It’s something we talk about all the time, but what does it really mean?
Growing up self-love wasn’t in my vocabulary, and I never knew how to show myself unconditional love and compassion. I never knew how to set good emotional boundaries.The idea of vulnerability freaked me out, and I defined my self-worth based on external achievements. I had no idea what I loved or what brought me joy, and for a long time I thought it was something I had to work really hard for.
I think we tend to think of self-love as a destination. We think that it means we arrive there and we never have a bad day or we never struggle again. But here’s the thing - self-love is a journey! Every moment, every experience, brings us closer to self-love, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Through the ups and downs, at the end of the day it’s our choice to love ourselves, show greater kindness and compassion, and to do things that bring us joy.
Truthfully, it’s taken me a bit of time to get to know myself, and to get to know myself in a way that’s allowed me to really love the woman that I see staring back at me in the mirror. I’m learning that the more we get to know ourselves, the more it allows us to be more committed to our self-love and self-care. It allows us to set better boundaries and choose people, places and things that fill us up, bring us joy, and allow us to be our best selves.
To me, self-love is the new #relationshipgoals. I know that might sound kind of crazy, but hear me out! I’ve learned that we can’t get to a space of deeper connection with others until we honor and love who we are.
In the spirit of our journey toward greater self-love, self-acceptance and Valentine’s Day, here are my top tips for showing ourselves a little extra love, compassion, and care during this season.
- Think about what self-love means to you
It took me a bit of time to figure out my definition of self-love, but once I did it’s something I’ve held on to. Take out your favorite notebook, a piece of paper, or open up a new document on your computer and start brainstorming. What does self-love mean to you? How can you begin to show yourself a little more love and kindness?
- Declutter your space
I don’t know about you, but living (or working) in a space full of clutter makes me feel chaotic and out of balance. The truth is our outer environment really does influence our inner world, and living in a clean and organized space can make a huge difference in how we feel about ourselves. Create a space that lights you up - buy fresh flowers, light your favorite candle, and block out a couple of hours in your schedule to tidy up and organize your space.
As Marie Kondo says, if it doesn’t bring you joy - get rid of it! Plus, when we get rid of the old, we can really make room for the new.
- Take time for yourself
So many of us struggle with the idea of taking time for ourselves. We often worry that we’re being selfish. Here’s the thing - if you don’t take time to be there for yourself and fill up your tank, how do you expect to be there for anyone else?
Taking some “me” time is essential, and there’s nothing wrong with it. If you can, block out an hour (or two) in your calendar to rest and recharge. Pick up your favorite book, turn on your favorite playlist, go see a movie, or take a walk by the beach - as long as you’re doing something that brings you joy, that’s all that matters.
- Spa night at home
When we spend time taking care of ourselves, everything shifts and changes for the better. Self-care techniques like taking a detox bath, prioritizing sleep, meditating, journaling, putting on a good face mask, using aromatherapy, and spending time outside in nature are some of my favorite go-tos. We all deserve love and care, and no matter what you choose to do make sure to set this valuable time aside for yourself.
- Surround yourself with people you love
It’s really important to surround ourselves with people who understand, love, and support us. When you’re having a bad day - pick up the phone and call that friend that’s always there for you. Lean on your support system, and allow them to lean on you. At the end of the day don’t forget that you’re the most important member of your support system. We have to be our biggest cheerleader, advocate and supporter, and show ourselves the kindness and compassion we deserve.
- Practice gratitude
I don’t know about you, but my self-talk isn’t always the most positive. Over the last couple of years it’s been really important for me to consciously choose to change that. Finding things to be grateful for, both big and small, can help shift your inner dialogue, allow you to begin to see yourself and your life in a more positive life, and ultimately show yourself more love and compassion. Spend some time thinking about what you’re grateful for, write it down, and come back to it in moments of stress and difficulty.
- Digital detox
I know this one is hard for a lot of us, but it’s so important! Between our phones, computers, and TV’s, we are constantly overstimulated. Too much screen time can leave us feeling disconnected, distracted and overwhelmed. At some point this week, I encourage to put your phone on airplane mode or turn it off for an hour or two. When we disconnect from technology, we allow ourselves the opportunity to reconnect with ourselves. A little quiet time away from our screens goes a long way.
I love to spend some quality time with my journal, and allowing myself the time and space to write has been one of my favorite ways to express my creativity. Here are some questions that I love to ask myself to reconnect and tap back into my self-love:
“How am I feeling?”
“What am I ignoring?”
“What’s going on in my body?”
“How can I show up more fully today?”
“Where can I show myself a little more compassion?”
- Positive Affirmations
Affirmations, quotes, and mantras have a huge impact on our overall mental health and well being. When we begin each day by repeating a positive affirmation, we’re actively shifting our inner dialogue and opening up our minds to more. Here’s the thing - we have the power to guide our inner voice towards loving and kind messages whenever negativity starts to creep back in again, and positive affirmations help us do that. Some self-love and empowering mantras that I love are: “I love, accept, and honor myself always.” “self-love is mine to choose,” and “I am worthy.”
Never underestimate the value in nurturing your relationship with yourself, and developing greater self-love, self-acceptance, and self-compassion. We’re all on this journey together, and no matter if you’re coupled up or single during this season of love, the love and care that you show yourself is priceless.
Sydney Weiss is a lawyer, entrepreneur, host and executive producer of Seek The Joy Podcast, your go-to podcast for heartfelt storytelling and conversations on all things self-love, joy, connection, wellness and spirituality. Inspired by Sydney’s ongoing journey toward growth, empowerment, and self-love, every episode offers a fresh perspective, “aha” moments, laughs, and stories and wisdom that will stick with you throughout the week.www.seekthejoypodcast.com
or search “Seek The Joy” on your favorite podcast platform!
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