The Importance of Self-Love
by CYDNEY COFFEY, CSU Communications Graduate Assistant
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to take some time and talk about loving yourself more. Valentine’s Day is a holiday where lovers express their affection with greetings and gifts of many sorts. Over time, the idea of Valentine’s Day has expanded and now many use this day to express love and affection between relatives and friends in addition to lovers. If we were to flip the script, what would it look like if we took time each and every day to express our love and affection for ourselves in a variety of ways?
This upcoming week we are going to explore curiosity and joy as we discuss the question: “How can I love more?” Asking this question invites us to look for opportunities to connect more deeply with ourselves and others in all of our relationships. When I say the word ‘relationship,’ I do not only mean romantic relationships. Relationships can mean the one that you have with yourself, friends, family members, or even colleagues. Being able to connect deeply might mean putting more energy into being present or generous – even if you do not feel like it. I know we have all had those times. Being present or generous with yourself might feel self-indulgent, but it is important to realize why this is okay.
Now that we have talked a little bit about the idea of loving more and how that allows us to connect with ourselves and others on a deeper level, let’s talk about why it is okay to self-indulge. If you are being self-indulgent, you are most likely doing or allowing yourself to have the things or do exactly what you want that brings you joy and happiness. This could simply range from having that delicious chocolate cupcake (or vanilla if that is how you roll) to allowing yourself to get extra sleep, whatever that might look like for you. Self-indulging pairs nicely with… you guessed it, self-care!
Self-care is the practice of being intentional to preserve or protect your own health, well-being, and happiness. Self-love is the best love. Self-care is something that all of us need more of but few of us actually make the time for it in our busy lives. Self-care should be done daily. You deserve to take time each day to relax, refresh, and rejuvenate your body, mind, soul, and spirit in order to maximize your full potential. What does self-care look like for you? Good question. I do not have that answer for you. That is an answer that you need to find out for yourself. Self-care is individualized in the sense that what my self-care might look like might not be the same idea of self-care that you might indulge in. And that’s okay.
Take a moment to think about the last time you did something to take care of yourself. If you are having trouble remembering a specific time, that means it is time to do something about it. Make yourself a priority. You only have one body, so take care of it. If you are currently indulging in self-care, great! Keep it up and do not be afraid to increase the amount of self-care that you are doing. I cannot stress how important self-care is. When you take the time to care for yourself in various ways 1) your body and mind will thank you tremendously, 2) you are creating a healthy habit for yourself by actively and consistently taking care of yourself and, 3) you will be able to better take care of others in your life as well as things. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying: “how can you expect to help others if you can’t help yourself?” If you haven’t heard this before, well, you’ve read it here.
This week I want you to spend some time thinking about activities or things that bring you joy. It is essential to spend time thinking about how you can cultivate more love for yourself because this will translate into the love you have for those around you. There are so many different types of self-care activities and things that you can indulge in, which is why it is that much more vital for you to take the time and figure out what works for you.
Self-care for your body could look something like you taking time to exercise for 30 minutes a day, cooking, exercising your brain, or taking a nap. Self-care for your mind could involve unwinding after a long day, meditating, taking a mental health day, taking a mental vacation, or having dessert for dinner. Self-care for your spirit could look like laughing, holding the door for someone behind you, counting your blessings, or breathing deeply. You can find self-care in your surroundings as well. This might look like people watching, decluttering your space, creating a relaxation room or area, shoveling your neighbor’s driveway when it snows, or just merely appreciating your surroundings. There are so many different ways to refresh, restore, and rejuvenate. However the self-love manifest itself, it is a beautiful filter through which to engage with your world.