Self-love and mental health are two words that are being talked about more and more today. (Woot!) but what many people are not talking about is how self love is an essential part of taking care of your mental health and wellness.
And you might be thinking what? Self-love and mental health are talked about. Well not really. Self-care and mental health is in the dialogue, and a super neccisary part of taking care of your mental health. Self-love not so much.
What’s the difference between the too?
Self-care is: is the act of physically taking care of yourself and your mental health
Self -love is: is loving yourself, accepting yourself both mentally and physically
And YES! You absolutely have to have both to have a balanced and healthy mindset and life.
When it comes to mental health and healing the importance of self-love is often downplayed over the importance of self-care. I mean when you are having a bad day how often do you hear someone say ‘you need to do something good for yourself’ ? For me that is kind of like sticking a plaster on a gapping wound. Yes it helps in the short term, not in the long haul. Cause when you look it mental health issues such as social anxiety are often deeply rooted in the feeling of not being good enough or not performing, low self-esteem, as well as comparing ourselves to everyone else. (Perfectionism is a bitch).
Self-love and self-acceptance is the deep healing procees that supports the shift in a state of positive mental health, self esteem and bottom line your well being.
Hands Up if you find self-care easier than self-love
Yeah me too. I used to really struggle with loving myself just as I am. The self-care part not so much. Having a facemask, a me night, doing activites to take care of me, not a problem. But loving and accepting myself was sooo much harder. Can you relate?
And the reason we find it so hard is that self-love is really about accepting and celebrating ourselves. Giving ourselves permission to be the imperfectly perfect being that we are is tough. Especially when we have a head filled with negative self-talk and constantly compare ourself to the women around us.
It’s like we carry our own worst enemy in our minds. I mean the things we say to ourselves we would never say to other people. (I call that negative inner voice my boggart cause it is definitely all my worst fears about myself manifesting in my mind, pretending to be a reality.)
And it’s exactly that boggart that we need to slay if we are going to practice self-love and boost our mental health.
So how can you slay your boggart and truly begin to love yourself as you are?
Here are my 4 favourite self-love mindset tips that have helped me do just that.
Stop comparing yourself to others
We often forget that when we look at other people we only see the outside of their journey. Really, truthfully we have no idea what is going on beneath the surface. You are the only version of you. Which means only you have your journey, your experience of life. You cannot super impose your assumptions based on your journey onto someone elses life journey. Compare yourself, to yourself. Look back and see how far you have come. Appreciate the small victories, the mistakes that taught you something, the growth in yourself. This for me was a total GAME CHANGER!
make mistakes... alot of them
In this filtered world it can be super hard to accept we fail. BUT if we don’t fail we don’t grow. Period. Imagine you never made a mistake in your life, you would not be able to relate to another human being, you would probably have no depth in your personality and you would probably keep on doing the same old thing over and over again. In my opinion 95% of our learning comes from the mistakes we make. When you make a mistake don’t fixate on how stupid you feel (well for a little while, you are human after all). Ask yourself, what can I learn from this that will take me forward?
your value is not defined by your appearance
Oooh an oldie but a goodie. I think we really and truly start to define ourselves by how we look in puberty-right? And that for some of us can become a life long struggle. I did, and sometimes still do this alot. The way I sort this one out is like this.
- I have to like the way I look by my standards, not anyone elses. If that means I need to make some changes then I do it for me. Not to look like someone else or be liked by someone else.
- I wear what makes me feel good. Period. Feeling good about yourself comes from feeling comfortable in your skin. Right now I am in the wear all the crazy things I have in my wardrobe that I never dared wear phase. And do you know what I love it. If you feel good in something then that is what you wear. Full Stop. End of story.
- My body, my appearance is only one part of me that I show the world. My actions really do speak louder than words. And that is what people love me for. My appearance will change over time. My actions don’t need to. So I define myself by my actions over my looks.
who cares about other people's opinions. I am marmite!
For years I worried about what other people thought of me, my actions. And what did it do for me? Absolutely NOTHING! Infact what it did do was stop me from doing what I loved and wanted to do. Then I discovered really and truly when you get down to it. I am marmite. Infact so are you!
If you are from the UK you will remember the Marmite adverts. ‘ you either love it or you hate it’. That is what it means to be human. So ‘Haters are always going to hate.’ Lovers are always going to love. You, me, we are not everyone’s cup of tea. And that is the way it should be. Imagine the world with only one type of flower. Ugh. Boring!
I realised a long time ago that people who don’t like me are usually just reacting to something in themselves, their stuff, their insecurites that my quirkiness just triggers. Simple as that. And because it’s their stuff, I can’t do anything about that. And I don’t need to take on their stuff as my own, because it’s not. And that helps me to feel happier in myself.
true self-love is always going to be a w.i.p. (Work in progress)
It takes time. It takes grit. And it takes a willingness to think and feel differently about yourself. There are many different aspects and it is different from person to person. (We are back to the flowers thing again aren’t we!). It’s something I write about alot. Mainly cause if I can help someone to take just one step forward on that journey to realising that being perfectly imperfect is the way they are meant to be and that their imperfection is actually the most beautiful thing about them, then I know I have made one piece of the world a happier place.
Let me know if these tips have helped you make a shift in your self-love journey?
And how loving yourself has helped your mental health
Remember you are amazing just the way you are… Self-love may not happen overnight. But with time, it will settle itself into your heart.
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