Why self-love or self compassion is important for you, mama!
When I look in the mirror, I am instantly drawn to my imperfections. I see my freckles, messy hair, and sloppy belly. My thoughts will generally reflect things like “I have to do my sit-ups.” or “I wish I had more even skin tone.” This happens also when I think of my current situation. It’s easy to think that life will be better and happier when I have more time, when I‘ve saved more money or when my kids are grown. I don’t want to wait for better or easier times to come. I want to live, feel and enjoy the time now!
Now I know I am not the only one feeling like this and you’ve probably felt the same way a million times too. When was the last time you looked in the mirror and said to yourself “Hey Gorgeous!”. Or when you at least felt genuinely beautiful? Or that you felt you’re in your happy place, where you are in life now? If your answer is “Never!” Or “Don’t even remember”, do know that you’re not alone! Lots of people think the same. Just know there’s a practice that can help overcome these thoughts. It’s the practice of self-love.
What is self-love?
Self-love is a hot topic right now, especially on social media. I think it might even be “the year of self-love”. Well, I’ll make it my year of self-love anyway! Self-love is something that is unique to you! The definition of self-love is “regard for one’s own happiness or advantage”. It’s about creating a loving relationship with yourself in order to have a happy, healthy, fulfilling life! Self-love is a tool that can help you change your mindset regardless of things that happen around you.
How do you practice self-love?
Self-love doesn’t need to take extra time or money. The goal of self-love is to create a better inner dialogue. A state of mind where you can appreciate yourself on a deeper level by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. Although it is wonderful to have family and friends who support you, you are the one person that is with you all day. Therefor you are the one person that can influence you the most! You are your own number one INFUENCER. What self-love does, is making YOU your number one fan.
No one will practice self-love the same way due to it’s uniqueness. Some general ideas to give you a direction:
- Connecting with and loving your body.
- Using kind language and talk lovingly to or of yourself!
- Taking care of your basic needs.
- Spending dedicated time doing things that you need and want.
- Investing in yourself, supporting your passions, treating yourself.
Why is self-love important?
Moms today have a million things to do. Always. If it’s combining being a mama with working in a hectic ever-changing world or with being a wife to a husband with a demanding job. Or maybe it’s the struggles of different parenting strategies. Putting yourself first doesn’t come naturally for most of us. Even though we know we can’t give, if there’s nothing left to give. So we must love ourselves and take care of our own wellbeing to take better care of our loved ones!
Self-love or self compassion, in scientific terms, is build from three components: self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness. Research has shown that self-compassion is actually better than self-esteem. Because it doesn’t depend on feelings of superiority or accomplishment. Self-love creates happiness. Self-love creates confidence. It leads to more productiveness. It is the source of empowerment, learning and inner strength. Two important researchers on the topic are Kristin Neff, Ph.D. at Texas University and Emma Seppala, Ph.D. at the Stanford Center For Compassion And Altruism Research And Education. Follow the links to take you to their websites and continue reading if you like! You can even test your own level of self-compassion.
Summing it all up, Self-love or compassion is a practice to create a loving relationship with yourself to live a happy, healthy and fulfilling life. It means always keeping your best interest at heart. Being more self-compassionate will make you more motivated. It builds greater resilience, strength and happiness. So now it’s time to tell your harsh inner critic to move along. Start acting like your own best friend!
For me self-love is not something that comes naturally. I will need to practice over and over. But as I stated before, I WILL make this year my year of self-love. I want to become the best version of me, so I can teach my children how the be the best version of them. So in their future grown up life, they can be happy and lead a fulfilling life too.
Can you think of a reason self-love is important to you? I’d love to hear all about it!