- Dr. Nancy
5 Self-love Non-negotiables
It seems that boundaries are easier to establish when they concern people other than yourself. Putting self-care and self-love first positions you to rejuvenate and revitalize so that you can give more to others.
When it’s done right, self-love can help to improve your mental wellbeing and overall performance in all aspects of your life. 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.
Consider adding these to your list of non-negotiables:
Eating Nourishing Foods
What you choose to nourish your body with is a form of self-love. A “self-love” diet 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 wellbeing. When you feel that you are 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 keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Having “me” time is really important, even if it’s just for short periods at a time. Even five minutes of quality time in quiet seclusion is an underrated way to practice self-love. Finding that happy place is a personal choice - some people use meditation, mindfulness or their favorite music, for example. Anything that helps you to be in the present and focus your mind counts for this one.
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 journal 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 5-minute Journal app provides prompts and reminders which can be helpful when incorporating a new habit.
Have a look around your home and closet and see how many things you have that you don’t use or wear anymore. For most of us, this is going to be more than you think! Clearing out anything you no longer 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 pretty simple. 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.
Getting closer to nature is a great way to practice mindfulness and a walk in the park or forest 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 poor mental health can experience a boost 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 boost your health. Breathing the air and touching grass, trees and ferns can expose you to beneficial bacteria than can benefit your gut health.
It’s time to start making time for you so that you can live a life of happiness and love. Don’t underestimate the power of setting strong self-care and self-love boundaries. Nurture yourself so you can nurture others.