Even as far back as 300 BC when the term “self-love” was coined by Aristotle, acts of self-love were deemed to be well, selfish. If you had a preference of love for yourself over others you were believed to be bad. Luckily, in more recent times acts of self-love are widely promoted and being talked about more as mental health awareness has increased along with terms such as self-acceptance, self-esteem and self-care.
A question for you … who do you love more, yourself or others? It is the idea of preferring your favourite over yourself. Do we love our children, romantic partners, best friends or even our pets over our most cherished entity, ourselves?
Self-love is believed to be not only good for ourselves but also for others. What even is it? Well, self-love is creating gratitude and acceptance toward yourself both physically and emotionally. It is feeling comfortable in your own skill all or most of the time. It is more than just a feeling; it is a state of appreciation that grows from actions that support you. Have you even noticed when you are having a bad day you see negatively in the world and others you come into contact with, whereas when you wake up feeling good about yourself, you feel positive you interact with others warmer?
This level of acceptance and one’s love for yourself is not always as easy as it should or could be. With that being said, we are often all capable of doing it, think to your closest members of your family or friends, do you accept both their strengths and their weaknesses, then why can’t we always extend this acceptance to ourselves, to our own bodies?
Self-love is believed to the be precondition for self-knowledge, to understand yourself, your motives and your character. What would you say are the 5 biggest things you love about yourself? How many of those were physical characteristics?
The practice of self-love can be started with just 5 minutes a day writing in a journal your thoughts and feelings for the day. It is really important to talk things out, whether it is in the written form in a private journal or expressing yourself on your social media. When was the last time you caught up with a friend for a coffee and put the world to rights? There is also great power in speaking with friends, relatives or professionals in comfortable environments that you can express yourself and feel like someone is really listening to you.
Focus on being someone who loves you. Earlier when we said about accepting the strengths and weaknesses of your close family or friends, treat yourself the same way. Treat yourself as you would a best friend, be kind to yourself, be gentle and compliment yourself. If your friend called you up saying you were having a bad day would you put the phone down or say you were too busy to talk right now? I highly doubt it, why? because you love and respect them.
You may have seen a lot of posts lately on social media of people having self-love rituals whether its people getting up and being a part if the #5amclub, taking part in journaling, meditation and exercise spending 30-60 minutes for them before the day begins. For some this maybe something that you aren’t interested or it doesn’t come naturally and seem unachievable right now, self-love can come in many forms from 15 minutes with your phone on silent and focusing on things for you and being uncontactable short term, a long hot bath locking the bathroom without being disturbed or going to the gym for an hour and raising your heart rate and endorphins and challenging yourself.
Doing things that you are good at or trying something new that challenges you can be a real boost for your self-esteem and hobbies that make you feel good about yourself are great acts of self-care.
Are you looking for an hour for yourself in a private gym environment? Come down to our private training studio in Manchester city centre and book in for your 60-minute private Personal Training session or Massage, book that time in for you.
Author – Jade Mottley