Two weeks ago, when I first went to write about this topic, I was in a MOOD. It felt like everything I did or attempted to do went wrong somehow- like the whole world was working against me- but, of course, this wasn’t the case. It was just my mind. My current outlook, a product of what seemed to be all the little things just piling up in front of me- overwhelming me. So, instead of finishing this post, I decided to practice self-love and went home to read and take a bath. And it helped so much. No, it didn’t take me completely out of my funk, but it took me out of the story I had created for myself and provided a little reset.
It gave me breathing space from all the frustration, and reminded me how necessary slowing down is. How showing ourselves love in those low moments are what help bring us out of them quicker, even if it feels counter-intuitive at the time. Instead of beating our heads against the same wall over and over trying to get things to go the way we want, we can take a step back, breathe, gain some perspective. And acting on that is a form of self-love. Of giving ourselves grace, just like we would a friend.
I wrote this with Valentine’s Day in mind- a time when many of us may feel frustrated and bombarded with reminders of the societal pressures upon us. A day where it may be more necessary than ever, to show ourselves love. And while yet, receiving love from others is an important part of life, being able to love ourselves first is the most important love of all. It’s like putting your oxygen mask on in the plane before helping the person next to you. There’s no way you can authentically and fully love another, until you authentically and fully love yourself. And with that… here’s the post I wrote a couple weeks back:
I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about today, but this topic seems fairly relevant, seeing as I’m not loving myself so much. I’m moody and easily annoyed and reactive to the smallest inconveniences, and this isn’t who I like to be. But even this version of me deserves love and grace. In fact, this is the version who needs it more than any other, because that’s what gets us back to our best selves. The versions we love to love. Since this is where I’m at right now, I’m writing this as a way to help myself get out of this rut, but also to share my tips with you, in the event you ever need them. Here’s how I practice self-love:
Write it out
This is the first one I thought of since it’s literally what I’m doing right now. I find writing out my feelings and thoughts incredibly cathartic. It’s an effective way to put space between you and your thoughts/feelings in that moment, and objectively see them for what they are- temporary. You’d think after coming to this realization over and over and over again, that eventually I would be able to remind myself of it in those low moments, but that’s just now how it works. So write it out. Works every time.
Smile at yourself in the mirror
Okay this one is a little silly, and you’ll feel like an absolute idiot when doing it at first, but I promise you, it works. Just look at yourself in the mirror…and smile. It probably won’t feel genuine right away, but if you give it a second, it will start to. And before long, it actually will. Smiling is the body’s way of sending a signal to you’re brain that you’re happy. That you’re safe. So if you send that signal, even when it’s not true for you right then, eventually it will be.
Stretching always helps me get back into my body when I’m feeling consumed by my mind. Shaking helps too- whatever is going to release some energy and make space for new energy to come in. I like to give my legs a little massage while I’m stretching too- just to show my body a little love and thank it for all that it does. Gets you back into your body and into a mindset of gratitude.
The ultimate helper when you’re feeling consumed by your thoughts- quiet the mind entirely. Get off the ride and lay down somewhere in a metaphorical field and just…be. Interrupting the cycle will make way for a new one when you come back to reality.
Take a bath
This one’s my favorite, and one I don’t do often enough. Pour some magnesium flakes in there, light a candle, get a good book, and chill the f*ck out. It’s your very own little slice of heaven that will have you feeling so relaxed when you get out, you’ll forget you were ever feeling off in the first place.
Watch your self-talk
Today I read this article on Whitney Port’s blog, written by Jessica Zweig, about how to show up authentically online. And, though it’s purpose was to show up online in an authentic way, I think this also applies to regular life. When we’re feeling down, we’re not stepping into our power or coming from a place of strength. We’re questioning everything we do and finding reasons to quit (or never even start in the first place). You have to flip the narrative within yourself, in order to flip the narrative outside, and that starts with positive self-talk. Just because you’ve been moody, doesn’t mean that’s the story that has to continue. You are worthy of love and happiness, and when you fully embody that, you’ll see it reflected back to you wherever you go.
Some of these may work for you, others may not. Sometimes they’ll work right away, other times they may not at all. But the point is that you’re aware you’re feeling down, and that you’re using healthy mechanisms to turn it around. Even if they don’t feel like they’re working, you’re still showing up for yourself, and that in itself is a practice of self-love. You love yourself enough to read articles about how other people do it, you love yourself enough to be aware that you’d like to do it more. Even when you’re feeling down, deep down that love is still there. It’s just finding that little spark and running with it. And then doing it again, and again, and again.
Hope you all have a lovely Valentine’s day full of love- for your people, for your fur babies, and, most importantly, for yourself <3
If you liked this post, you might also enjoy: 3 Ways to Show the Love this Valentine’s Day