It’s valentines day. This day can be really fun for some, and hard for others, but I want to put the message out there that the most important person to love is yourself. Self love is a difficult one, especially for those with mental health problems. Often we berate ourselves, hate ourselves or even worse, harm ourselves. *Hand goes up in guilty admission to all of the above*
One of the most valuable lessons I have learned in my mental health journey though is that of self love. From my struggles lately, this may be difficult to believe but I was unwell. At the moment I feel very well and I Have no sham in saying it, “I LOVE MYSELF”. How do I show my love to myself, well I shower, I exercise and I eat well. I nurture my body and mind in a way that is conducive to mental health recovery.
This is difficult to do when depressed, but there are little things you can do when your’e depressed to love yourself such as:
- Having a bath or shower
- Painting your nails
- Eating a good healthful meal
- Going for a walk and giving yourself some headspace
- Buy yourself some flowers, or for men, a gift that makes you happy. It doesn’t have to be anything big like an iWatch but something small. Like a token of your self love.
- Do something nice for yourself, anything.
That’s the thing, this list is far from exhaustive but it goes on, and on, and on.
Body image can come into this too, especially for those with or a history of eating disorders. As many of you know from my previous post, I am unhappy about my weight at the moment but it doesn’t mean I hate it. Far from it. My body does so much for me, like allowing me to take it for a 3km run this morning. That’s right, I took my own body for a spin and there are more ways of doing this if you get what I mean *wink wink*.
I’ll go right out there and say it, but personal time with yourself is really important in body love. It allows you to gain pleasure from you body and releases loads of great endorphins and hormones so even if you have no-one to share your body with today, or you don’t want to which is perfectly fine, maybe practicing sharing your body with yourself to learn to love yourself isn’t such a bad idea. I mean, it’s just a suggestion, but I am a firm believer in affirmations and self love because with all the energy we can put into hating ourselves, if we put the same efforts and energy into loving ourselves we can literally turn our lives around mentally.
So love yourself. You’re the foremost and absolutely most important person you have in your life. Think about it, you’re always there for yourself. Who else genuinely goes through thick and thin with you but yourself. What carries you through heartache, pain, suffering and joy at the same time: yourself. I think you’re starting to get the picture now. So go on, what are you going to do to practice self love for yourself today?