Self care, skin care,
& nurturing Mother Nature.

Read more here

Living life with good intention, loving with soul, and consuming with a conscience

Real Talk: You are Enough

Happy Galentine's Day and (almost) Valentine's Day to all you lovely folk - whether you think it's a day to spoil a loved one or you think it's a big ol' con, Valentine's Day rolls around every year and gets more or less the same general mixed reaction. For me this year, I've taken a step back and been thinking about myself (how self-centred I know). So many of us are quick to shower others with love, gifts, and general niceties but we tend to forget about the person that should be most important to ourselves: your "me myself and I". The whole focus on Valentine's Day can leave some of us feeling a little bit down as we compare our relationships to others or feel a negative pressure because we're single and I think it's so disheartening to think that anyone sees a holiday based around love (no matter what your stance on the corporate consumer side of it is, it is still focused on love!) as something to actively dislike and feel negatively about. That's why today I wanted to talk a little bit about self-love, why Valentine's Day is as a good time as any to practice it, and why you should see yourself and your worth as enough without the impact or inclusion of others.

When I say "the impact or inclusion of others", I'm talking about that validation we seek from outside sources. I'm 1Oo% guilty of this all of the time as I try to please others or do things against my better judgement to keep or make others happy and when I take a step back from that, I often realise that in turn it's not making me as satisfied as I thought and/or it's actually heading towards a calamity of negativity at lightning speed. In trying to make others cheerful and content constantly you almost create this "fake happy" feeling for yourself that yeah, you feel great about initially, but in the long run you realise it's just surface happiness and it hasn't managed to work it's way down deeper into your soil as it didn't come from a genuine, self-secured place in the first instance. Being happy and confident in yourself and practicing self-love often has this bizarre connotation of vanity and selfishness as if your moral compass has gone haywire but in reality, self-love should be a practice more people participate in to try and feel more content and joyful within themselves. Although I don't agree that you have to love yourself for others to love you, being somewhat happy with aspects of you - however many or minute those "things" are - help create foundations within yourself that cannot be knocked down by others; they can stand the test of time as their only potential enemy is yourself and your own criticism. Self-love isn't easy as many of us have insecurities, mental health, and just sheer stubbornness to fight against, but hopefully I can provide a few simple everyday practices that might make you sit back and think "you know what, I am enough. I can create my own happiness":

Thinking Self-Love
As I just mentioned, it can be pretty difficult at times to be a self-loving individual, but there's a few small ways to do it, even when you're not feeling up to it! Often complimenting yourself in any sort of way - particularly if you're feeling insecure or vulnerable at the time - can feel like a chore and completely impossible to carry out. Meditating can help or even just switching off from social media for 15-3O minutes to do it with intent can help. A way I've started to do this to ensure that I'm at least dedicating time to thinking self-love is by looking after myself with intent. Whether it's giving myself a pep talk in the mirror as I do my makeup in the mornings, or if it's a *proper chat* with myself, it all helps. Thinking self-love with intent means you're focusing your energy and thoughts on bettering yourself and a great way to do it is to do something intently - for me that's skincare. I find actually taking time to properly look after my skin instead of doing it in a rush just before bed really helps boost my self-love. Little things like taking just a couple of minutes to work in some hand cream into my hands whilst thanking them in my mind for well, basically being handy (see what I did there) and for all of the introductory handshakes they've provided and the creativity they unleash now and again can really help. Pampering my feet now and again and thanking them in my mind for all the places they've taken me, for keeping me active and therefore nourishing my soul and body both inside and out is another example. It might sound silly to some of you, but being that kind and thoughtful, towards yourself, can be such a mood changer in the best possible way. Thinking self-love may be cheesy, but it gives you an opportunity to get a little more spiritual with yourself, be mindful and therefore ultimately more comfortable in your own skin, as well as just a great excuse to tell yourself you're fab and doing a top job at existing.

