmations, like many things that we strive to be good at, require regular practice. When an aspiring gymnast attempts a flip for the first time chances are he or she will stumble but with practice his or her body will complete the action flawlessly. The first time I started using positive affirmations in my life I felt silly and didn't quite believe what I was saying -- I was stumbling like the gymnast. As I continued to practice it became easier to repeat the words with conviction and start actually believing them.
I have found that the affirmations that work best for me are written in the present tense and state what I want to believe, as if I already believe it. I like to think of it as "you are what you think" instead of you are what you eat! Some people have them written on post-it notes throughout their home or office, some people write them in a journal. I have mine saved as a daily reminder on my phone. They pop-up at different times throughout the day and I make a point to recite them to myself repeatedly for a few minutes. I also have few that I keep in my arsenal for when I'm having a difficult time to help manifest calm, confidence and positivity in my life.
Here are a few that I have found helpful, feel free to take these for a spin or tailor them to your needs. I find that writing your own is a great way to learn about yourself and your needs. If you don't know where to start think of a negative thought you struggle with and flip it to something positive that you want to grow to believe about yourself!
25 Positive Affirmations to Encourage Self Love
Please feel free to share the positive affirmations that work for you! #selfloveistruelove #selfloveisnotselfish #MeFirst
We are all works in progress every single day! Yes, I have made a commitment to be kinder and gentler to myself and to treat myself with love but that doesn't mean that I don't slip up every once and a while. When I find myself sliding down the slope of negative behavior and not-so-nice thoughts I try to bring myself back with a few simple actions. Whether you are just embarking on your self love journey or, like me, you need the occasional re-boot here are three simple actions to help you nourish the self love inside you.
1. Imagine Yourself As Another Person
Hear me out on this one. Many of us use self-hate speech regularly without even realizing how damaging it can be over time. Saying things like "I'm so fat," "I could never be as smart as her," or "I could never get a job like that" may seem harmless but each time we speak like that it chips away at our self confidence until there is nothing left. Now, imagine you are saying these things to another person: "You are so fat," "You could never be as smart as her," or "You could never get a job like that." How would you feel if you were on the person on the receiving end of those statements? If you couldn't say it to a friend then you shouldn't say it to yourself. Try to be aware of when the negative thoughts come up, be mindful of them and try to replace them with something positive. Instead of "I'm so fat," try highlighting a feature of yours that you like maybe it's your eyes or strong legs. Instead of "You could never be as smart as her" acknowledge your strengths and avoid comparing yourself to others. Instead of "I could never get a job like that," focus on what you have accomplished and create a plan to go after what you want in your career. Ultimately, treat yourself with the same kindness, care and support that you would extend to a friend or loved one.
2. Accepting Compliments Instead of Deflecting Them
For the longest time my gut instinct was to deflect a compliment instead of accepting it gracefully. I was acting out of a place of insecurity because at the time I couldn't believe that someone would really think such nice things about me. The compliments just didn't feel true or the achievement they were acknowledging didn't always feel real and I was afraid that I didn't deserve the praise. Making the choice to accept a compliment, to hear the positive words someone is saying, is an act of self love. There are still times when I don't believe what someone is saying but now instead of deflecting or turning the compliment away I look them in the eye and thank them. As we continue to work on ourselves, we open ourselves up to love from others. Remember that you deserve to feel good, you deserve to be acknowledged and there are many amazing things about you and inside you -- let yourself shine!
3. Take Action
I have learned that when it comes to encouraging self love my actions are just as important as my mental state. Taking care of yourself from the inside out and making choices you are proud of will make it easier to love yourself. When we take the time to do something for ourselves we are letting ourselves know that we matter, that we are enough. I like to take time on the weekend to meal prep; putting thought into my meals and making sure I am set for the week saves me time and stress which is an act of self love to my future self. I take time in the morning to get ready for the day, my personal grooming is important to me and shows that I care about my skin, hair and body -- this is not about outward appearance, it is about dedicating time to making myself feel good. Sometimes something as simple as taking walk -- even if it's just around the block! -- gives me time to clear my head, take time for myself and appreciate the things around me.
Self love is an ongoing journey, it takes practice and patience. Make a commitment to yourself and feel the love bloom! #selfloveistruelove #selfloveisnotselfish #mefirst
There is so much noise in the media right now about self love and what it means. The truth is that self love is open to interpretation and has many different meanings to different people. To some it is about loving your body, or practicing good self care, and to others it is about taking time for yourself however, to me, it is all of these things and more.
I'm not a therapist, I'm not a nutritionist, I'm not a mental health expert, I'm not a personal trainer, I'm not a psychologist and I'm not a yogi -- so what makes me qualified to talk about self love? That fact that I have lived with and without it and I know the power of changing your attitude and changing your lifestyle.
For a large part of my life self love was not a concept that I was familiar with at all. As someone who grew up with a lot of self-esteem and body issues I was full of negativity and self hate speech. As a consequence of this my confidence took a major beating to the point where it was pretty much nonexistent. I didn't believe in myself and constantly put myself down. I never realized the terrible impact that this had on my happiness and ability to enjoy life to its fullest potential until I was an adult and embarked on my own self love journey.
What began as seed that was planted when I started modeling has blossomed into a whole new outlook on life. When I was scouted to be a plus model I didn't know a lot about the industry or anything about modeling in general. As I started to look into it I found a community of amazing, confident, sexy women of all different shapes and sizes with curves and squishy bellies that looked like me and were actually happy about it. They weren't trying to fit into a specific mold that said only one size is beautiful, they were breaking it! When I saw this I became inspired to try and look at myself differently, to try and appreciate what I have instead of focusing so hard on trying to change it.
It may sound like it was easy but the truth is that it wasn't. Self love is not a switch that can be turned on and off; it takes time. It is so much more than looking in the mirror and deciding to love yourself and going on with your day. Self love is about taking care of yourself from the inside out- nourishing your mind spiritually as well as your body physically. It is about your mental health and taking time to do things that are important to you and that will help you grow. When we take time for ourselves, put ourselves first and make choices that we are proud of it becomes so much easier to fall in love with yourself.
Once I realized that self love is about actions and choices I started understanding how I could change my lifestyle for the better. Self love is a living thing inside of us, it needs to be fed and watered so that it can grow with us. Today I try to be mindful of what I think, feel, want and need, it is not always easy but I am committed to putting myself first. The relationship we have with ourself is the longest relationship any of us will ever have -- let's make it a good one! #selfloveistruelove #selfloveisnotselfish #MeFirst