What a great place to start, right!? When it’s done right, self love can help to improve your mental well being and stop mental health problems taking control. There can be a lot of confusion around self love and what it really involves but it’s basically all about being kind to yourself. This can take a lot of different forms, some of which aren’t always obvious as self love. Here are a few self love practices that you may not be doing right now.
Eating Nourishing Foods
What you choose to nourish your body with is a form of self love. A “self love” approach helps you to feel better, gives you more energy and can even help you to avoid health problems.
Believing that you’re worthy of this kind of self care and nourishment is the first step to making a big commitment to your health and well being. When you feel that you’re a truly worthy recipient of self love, you’ll automatically start putting your health at the center of everything, especially nutrition. This means choosing foods that are good for your body and that help you to feel fuller for longer and keep your blood sugar levels stable.
A self love approach doesn't mean totally over indulge yourself though, just remember to listen to the cues from your body and stop when you’re full.
Being “In Your Zone”
Having “me” time is really important for getting in your zone, even if it’s just for short periods at a time. Even five minutes of quality time “in your zone” is an underrated way to practice self love. How you get there is a personal choice - some people use prayer/meditation, or listening to their favorite music, for example. Anything that helps you to be in the present and focus your mind counts for this one. This is what you Love, and Enjoy to do for yourself.
Being Grateful for What You Have
If you’re not showing yourself self love, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other people. This can be toxic for your mental health and is pretty much the opposite of self love. It can be a hard one to break if you’ve been in this mindset for a while but one way to do this involves gratitude.
Get into the habit of feeling grateful for all of the good things that you have in your life, whether that is health, a loving family or good friends. According to studies, writing in a gratitude diary at least once a week can help to make you feel happier, especially if you do it for around 15 minutes each time. Up it to three times per week and the results can be even better. The idea is that you list up to five things that you were grateful for in that particular day. This can be as simple as you like - in fact, being grateful for the simple things can be work really well!
Having a Clear Out
Have a look around your home and see how many things you have that you don’t use anymore. For most of us, this is going to be more than you think! Clearing out anything you don’t need or use can be wonderfully therapeutic. A good rule of thumb is to throw out anything you haven’t used in the past year. Chances are, you’re not going to miss it too much if you’ve not used it for this long.
The theory behind this one is simple and it’s all about getting rid of old things so that you can open the door to new alternatives. It can also help to cleanse your mind to this effect. This is so FREEING! Just you wait and see.
Walking in the Park
Getting closer to nature is a great way to practice mindfulness and a walk in the park is the perfect way to start doing this. Studies have shown that being in green spaces improves your mental health. If you live in a fairly urban area, getting out to a park or other green space can be just what you need to clear your mind, especially if you combine it with mindfulness. Even a “funky mood” can potentially be improved with mindful walking, according to the results of one study.
Walks in the park also have the added bonus of bringing another self care move into play - exercise! We all know about the “feel good” endorphins and other mental health benefits that exercise brings but walking in nature itself takes this up a notch. According to another study, it helps to reduce anxiety and boost mood.
Getting out to your nearest park (or any green space if you don’t have one locally) can be a really underrated way to show yourself a bit more self love and help to keep your mental well being in check.
It’s time to start making time for you so that you can live a life of happiness and love.