Naturing Self-Care and Self-Love

When I first heard the word “Self-Love“, the first thought that came to my mind was the word “selfish“. I knew right away that I was wrong, but I still couldn’t quite clearly distinguish the difference between these two words until much later.

“Self-Care is not selfish, Self-Love is not narcissism”

Let’s start with the basics. I will refrain from googling the meaning of self-love or self-care and instead attempt to explain my understanding of these two words through my own shoddy writing.

It’s Thursday, January 24th,  precisely 2230hrs, the room is poorly lit, consumed by the scent of Mahogany Teakwood from the Whitebarn candle that’s burning on her nightstand. It’s her umpteenth attempt to write this blog post in the last two and a half weeks. Her resolve each time being that she shouldn’t post “just any story for the sake of posting”, there must always be a connection to her truth and a purpose that goes beyond herself and connects with that of her readers, she has failed to find this connection in her last few attempts and re-written this post six times, will she be successful tonight? Closing her eyes, she deeply inhales and enters a trance. She is attempting to connect with her soul, her deepest inner being, where God lies. There, she finds no selfishness, no narcissism only her true authentic expressions of life from whom she belongs too. There, she will find her meaning of the words “Self-Love” and “Self-Care”.  Suddenly, with her eyes closed, she starts to type away in gentle strokes what her soul whispers back to her. Her name is Mary and the time is 2240hrs, she has finally found “the connection”.

Self-Love 

This is the genuine expression of love towards oneself. It is achieved when you can fully love, embrace and accept yourself just as you are irrespective of your flaws, imperfections, limitations, and weaknesses. It is nurturing your true identity with love and acceptance.

Self-Care

These are the actions you take towards yourself to nourish your mind, body, soul, and spirit. They allow you to connect with your inner being and in turn stimulate overwhelming feelings of peace, joy, and love. They evoke in you a state of rest, fulfillment and satisfaction. Combined with self-love, they allow you to develop into your highest, truest, greatest expression of yourself.

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”– Buddha

So today, I will share with you some self-care, self-love ideas you can try when everything else seems to fail.

  1. Learn something new: I am currently taking an online photography class through Shaw Academy. All year round, I hope to take a class related to something I enjoy. In February, I am excited to learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Other skills I look forward to learning this year are: cinematography, hosting and “writing for television”

2. Create time to enjoy some rest and relaxation. Every so often, I take out my sofa cushions, lay them out on my living room floor and binge watch my favorite shows until I fall asleep and wake the next day in the same spot. This little break from the norm gives me a chance to re-connect with my childhood whilst taking me into a “zen-mode”

3. Take time to feel beautiful. Every single day of last year, my nails were always well manicured. I made a commitment that as long as I am working, I would not only splurge on a nice perfume but also maintain well-manicured nails. Thanking God for his provision that made this possible.

4. Enjoy some “Soul Food” – I don’t cook often, however once a week on Sundays I try to be creative and attempt to cook something delicious. I also love to indulge in some warm apple bundt cake and creme fraiche ice cream as I binge watch my favorite shows.

5. Take time to Journal– Keeping a journal, whether it is a food journal, gratitude journal, dream journal, or one of your daily musings, can have a tremendous impact on your life. It puts whatever issue we focus on in the spotlight. It keeps us accountable. It may show us patterns or habits we want to change. It may show us a truth we have been hiding from.” ― Akiroq Brost

7. Take time to read a book – Reading gives us a place to go when we have to stay where we are, it is like dreaming with open eyes. What book are you currently reading? My next book review is on “Tuesdays with Morrie“, Y’all need to READ this book….WHAAAATTT!!!

8. Dance to an upbeat playlist: I love to dance to some afrobeats, they connect me with my motherland and always keep me pumped and excited about life. This always gets me back into the groove.

9. Self-af·fir·ma·tionnoun: the recognition and assertion of the existence and value of one’s individual self.

Positive self-affirmations remind you of who you are and can also be used to draw you towards who you ultimately want to become. They keep “you” alive within you. I am a child of God, I am favored, I am blessed, I am beautiful.

“A healthy self-love means we have no compulsion to justify to ourselves or others why we take vacations, why we sleep late, why we buy new shoes, why we spoil ourselves from time to time. We feel comfortable doing things which add quality and beauty to life.”

Other ideas:

  1. Create a vision board.
  2. Forgive yourself.
  3. Celebrate little victories.
  4.  Exercise.
  5. Center yourself through meditation.

 I hope you will consider naturing self-love and self-care in your life in your own unique way.  Until next time folks.

With Lots of Love, Iro

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