There is no love without self-love.
“If you want the moon, do not hide at night. If you want a rose, do not run from the thorns. If you want love, do not hide from yourself” – Rumi
In these days of widespread online body shaming, it is understandable that many people struggle with accepting themselves as they are.
Self-love is the substance behind all personal and social fulfillments. It influences our emotional, physical, and mental wellbeing and impacts our personal and professional relationships, so it cannot be discounted or labeled selfish.
Here are five simple actions you can take to start loving yourself more:
- Move More
When we are sedentary, our body stagnates. The Chinese Proverb “Water that flows does not rot” illustrates perfectly what happens to our body internally when we sit too long. In addition, inaction, such as watching television, encourages mindless snacking on unhealthy food, potentially leading to weight gain and lower self-esteem.
If you are deskbound for long hours at work, make sure to stand up for at least 5 minutes every hour to stretch, wiggle, and breathe deeply. Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible. Park the car in the furthest space at the shopping center.
Pick up strength training as a way of building your strength, sculpting, and toning your body. We naturally start losing an average of 10% muscle mass per decade, starting at age 30, which affects the way we look, such as posture, batwings, and potbelly. Still, strength training also boosts your metabolism and impacts the proper functioning of the internal organs.
Feeling good in your body, with or without clothes, builds self-confidence. Walking about with charismatic posture changes how you think and feel about yourself, how you look at things, and how the world looks at you.
- Eat Healthily
Choose to eat clean and not be tempted by processed food high in sodium, unhealthy carbs, and saturated fat.
Clean eating provides your body with the necessary nutrients for clear thinking and optimum performance. Additionally, it makes your tummy feel fuller longer. Finally, it reduces the urge to eat unhealthy snacks between meals that add loads of empty calories, gives you that sleepy or sluggish feeling, and leads to weight gain, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
Better yet, focus on consuming fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meats, whole grains, nuts, and seeds to get the nutrients your body wants and needs so that you can easily digest them. When you eat better, you feel better about yourself and see the world in a more attractive light. Think of a rainbow with its array of beautiful colors on a sunny day.
- Sleep More
When you deprive the body of getting a good night’s sleep, you will start the next day at a reduced level of productivity. Why? Because this is the downtime the body needs to rebuild, repair and replenish itself.
Take action to reduce stress by creating a peaceful environment. Also, shut down the computer 20 minutes before bedtime and close off bright lights that can prevent you from sleeping. Finally, make appropriate changes to your mattress, bedding, and room temperature for a fantastic night’s rest.
Furthermore, taking quick catnaps during the day may also be very beneficial. Finally, practicing meditation can cultivate an inner sense of wellbeing and peace.
- Make Time For You
Often we prioritize others and forget to take care of ourselves. Instead, schedule appointments with yourself in your daily planner to engage in relaxing activities.
Personally, gym time is ME TIME. I leave my cell phone in the car and avoid chit-chatting, as I am not there to socialize but to take care of my body, work on my strength and stay focused, which is not easy to do since I’m a multitasker.
Take a relaxing warm bath sprinkled with a few drops of your favorite essential oil, like lavender. Add some soft music, and you have a recipe for relaxation.
It’s very healing to shut down the noise sometimes and simply be with yourself.
- Forgive and forget
The first step to freedom is self-forgiveness and letting go of grief and resentments; the second is forgiving others. Negative feelings can haunt us forever and hold us back from being the best we can be.
The past cannot be changed. So instead, recognize and accept that it is human to make mistakes, cultivate compassion, and believe that the sun will come up again. Tomorrow may be the best day of your life; you won’t want to miss that.
Like a beautiful rose blooming in the sunshine, true love amplifies and flourishes from within for those who accept themselves as they are and practice self-love.
No true love can exist without self-love.
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