Loving ourselves seems self-explanatory that we are somehow expected to know by instinct how. But given how we often beat ourselves up over small mistakes or obsess about what other people might think about us, it appears we have a long way to go learning how to truly love the only person we will be with until the end – ourselves.
If you are not sure where to begin, read on for some inspiration on how self-love manifests in our daily lives.
1. You embrace everything that you are
Being comfortable in your skin is not always easy, especially in a society with standards of beauty that may be different from your own. But accepting who you are, in whatever size, form and color you come, is an important first step in embracing all aspects of yourself, warts and all.
This doesn’t mean depriving yourself of things that you think will make you feel better about your appearance. There is still lingering stigma about getting wrinkle reduction and related cosmetic treatments because it’s often associated with vanity. But that can’t be further from the truth.
If you feel that getting a Botox injection to erase your ‘angry 11’ and an injection of dermal fillers around your smile lines will make you look less grumpy, and looking more relaxed makes you feel good about yourself, allow yourself to enjoy things that bring you pleasure.
2. You show compassion to yourself
There’s nothing wrong with setting high standards for us to aim for, but we have to be easy with ourselves when we fall short of our own expectations. People who love themselves are kind to themselves, and are forgiving of their mistakes, knowing that all growth is a work in progress.
“Self-love is acknowledging the universal truth that all humans are not perfect, and we are bound to stumble and fumble along the way as we seek our path and purpose in life.”
Women are often more demanding of themselves, wanting to be perfect on all fronts at all times, and this is often true among mothers who have careers both at home and outside. They want to be dutiful daughters, doting moms, loving wives and successful professionals all at the same time. No wonder they also get easily overwhelmed.
If this is you, and there are certain areas in your life that need help, don’t hesitate to reach out. Make the most of advances in medicine and your support structure to address uniquely female problems such as vaginal laxity or menopause. There is Geneveve by Viveve, a non surgical vaginal tightening treatment that heats deep tissue and cools the surface using radiofrequency (RF) energy to stimulate the body’s natural collagen formation process. For those under the stifling heat of hormonal imbalance such as menopause, consider getting a hormone replacement therapy (estrogen) to alleviate the symptoms.
3. You continually better yourself
Aware of your limitations, you make conscious effort to educate yourself better so your shortcomings are not obstacles to what you want to achieve. You consciously improve yourself not just for you but for everyone else who might benefit from the time, talent and tender loving care that you have to offer.
People who love themselves look for ways to improve their situation, and not just resign in a corner and give up their hands in defeat. They understand that improvement happens both inside and out so that each side accurately reflects what the other perceives.
So if you feel young at heart, it doesn’t hurt to make an effort to look young on the outside. You don’t have to go to the extreme to turn back time: Plenty of non surgical skin tightening treatments are available to address various aspects of your appearance so you look younger and fresher. You can take advantage of ultrasound therapy (Ulthera) to lift, tighten and tone your sagging jawlines or crepey skin on your neck, or to lift up your sagging facial skin using poly lactic acid threads (Silhouette Soft) or polydioxanone (PDO) threads for other or larger areas of skin laxity.
4. You give yourself the care it deserves
Our environment and upbringing may flood us with messages that to be a truly loving person, we have to be selfless, putting ahead the well-being of another before our own. What we forget is that while self-less acts of kindness are truly admirable, they may not be healthy – physically or otherwise – if left unbalanced.
If you were to be a bountiful tree, you need as much sunlight, water and other nutrients to continue bearing fruit. Neglecting essentials to your survival will eventually see you wither and deprive everyone of the fruits they could have enjoyed.
Get enough sleep, skip sugary food, be physically active, and give your skin the nutrients it needs not just because it will make you look young but because your skin is your largest organ and first line of defense against external pollutants. Use the right cleanser, toner and moisturizer for your skin type, slather the best sunscreen for face that gives broad spectrum protection, get acne scar treatment by taking advantage of laser skin resurfacing to renew the top layer of the skin, and use powerful antioxidants to combat free radical damage at the cellular level.
5. You bounce back from defeat
Instead of being paralyzed by the idea of committing mistakes, you welcome failure as an opportunity to learn more about yourself. Armed with new knowledge, you pick up yourself after falling down, not letting past defeats get in the way of your future success.