What does self-love actually mean?
This is a question that’s been running through my mind pretty frequently lately. In the world of “wellness” I almost feel like the term “self-love” has become trendy, which actually makes me happy but also can lead to some confusion that having a “self-love” practice is only one thing or another. Today I had it on my heart and mind to dive a little deeper into this conversation of self-love and discuss a bit more about what the term “self-love” actually means. For me personally, self-love is essential to happiness. It has a lot to do with the little things I do throughout the day that keep me feeling balanced, healthy, calm, and happy. Next week, I’m going to do a blog post on some tips for finding a “self-love” routine but wanted to start by discussing what it even means!! Of course, this is all based off what my definition of the term is. I challenge you to form your own meaning, one that feels right to you! I hope that sharing mine today might spark some thoughts around this.
For me, self-love and self-care are connected. To give my thoughts on this, I want to tell you a story that happened just last week. On Wednesday nights, I go to a “women’s wellness night” with a few friends who have become mentors to me. All of the women in our little group are very wise and I look up to them. As I’ve gotten to know them better, they’ve become like mirrors for me. Last week, I went to our group and was having a mediocre day. On days that are “meh” it’s hard not to become too dramatic and feel like all days are “meh” days. You know? This was something we happened to be discussing just last week, on the day where I was feeling so very “meh.” SEE, mirrors! Another lady in my group was sharing how she had a not-so-great day the day before. BUT that right when she started to judge herself for it, she took a step back and realized that there were factors playing into her not-so-great day. She hadn’t eaten enough and had stayed up too late, among other things. The reason I bring this up is because when she talked about feeling “off” because of these factors, I had an “aha” moment. I realized that this was EXACTLY what happened to me.
The night before, I went to a concert with friends on a “school night.” We had a blast (which was great) but then when I got home I decided to let myself stay up WAY too late watching reality television. This isn’t ever a choice that makes me feel good when I have an early morning. It makes me feel annoyed and guilty right before bed. I missed my workout the next morning, felt hormonal, and was just grumpy! That day I didn’t eat very well because I was lazy and was really thrown off my schedule. I’m going into all this detail because I realized after hearing my friend’s story, that I had let my daily “self-love” practices (like getting enough sleep and creating space for nourishing meals) be neglected. It caused me to not feel so great.
Self-love really does go hand in hand with self-care. It can be whatever you need it to be. It doesn’t have to be expensive (or it could be) and can be as simple as adding in those things that make you feel balanced. Time with family, walks with the dog, dates, time alone, reading, reality television (if it doesn’t make you stay up way too late), green smoothies, fitness, & wine nights can ALL be self-love. We are constantly changing so it’s natural that our needs are too!
There’s another big part of self-love that I want to point out. The part about recognizing what’s going on WITHOUT judgement. This is honestly the hardest thing ever and is something I will always be working on. It’s noticing that you’re having a day where you feel down, but realizing that not all days are those kinds of days. It’s giving yourself a hug when you need one, or making plans with people who really fill you up.
I would really love to hear some of your self-love stories. What does it currently mean for you?
A note about this look:
The top and skirt set I’m wearing in these photos are from Chicwish, which is an online shop I’m loving lately. It’s just under $70 and can be work together, with jeans, shorts, etc. I love a set that can also be paired with other outfits! This set can be found here. The lace detailing on the trim really caught my eye! My sandals can be found here and my bag can be found here.