I had this amazing opportunity this month to work with Kristin from Tiny Red Tornado and Chanel from Chanel Photography and be part of a photoshoot series that they are doing to promote self love. I love the heart these girls have about this message and how they are so encouraging when speaking life into the souls of these women. Self love looks different for everyone and it’s super encouraging to hear how each girl is working toward loving herself.
I know for me, the idea of self love has definitely felt like an uphill battle but as time goes on I feel like I am starting to see myself the way that others see me, and more importantly, the closer I walk with God, the easier it is to see myself the way HE sees me.
So what does self love look like for me?
Practically speaking, that means having a hobby, exercise, thinking about what goes in or on my body, and taking some time for myself.
This blog is definitely a hobby, but also a calling I believe. But what I mean is, I do this because I love it, not because it makes me money. I love you, my readers, and I love writing. So, blogging is a hobby. It’s a creative outlet for me to express myself, grow, and share about the coolest guy I know (Jesus) in the best way I know (writing). Having a hobby is important because without one, it can be hard to remember what exactly you enjoy in life. And what’s a life without doing something you enjoy every once in a while?
Over the course of 2018, my health has really been something I’ve made a priority. For me, self love looks like taking care of the temple that has been given to me (1 Corinthians 6:19) and I do that by making sure that I nourish it with good food, stay away from foods that hurt me, using non toxic skincare and cleaning products, and exercising 3-5 days/week.
I get up between 4:30 & 5AM 3-5 days/week to exercise before work. That sounds crazy to some people, especially to non-morning people. But on the days I wake up early and exercise I always feel like I can conquer the world that day. That feeling alone is enough motivation to keep bringing me back.
If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you’ll have noticed that I have an intolerance to gluten and to dairy. Self love for me looks like avoiding those foods but enjoying foods that make me happy (like french fries). I’ve strayed away from “diet culture” and focus more on being healthy and living a fulfilling life. Sometimes that means eating a salad (with dressing) and sometimes that means a slice of gluten & dairy free cake.
A few friends of mine have introduced me to the amazing benefits of essential oils and have introduced me to the Think Dirty app on my phone. I use that app now for everything regarding my skin care and cleaning products at home. I have made the slow transition from toxic and harsh chemicals to only using “clean” all natural products in my home. Again, self love to me looks like taking care of my body and only using safe products. When I thought about whether or not I would use those products for my future children it occured to me, well if you wouldn’t use it for them, maybe you shouldn’t use it yourself. That was a game changer.
I had to start treating myself the way that I treat others. I had to help myself, the way that I help others. And yes, I even had to give myself quality time just like I would give that to others. If you’ve read the five love languages book, you’ll be familiar with the love language of quality time. That (along with acts of service) is my number one love language. I speak it fluently, and I need it from my friends and family. It wasn’t until a discussion I had with a fellow introverted friend of mine that I discovered that I needed to have quality “alone” time too. What? How did that even make sense? But yes, seriously. Sometimes you just gotta be alone. Sometimes that looks like going to get a mani/pedi, sometimes that’s meandering around target, and other times it’s vegging out in front of the TV binge watching some girly (or scifi) netflix series my husband won’t watch. It’s great. Once I discovered how to give myself quality time I realized how much I’d been missing on that very needed “recharge”.
So that’s how I’ve been practicing self love, and I would love to hear what you’re doing! What are some of your favorite self love habits?
Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or share with me on social media!