Our seven-step prescription for self-love
Valentines 2021 is the month of self-love. In fact, we’re declaring self-love a year-round theme and here are our seven steps to getting your journey off to a great start.
Self-love is one of the most rewarding journeys you can find yourself taking. When you decide to do the work to love yourself, you are opening yourself up to a whole new way of experiencing the world.
It doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen without a little practice, but with the right habits and mindset, anybody can overcome a negative self-image. The most powerful tool for self-love is the mind and changing the thoughts that we have about ourselves, which is increasingly difficult when we are always being sold something to look better and feel better and do better. We want all of our Oneplan Family (even just our readers) to learn more about self-love, so here are our seven steps towards starting your self-love practice.
An attitude of gratitude
As we said, it all starts with the mind. Studies have shown that simply switching to a more grateful and appreciative state can significantly improve your self-esteem and wellbeing. When we think about the things we are grateful for, our body naturally produces joyful feelings. The thing is, your body can’t tell the difference between the memory of joy and actually experiencing joy, so the same chemicals are released. Being grateful guides us towards self-love because it reminds us of the love we have around us and makes us feel more secure about our place in the world.
Move your body
Our bodies were made to move and for the most part, we don’t move them enough. Moving your body is a super kind thing to do for yourself because you’re saying,
1) body, I am grateful for how you move and,
2) I want you to be healthy and strong because I love you.
That’s the tricky part to tackle. You need to move your body because you love your body, not because you don’t like your body. This small flip in perception can change the way you feel about sweating it out.
How many times a day do you think negatively about yourself? We probably can’t even count, they’ve become so normal. Even worse is that we say these things out loud, forgetting just how powerful words are when it comes to our self-value.
This is where an affirmation practice comes in. Affirmations are statements or mantras where you pause, focus and speak over yourself to bring those words into your life. A morning affirmation practise can be combined with your morning gratitude practice to start the day with a heart full of love.
Feed yourself well
If there was a small child in your care, would you feed them food that wasn’t going to keep them as healthy as possible? Probably not. Let your stomach, and subsequently, the rest of your body know you love it by fuelling it with nutrient-dense meals.
Listening to your body is another path for self-love because you start to become in tune with your needs, wants and intuitions. Start a food journal and write down what food gives you energy and what food leaves you feeling drained, flat or sore. This way you can make sure you have enough vitality to get through your day.
Dress how you want to feel
Whoever says this is a superficial step, hasn’t taken the time to appreciate what a really great red lip can do for the soul. Taking care of how you look and how you express yourself aesthetically does a lot for how you feel about yourself, whether you’ve realised it or not. This may not even be an appearance thing: it could be how a material feels, how the colour lifts your mood or how well your sneakers support your feet at work. Whatever makes you feel good (in a positive, sustainable way) is a step in the right direction.
Make time for what you love
There’s no way you’re going to love yourself if you aren’t letting your heart do what it truly loves to do. You don’t need to show anybody or you can show the whole world. It can be something you won awards for in high school or a new passion you’ve found in adulthood. There is no pressure here, just some time to feel really good and lose yourself in the moment.
We can’t live a life that’s all work and no play. Putting aside time for what you love says ‘I value my time and my happiness’, just as you value the time and happiness of your loved ones.
Yours in comprehensive insurance,