It’s the month of love – swooooooooooooon. And while this is a health and wellness blog, I definitely think mental and emotional health fall in the the atmosphere of the BYOK blog, despite it being a less visited topic.
With that being said, when Erica Portillo, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and I were discussing a collaboration, we came to the conclusion that we really wanted to do a Valentines day post on just loving yourself. Maybe it’s cliche and maybe it’s been overdone, but as a professional Erica really manages to nail this topic.
And when I was writing this introduction to this Love YOurself Post, I kept thinking of that Carrie Bradshaw quote:
“The Most Exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well that’s just fabulous.”
So with that being said, grab a booch and check out Erica’s guest post.
Fall In Love With Yourself
By Erica Portillo, LCSW
Maybe it’s all the cute Valentine’s Day decor at Target, maybe it’s scrolling through blogger gift guides for that “special someone” or maybe it’s the Galentine’s party you have planned with your girlfriends. Whatever the reason, February makes us have all the feels and love is definitely on our minds.
There are some pretty high expectations placed on this one day. You may be wondering what romantic surprises your significant other has planned for you or you might be stressing over what unique gift to give them. It is definitely sweet to celebrate each other, as we often get so caught up in the daily routine of life, but why not take the pressure off both of you? Maybe your bae is not the best at gift giving, but kills it at words of affirmation. Help them out and drop some hints as to what gift you have been eyeing. If the thought of trying to get a dinner reservation and spending a ton on the special Valentines menu irks you, then don’t do it! Make your intention to spend quality time with your love, doing something you love. Sometimes, I want to get dressed up for a nice dinner out with my husband, but other times I’m craving a chill night in cooking together and watching a movie. However you decide to celebrate, devote some time to talking about when you first met and fell for each other, what you appreciate about each other and your dreams for the future.
Where does this leave the single ladies who are wondering when they will have a special someone to share this romantic day with? If this love obsessed holiday makes you cringe, try taking a completely different approach this year by shifting your perspective. I propose that you engage in your greatest love story of all, the one with yourself. Pamper, buy a gift, plan a fun date, wine and dine, get to know and fall in love…with yourself. You may need a reminder that you are a babe with big ambitions who has so much to offer. Make a mental list of all of your amazing qualities and passions. By putting your focus on self love, you can celebrate all that you have, rather than getting bummed out over what you’re missing. Sounds way more fun doesn’t it?
The term self love may seem overused or trendy, but there is nothing fleeting about designing a life built on a strong foundation of self love. Think about it this way. Self love is the rock that impacts every single area of your life from your self image, relationships, career decisions, choices about what food you eat and how you cope with problems. If we don’t value our own self worth and hold ourselves in the highest regard, neither will others.
Self love is tricky. We may appear to be the most put together, successful, happy person out there, but what ingrained beliefs do we have swirling around underneath that calm surface? You may not even realize that they are there, as we often live on autopilot or push past the hard feelings. Start with identifying the manifestations of those beliefs, since they are easier to pinpoint, such as anxiety, critiquing ourselves for every seemingly wrong move we make, beating ourselves up for not being more productive, shaming ourselves for our physical appearance, feeling depressed because we’re not where we think we should be in our lives. Does any of this sound familiar? If so, take some time to reflect and journal about your truth to see what insights you are led to.
It’s all too easy, especially this time of the year, to fall into the comparison trap and wish we had what our coupled up friends have. I refer to it as a trap because you will never win by measuring your success against someone else’s journey. It may appear to look all rosey, but you have no idea what they have been through or are going though. By falling in love with yourself, you are making the choice to accept all that is you, including your so-called flaws and your place in life. This is not easy. Often times, we place contingencies on our happiness, waiting until we achieve our next goal, whether that’s meeting “the one” or getting a job promotion or reaching our ideal weight. Stop delaying your happiness.
The author of The Self Love Experiment, explains this so well stating, “Self acceptance is available to us at any moment, but we have to invite it in. Most of us wait for self love and respect…impatiently, but meanwhile we self loathe and ridicule ourselves, which in essence makes it impossible for us to get what we want. Why not reverse it? Why not give yourself what you desire now-self love and respect? You deserve it in this moment. Invite love in because when you have self love you are connected to your authentic self and life feels better.”
Following this philosophy makes the process so much easier and smoother, rather than fighting yourself along the way. Want to know the best part? The beauty of working on your personal development, discovering your passions and practicing self love is that you will elevate your vibration and be oozing out good energy. People are attracted to this confidence. Get ready to start drawing in the right kind of people into your life who are totally date worthy.
Shannon Kaiser adds, “When you love yourself enough, others opinions won’t hurt you because you will be so comfortable and confident with your own self. This is the ultimate goal of self love. Because when you love yourself, the right people will love you, too. But it always starts with you.”
Erica Portillo, LCSW is an online therapist with BetterHelp. She has a passion for helping clients create a balanced life for optimal health and wellness. She also loves sharing her advice on mental health, mindfulness and self care on her blog, Ask Erica. If you have any questions, she would be happy to give you some new insight.