Let's Talk About...Self-Love

6:50 PM

Happy Friday, friends!

I'm so excited to start this "Let's Talk About" series today!

So what is "Let's Talk About..."?

This series is all about talking about the real things that we face as women every day that often don't get discussed in your typical fashion blog-things like body confidence, social comparison, sexuality & gender, and more! I've really been doing this on and off over the last year and a half with my look back posts (see examples here and here), but I wanted a more focused spot to share my thoughts on these topics with all of you. And today, we're starting with self-love!

This month is Valentine's Day, and I have to confess something: I am by and largely not a big fan of this holiday. I know! I'm generally a very positive person who tries to embrace every holiday, but this one is a toughie. For me, it's become way hyped up in our society as this time (the only time) to tell our significant others we love them through elaborate gestures; a time when the single people are "outcasts"; and, let's face reality, pink is not really my color. It doesn't help that people who don't like this holiday are generally categorized as bitter single people, and I just happen to be a single person every year around this time, which means my opinion on the matter get chalked up to the fact that I haven't found "the one" yet.

Lately, however, I've been trying to re-examine the month of February and think of it in new ways so that I don't get annoyed every time I hear a Zales commercial come on the radio.  Who wants to dread February so much that they can't even turn on Top 40? Not me.

So how do we conquer the Valentine's Day bum-out?

I think the answer lies in how we define love. We can define love in a lot of ways; it just happens that most of what Valentine's Day revolves around is romantic love. There's absolutely nothing wrong with romantic love--in fact, it's a beautiful thing--but not everyone is in romantic love at every stage in their life. I know I certainly haven't been for most of my life.

The good news is that love isn't just one dimensional! There are so many different types of love in this world. And the one that is SO important to start with is self-love.

I am the queen of putting other people first. I have lived my life trying to let other people know that I was there for them, that I loved them, that they were far more important than little old me. I still struggle with that on a daily basis. But somewhere along the line I realized I was exhausted and I had no energy left for me because I was spending it all on everyone else.

Too often as women--hell, as people--we're encouraged to put other people before us. We're encouraged to love everyone else, but we're not often encouraged to fill our own tank first. The problem with that is that it becomes like the oxygen mask on the airplane--when we forget to put our mask on first, we run out of air before we can help anyone else. And that's NOT what we should strive for! We should be fulfilling ourselves; we should strap that oxygen mask on over our own nose and mouth.

I used to tell myself to love myself when I was a social worker because self-love helps you to better love others. That's true. But it shouldn't be the ONLY reason you self-care or treat yourself with love. You should love yourself because you're pretty awesome all on your own. Forget everybody else for a second and remember that YOU are the reason you should love yourself. You're lovable and unique.

But how do you show love to yourself?

Self-care, y'all.

Self-care was something they taught us over and over as social workers and I continue to practice as a soon-to-be attorney. If you don't know anything about self-care, it's basically this: do something for yourself that makes you happy and brings balance to your life.

For me, self-care can involve a lot of things, including: a movie marathon of 90's action films and baking something sweet; making my butt go to the gym so I can feel good about hauling around some weights; or reading that book I've been meaning to pick up for months while snuggled under the covers. Sometimes it's something that isn't as obvious, like forgiving myself when I've made a blunder at work or school, and a little reminder that I'm only human.

If you're totally lost on this whole self-care concept, check out this phenomenal PDF that outlines the principles of self-care, ideas on how to self-care, and resources every woman can use.

How do you care for yourself? What topics do you want to see me cover next? Hit me up in the comments and let me know!



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