Return to Love: Why Self Love Isn't Selfish
November 22, 2017
Do you tend to put everyone’s needs before your own? Are self love rituals at the bottom of your priority list? Do they usually get forgotten altogether? The habit of taking a backseat in the self love department can have detrimental effects on your well-being, as well as those around you. Research shows that those who practice self love regularly are more apt to make healthy choices, and less likely to experience anxiety and depression. And a happier, healthier you means better relationships with family and friends too.
We live in a busy world. With a connection to the universe literally at our fingertips, it can seem pretty impossible to take time for yourself. You know the saying “put your own oxygen mask on first”? Well, it doesn’t have to be a life or death situation for you to take good care of yourself. You don’t even have to be struggling physically or emotionally to need a healthy self care regimen. Showing up for yourself and taking good care of your body, mind, and spirit means you can show up for the rest of the world. And feel good about it.
The first step in setting up a beneficial self love routine? Making the time. This doesn’t have to mean hours languishing in a steamy, scented bath or long stretches of indulgent massage. Though if those are your type of thing, by all means go for it! Most of the tips below can be incorporated throughout your day. And remember, to make a lasting change in your routine, it has to work for you. Play around with these ideas and tailor make little rituals that fit into your schedule and give you something to look forward to.
Self Love Basics
Self Talk – What you tell yourself affects not only how you feel at the moment, but your mood long term and even your physical health. Focusing on the negative has been linked to low self-esteem and health issues like high blood pressure and heart disease. Try to catch yourself thinking negative thoughts and replace those thoughts with something kind or even neutral. “My skin could use some exfoliating” is more fact-based than “my skin looks terrible”.
A great way to quell monkey mind and negative self talk is through meditation. When first beginning a meditation practice, it helps to start small. Even a few minutes of conscious breathing does wonders to alleviate feelings of tension and help bring you back to the present moment. Did you know that you can meditate while you are folding laundry, cooking dinner, or other routine tasks? Mindful meditation is all about being in the present moment by focusing on your breathing or the task at hand. While we do recommend refraining from implementing the strategy while behind the wheel, getting focused and centered can happen pretty much any time or place.
Skin and Body Care — If you’ve gotten in the habit of a quick suds, splash, and swipe type of skincare routine, you are missing out on some of the fundamental benefits of a fulfilling self love practice. Yes, you may be getting the job done and your skin may even look good. But how do you feel on the inside? You’d be surprised the effects a thoughtful self care ritual can have on your body and soul, not to mention the added bonus of skin that looks and feels well-behaved and fabulously glowing.
Using nontoxic products made with high quality ingredients is the best place to start when assembling your self care regimen for skin. Next, choose items that are designed for your specific skin type and issues. You may not always have time for a full skincare experience, but a weekly DIY massage with our Face and Body Lotion, a foot massage using our Foot Salve, or simply taking a few extra minutes to look in the mirror and make note of your skin’s appearance, feels good and makes your skin look more radiant too.
Diet and Exercise — We all know that eating healthy, whole foods, along with regular exercise, means a fit body with optimal energy. And we also know that living in the real world means we don’t always have the time, energy, or willpower to stick it out. Don’t forget to commend yourself for those times when you do make healthy choices, rather than focusing on the times you don’t. Be your own biggest supporter.
Sleep — Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Catching Zs isn’t just about feeling rested. Proper sleep supports the immune system, restores the look of healthy skin, boosts feelings of good mood, and even helps to eliminate extra pounds. Stick to a regular bedtime and enlist the help of aromatherapy, if necessary. And dim those devices. The National Sleep Foundation recommends turning off your electronics at least one hour before to going to bed.
A self care routine can be as low maintenance or intensive as you like, and has huge benefits to mind, body, and soul. Try one of these self love rituals this week and add others in as you go. You’ll love the way they make you feel. And so will those who care about you.