Self-Love: Why Prioritizing Yourself Isn’t Selfish
By Allie Huss | HealthCorps Coordinator 2018 – 2019
When was the last time you told yourself that you were enough? How about the last time you did something just for you?
Loving ourselves is not always the easiest task. If you ask me, it’s much easier to put my time and energy towards friends and family than it is to love myself. Sometimes it just feels simpler to care for other people, especially when my job requires it.
This year, I made sure that the teachers and faculty at my school understood the importance of self-love. I wanted them to know how essential it is to invest in the relationship with themselves because we are the only people in charge of our own happiness. That’s such a powerful and profound realization, isn’t it? And if we’re unhappy, dissatisfied, and out of touch with who we are, what a loss for the world!
For one week, the week that I dubbed “Self-Love Week,” I sent each staff member an email with an inspirational quote and a simple practice that they could use to express more self-compassion and gratitude towards themselves. These practices take only a few minutes and do wonders for our mental health. If you’re feeling a little down, I highly recommend trying one out!
Here are a few ways to express self-love:
- Learn to be mindful of your thoughts. Most of us have that voice inside our heads, that inner-critic that tells us that we’re not doing enough. In a world where so much is expected of us, it’s no wonder we’re so hard on ourselves when we fall short of perfection! Next time you catch yourself in the midst of an internal war, pause, reflect, and replace that voice with a much kinder one.
- Add movement to your routine. Physical activity does wonders for both the mind and body. I personally like to take walks outside because not only do I reap the benefits of exercise, I also get a little more in touch with nature. Get up and get moving, even if it’s just for a minute!
- Express gratitude. Make a list of 5 things every day that bring joy to your life. Even if it’s something as simple as the smell of fresh coffee in the morning, write down how thankful you are for it. You’ll be surprised how much those little things bring happiness in your life.
- Create loving affirmations for yourself. This one can feel a bit awkward at first. You want me to stand in front of the mirror and tell myself that I’m awesome? I know it sounds strange, but once it becomes part of your daily routine, it will feel as natural as waking up in the morning.
Sometimes these practices take time, but little habits create big changes when you do them every day. At the end of the day, remember this: to give your best, you have to feel your best. Invest in yourself, spend time doing what you love, and be kind and compassionate when you make mistakes. You are deserving of all the love and attention in the world.