With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we can’t help but think about love in the month of February.
Love is such a powerful thing. It drives us to do better and be better for the sake of the people and causes we are passionate about.
It is a beautiful thing to show love and affection for those you care about, but are you doing anything to show love to yourself?
The relationship you have with yourself is one of the most important relationships you can have, so it is vital that we tend to and nurture it, rather than neglect it.
Just like flowers need good quality soil so they can bloom, the foundations we lay for ourselves also dictate how much we can grow into our potential.
Love can make all things grow, so here are three ways we can take inspiration from the beautiful metaphor of flowers to show more love to ourselves.
1: Nurture the soil.
Flowers cannot grow in toxic soil, just like you cannot thrive in a bad environment.
In order to grow, we need to establish a good foundation, and this is the first step to showing ourselves some love.
What self-love looks like to one person will differ greatly from how it looks to another, so it helps to listen to your heart when deciding what is best for you.
Creating a foundation for self-love involves a lot of introspection. Take some time to ask yourself what the most basic forms of self-love might look like for you personally.
For example, if you have a persistent need to people please, even at the detriment to your own health and family, saying “no” more often could be the first step to creating a solid self-love foundation.
Similarly, if you constantly put work before your own needs, turning your phone off after 6 pm might also be a way to ensure you get some much-needed rest after a busy day.
By writing down a few points that you could implement as the base of your self-love foundation, you will be able to start your self-love journey on good, solid ground.
2: Pull out the weeds.
Now that the foundation is laid, it’s time to get rid of any weeds.
Weeds in this instance are those pesky, annoying things that make you miserable and angry that you simply don’t want or have time for in your life.
Can you think of anything that impedes on your ability to nurture and show love to yourself?
This could be a toxic friendship or relationship, scrolling through social media (and feeling bad about yourself as a result), comparing yourself to others or holding on to grudges.
All these little things eat away at your happiness, time and confidence and have no space in your life.
By letting them go as best you can. you will leave yourself with more space to bring love, compassion and forgiveness into your life.
This can be incredibly difficult to do, but by reminding yourself that you are worth being loved and cared for, you can approach these weeds from a place of strength and love for yourself.
3: Water the good.
Now it’s time to really let this garden bloom!
Spend some time thinking of ways you could show yourself some more love and understanding. There are no wrong answers here so write them down without judgement or worrying what other people might think. This exercise is about you and no one else.
This could be scheduling ten minutes of your day to practice mindfulness, making sure you stay hydrated and eat well, cutting yourself some slack after a hard day or simply having a nice long shower to wind down.
Some people might find that volunteer work or being involved in their community waters their self-love garden.
Once you have a few things on your self-love list, it is important to make sure you implement them into your routine and make them a part of your life.
You might schedule in a walk without your phone three times a week or making sure you catch up with friends once a month.
Being flexible is key here too, so make sure you give yourself some space to shuffle things around if you would rather have a long hot bath rather than go for the hike you were planning.
No matter what self-love looks to you, by taking the time to nurture ourselves, we are better placed to handle situations, perform better at work and benefit from improved sleep.
Remember, you are absolutely worth loving and being cared for, and there’s no one that knows what you need better than yourself.