by Andrea Watson | October 21, 2020
Here I am again, folks! Talking about how to live a happier life with another list. I just love wellness, don’t you? I sure do love me, and I hope you love you. I mean, I love you. Hard to believe? Well, take my word for it, toots, ’cause I do love you…and me. And lots of other people too! I’m all about the love. Why so lovey? Because it makes me happy. And I like being happy. So get to the damn point, you say? Fine. I am here today to tell you about a bunch of different ways that you can practice self-love, and consequently live a happier life. By the end of this post I expect you will have some good ideas brewing that you can start implementing today, and take the first steps to a happier life (if you haven’t already by reading my older wellness posts). So let’s get to it!
Believe it or not, there is a difference between self-care and self-love. We engage in self-care to keep ourselves sane and balanced. We practice self-love to be happy and free. It’s kind of like the whole thing of every square is a rectangle but not every rectangle is a square (did that make sense?). One way to practice self-love is to create the time for self-care. This is so vital for overall wellness it’s ridiculous. By making time for this, you will be sending your brain the message, “I care about you enough to make this happen”. There are lots of things you can do to get in some self care, including taking a time out to relax, giving yourself a break, and journaling.
We are what we eat, right? Yes, quite literally. So what kind of messages are we sending ourselves when we fill our bodies with junk? Not very good ones. Not only does junk make us sluggish and less alert, but it also can make us (take a deep breath) gain unhealthy weight. Not a great way to say, “I love you” to yourself. A diet full of veggies, fruits, and lean proteins is one approach that works well for me. I feel more energized and more awake when I eat this way. Not to mention I feel healthier. Knowing that I made the choice to eat well helps me love me more.
Here I go again with the healthy living stuff, right? Right. I know exercise can be a drag, but it doesn’t have to be. It is likely that there is at least one exercise out there that you find tolerable. If nothing else, walking is lovely, and an excellent way to get exercise. I personally like yoga, and Shiva Rea is my favorite instructor. After a nice hour long yoga session, I feel grounded, energized, refreshed, free of pain, full of oxygen, and loved. It’s great for anxiety too! Check it out:
Find Your Happy
I’m not talking about a place here, although mental imagery is amazing. I am talking about finding what makes you intrinsically happy. This means finding the thing that comes from inside of you and makes you happy simply because it makes you happy. For me, one of these things is painting. For you it may be sports, writing, or snorkeling. It can be anything that you do just because you like it just because (Yes, I said “just because” twice. Thrice.). This is a wonderful way to practice self-love. I blog for self-love-and you love. I love writing because I love it. You get the picture? Find your happy and make time to do it.
A tough one, but most important. Have you ever said yes to something you don’t really want to do? Well stop it! If you don’t have the time, energy, or motivation, simply say no. I know it can be really hard to do this, especially for women. But it will be worth it. You will be less stressed if you do. And reducing stress is part of self-care and hence, self-love.
Not every day, of course. But if you have had your eye on that pretty sweater for a while, or if you feel you really need fresh makeup, then take the money to “pay” yourself and get it. This is a once in a while thing, but the occasional treat will help your happiness factor out a lot. I recently bought that sweater and now I am a lot warmer and don’t feel like I need so much right now.
I had to go there, didn’t I? Yes. Absolutely. So you ate a brownie today. Or you didn’t work out. Or you slacked off on your chores. So what? As long as these things don’t turn into habits, it’s totally fine. Will one brownie make you blow up like a balloon? No. Will the dirty dishes still be there tomorrow? Yes. So you had a bad parenting moment and yelled at your kid? Apologize sincerely and move on. They will. You have to forgive yourself and let go of guilt. You can’t be guilty and happy at the same time.
This is asking a lot, I know. But guess what? The people we hold grudges against don’t give a flying flip about what we feel. They don’t care what we think about them. They probably don’t even know. Holding on to bad feelings about another person or past hurts dealt from someone else only destroys our own well-being. It does nothing to get back at the other person. Grudges are poison. They occupy our thoughts negatively, especially when confronted with the memory of a slight. They coagulate in our souls and sit there festering into a thick black rot. You gotta let this stuff go, baby. Forgive others, no matter how hard it is. If you can do this, you can master happiness.
And we are done for today. There are a lot of ways to practice self-love-some much easier than those we discussed in this post. Why is self-love important? Because it allows us to live happy, fulfilling lives and focus on what really matters to us. Who doesn’t like to be happy? So I’ll continue loving me and you continue loving you and we can all continue loving each other because really, that’s what life is all about. And here, we Life All Day.