“The most important relationship you will ever have is the one with yourself. Because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself.” —Diane Von Furstenberg
I can’t agree with Diane Von Furstenburg’s quote more. No matter what happens in life, you will always have yourself. Hence why it is SO important for all of us to learn how to love and take care of ourselves, our mental health, our mind, and our overall well-being. Additionally, no one will ever love you more than you love yourself, because you are the only person who knows yourself the best. When you start loving yourself, you start to feel good, and you will look good as well. You will start to disconnect from all the things that don’t serve you well, you will start to make decisions that’s best for you, and you will teach others how to treat and love you by showing them how you treat yourself. Choosing yourself over everything may anger other people, but how others react to your decision is none of your concern; your goal is to stay loyal to yourself. Always remember that you are worthy of love and that the relationship you have with yourself affects all the others in your life!
Last year, I read a book called The 5 Love Languages by Gary Marshall. His philosophy is that all individuals receive and give love differently, so knowing your love language and communicating it to your significant other, family, and friends can help you save misunderstandings and create a more loving relationship. You can also use the concept on yourself to practice self-love, which I will share below. If you don’t know your primary love language, you can take the test here1.
Words of Affirmation
If your primary love language is words of affirmation, you can practice saying or writing mantras to yourself like, “I accept myself. I am worthy of love. I am enough.” You can even write love letters to yourself like I do. Doing so can be very powerful, and it can fill up your love cup throughout the day.
Quality time can be a time of solitude. Try setting aside some time for yourself every day. It can be 30 minutes to an hour. During this time, allow yourself to simply relax, watch a movie, practice yoga, or whatever it is that you would like to do. If you live with other people, let them know you are not to be disturbed during that time in your room.
If you fall under the category of physical touch for your primary love language, you can benefit by giving yourself a massage, rubbing lotion on your body, or taking a relaxing, hot bath. Even stretching your body, dancing, and taking deep breaths while placing your hand on your chest will help. Basically, this love language is about being gentle and kind with your body. For example, I like to do a facial massage for myself and pamper my skin.
If your love cup fills when receiving gifts, I encourage you to treat yourself to something special once in a while. It can be buying that book you have been wanting to read, or simply picking up a pretty seashell from the beach. I usually allow myself to buy hazelnut cappuccino occasionally. Just make sure you’re treating yourself within your financial means.
Acts of service
This can be challenging if you feel loved by the acts of kindness other people do for you, but you can totally do this for yourself by simply creating a to-do list that will make your life easier and happier. It can include tasks like organizing your closet, rearranging your bookshelf, or decluttering your drawers. As acts of service is my own primary love language, I love to organize my closet, clean my makeup brushes, fill up my diffuser, and wash my trainers! The process even allows me to feel good, and I feel so much love the next day when I see my closet nicely organized and my brushes clean and ready to use.
Self-love isn’t just important—it’s essential. It’s not something to accomplish and move on from, but rather something that requires daily practice because it’s a journey with yourself, for yourself. I know it can be challenging at times, but I believe with small steps every day, we can come to a point where we love and honour ourselves for just the way we are and continue nurturing ourselves. Self-love is central to living a joyful life and attracting the love we deserve, because it is important to know how to love yourself before you love others. As one of my favourite human beings, Maya Angelou, once said, “I don’t trust people who don’t know how to love themselves and say, ‘I love you.’”