Doing Self-Love
Okay so being your own cheerleader internally is great but letting that shine through into actual activities can take it to a whole new level. Whilst I think self-love can be things like self-care beauty regimes, keeping fit and healthy with exercise, a good diet, or treating yourself now and again, it can be even simpler than that. One great way of doing self-love and actually demonstrating self-love through an action is to write. that. shit. down. If you're someone who bullet journals, why not do a positivity page that is full of all your strengths, the things you like about yourself, and the things you want to improve? Although this is an external thing to do - just like the previously mentioned self-care things - it can help you internally be more optimistic and positive and that will in turn help make self-love that much easier. Something else that can really help with self-love is organisation. Whether it's making sure you regularly make healthcare/dental/beauty & hair appointments or just live by the "tidy house tidy mind" mantra, it can all help creating an appealing environment and life to be in and thus make you feel more content with yourself as a person.

Absorbing & Projecting Self-Love
Whilst becoming more organised with certain aspects of your life, another way to really encourage that self-love is making sure you are truly absorbing it and then dishing it back out around you. So far I've mentioned a lot of things that are very *me* based - things that are for the self because of course, your self is central to self-love. I've talked about being confident to date yourself no matter your relationship status before and I still believe being comfortable and happy within yourself, without the need of validation from others is central to being happy. With that being said though, it would be silly and inaccurate to suggest that self-love is not impacted at all by those around you. By practicing self-love and becoming more mindful, you can ensure that you're projecting that love back out into the world. Surrounding yourself with positivity can be contagious and part of self-love is finding the courage to keep that happy community around you and cutting out anything that is toxic. Whether it's a relationship, friendships, your job, an environment, or even just bad habits you've gotten into lately, switching it all up can help free up your mind, help you see more clearly and give you the desire and motivation to improve those areas you're not so satisfied with. Whilst I'll say it again, I don't think you need to love yourself to receive love from another, it certainly does help and having your own validation and love is undoubtedly noticeable and palpable for those around you.

Feeling Self-Love
You can never expect to feel compassion and happiness for yourself if you can't accept the bad that comes along with the good. Whilst I'm sitting here preaching to you all to look after yourselves, to put on your sassy pants and be completely happy with everything you have to offer the world, there are of course the negative niggles that come along with it all. This is where many of us fall down and crumble under the apprehension or the pessimistic voices we all have and usually, they manifest themselves in reminding you of something bad you did once and therefore, you're undeserving of your own self-love and worth. Trust me gang, I've been there and got many a-t-shirt, but you've got to battle it. I'm not suggesting you turn a blind eye to it though no; quite the opposite as it goes. Welcome in those negative thoughts but in a constructive way. Almost think of that particular incident your mind is reminding you of as book, a story. It's something you're looking in on from an impartial point of view. Think of when you give friends or family members advice and you might play devil's advocate and suggest different outcomes etc. - do that for yourself but in a more streamline way. Look back and access that particular incident and don't see it as a mistake but instead, try to work out what learning curve the universe was trying to throw at you and what you could do differently next time if you ever find yourself in a similar situation. You can't change the past no matter how many of us dwell on it so the only positive and logical way to deal with it is to use it to strengthen future you. Use it to form a wiser, more self-secure, self-confident, happy, and content you.

I'd be a massive hypocrite if I sat here and acted like I do all of this on a regular basis because ho ho, I certainly do not. But the last few months have really taught me and shown me that you've got to be your own best friend and whilst that is often easier said than done, it's something worth working on because guess what? You are enough. In fact, you're more than enough. You deserve to live this life with a full heart above all else and the only way to keep that ticker stocked up is to ensure at the base of it, it's at least got you drip feeding into it little and often, throughout your day to day life, to make sure you feel loved and ready to take on whatever life throws at you (even this dreaded Valentine's public celebration).

Follow me on Bloglovin'
Twitter & Instagram xo

No comments

© Northern Blood • Theme by Maira G.