Roberta Whitney Hughes
Is it a Struggle to Love Yourself?
I haven’t always loved myself. Even with years of intentional practice under my belt, some days it still seems like the hardest thing to do.
Why is it so hard to love myself?
My guess is that it comes from years of being teased in grade school, middle school, and high school. I endured the teasing, but I was left with emotional scars and the feeling that there must be something wrong with me. As an adult, I know in my heart that there really is nothing wrong with me. Not one little thing. In fact, if I could revisit my little girl self during those formative years, my heart would say to her, “Your name is beautiful and so are you. You are unique and different. You stand out, and it’s okay if people don’t understand you. Keep shining your light as brightly as you can. Be the kind, generous, smart human being you are, and the people who matter will see you and understand you.”
It has taken time to gain this wisdom. It has also taken years of intentional practice. While my heart seems to understand, my brain can still be stubborn. On days when things aren’t going well, it is almost too easy for my brain to chime in with negative self-talk. That little voice gets really loud, pointing out how I have failed, listing all the things that aren’t working, telling me how I could be better… and leaving behind the thought there must be something wrong with me.
It is on these days, more than others, that the time I invest in self-care and self-love truly pays off. Having strong practices in place before the proverbial sh@! hits the fan, makes it possible for me to dive deeper than my stubborn brain to a more peaceful place in my heart where I can love myself just as I am.
My definition of self-love is taking care of your mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Self-love often means doing less and becoming quiet so that you can nourish and nurture your whole self, body, mind, and spirit.
These are the tools that have helped me practice self-love:
• learning to set healthy boundaries
• spending time in nature
• digital discipline
• affirmations and intentions
My definition of self-care is how you treat your body from the inside out. It includes the choices you make for the overall health and wellness of your physical form.
I find that self-care rituals turn my attention toward taking care of myself. These rituals offer me the opportunity to slow down, pay attention, and quiet the chatter in my brain. When my brain is focused on caring for my body, the negativity fades away. So, the more time I invest in self-care rituals, the more able I am to experience self-love.
These are the self-care rituals that help my brain quiet down:
• preparing and eating healthy foods
• exercise and movement
• hot Epsom salts baths
• keeping a consistent hygiene routine
• keeping up with well checks
• getting ready for the day, every day
• dry brushing
• facial reflexology
Using Rituals to Practice Self-Love
Create your own self-care rituals for morning, afternoon, and night. A ritual can involve one thing (like drinking a glass of water), or a combination of things (like dry brushing then taking a hot shower or bath). Try not to be overly ambitious as you begin. Keeping things simple will encourage you to practice more consistently.
As you choose your rituals, be playful and curious. Make sure they fit into your lifestyle. If the rituals add more disruption, you will be frustrated and the negative self-talk may get worse. Remember, the motivation behind self-care rituals is to nourish and nurture. Keep returning to that idea as you try out things that will work for you.
Sample Self-Care Rituals
Wake up and practice digital discipline- avoid social media and email until you have taken the time to begin your day with self-care in mind.
Begin and complete your hygiene routine
Meditate for five minutes
Make a hot cup of tea to sip at your desk while you work
Take a walk and get some fresh air and Vitamin D
Drink a full glass of water
Take a shower or hot bath
This is for ALL the people who want a little more peace and love in their life. Join Roberta as she guides you with self-love activities, live stream events, and tips that will celebrate you and help you learn how to love yourself. The event is FEBRUARY 14-28 and is included in all membership levels at no additional cost (registration required) but the program is open to all who want to attend.