Although self-love is a buzzword in our age of wellness trends, investing in the self is a key aspect of happiness and strong mental health. This month’s emphasis on celebrating love provides a timely opportunity to initiate or strengthen those practices that nurture and develop the most intimate and important relationship: you and yourself.
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it, including you. Honor the importance of quiet time with yourself by intentionally disconnecting (even if it is briefly) from social media, e-mails, texts or other activities that can become overwhelming. Despite the positive aspects of staying connected, studies show that more time spent on social media and electronics can contribute to negative mental health effects (think: unhealthy comparisons and unattainable lifestyles).
Do what you love, with those you love. Practicing self-love involves engaging in activities that lead you to experience joy, laughter, strength and peace. Whether this means engaging your body in a workout, listening to your favorite music or talking with a friend over a cup of coffee, experiencing connection to a person, purpose or experience is key.
Be committed to your growth so that you’re willing to say no without guilt and yes without fear. We often lose sight of what we need when we prioritize others over ourselves. Remind yourself that it is OK to say ‘no’ when something does not serve you. Do what works for you.
Consider mistakes as opportunities to reroute. Practicing self-love involves reminding yourself that what we call failure often refers to an outcome that we did not expect. This, however, may be exactly what we need.
Relax (& have fun!)
You don’t have to be stressed or busy to be important. There is no shame in slowing down and enjoying some down time. Remind yourself that you are successful and important without a full calendar. Your self-worth is not defined by your productivity.
Of all the people on the planet, you talk to yourself more than anyone. Make sure you are saying the right things. Thank your body for giving you a home. Acknowledge a a daily personal achievement.
This guest post was written by: Carina Massa, Psy.D.
Carina is a Licensed Psychologist with Pediatric Psychology Associates in Coral Gables, Florida. She emphasizes the healing power of self-love in her practice with children, adolescents, and adults.