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How to Practice Self-Love by Madison Shirley

The relationship we have with ourselves directly affects how we interact with others.  As we navigate our loss journey, we are bound to experience days where it is hard to acknowledge the love within and around us. Grieving can also make it difficult to show appreciation to yourself. The loss of a loved one can cause us to feel guilty, resentful, and numb. Rumi has a wonderful quote that says, “Love is from the infinite, and will remain until eternity.” May our love and connection with those who are no longer with us physically continue to lift our spirits when we are feeling low. May we still do our very best to show up for ourselves.  

According to the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation,Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others.” 

What are some ways you can show admiration to yourself? To start, aim to talk to yourself with kindness and avoid negative thoughts. When you catch yourself feeling blame, shame, or guilt, rewrite the narrative. In other words, take the negative thought and counter it with a positive one. Physically writing down the two thoughts might help you break the cycle. 

Setting healthy boundaries is essential to wellness. Tips to set boundaries include saying no, valuing your own opinions, and opening up to others in a way that feels comfortable to you. We all have moments where we could speak up more. Maybe you are overwhelmed with work but you keep taking more overtime. Perhaps your friends are continually pushing you to go out and socialize when you are not really feeling up to being around others. There are polite ways to set boundaries and say no! This might sound like “I appreciate the offer but I am going to pass.” This sounds quite simple but in the moment it is easy to just agree to something, even when we know a break is needed. I encourage you to listen to your needs and put them on the forefront.

If everyone in the world had the same way of thinking our lives would be pretty lackluster. Your views are what make you unique. Self-love is staying true to you! Using your best judgment, you can express your opinions while not forcing others to feel the same way. Your opinions, ideas, and stories are immensely valuable. 

Throughout your grief journey you will most likely be faced with questions. You may or may not want to answer them and that is absolutely fine. People are asking those questions because they genuinely care, but it is your right to only talk about things you are comfortable with. What you choose to share or not share is at your discretion. 

This month and every month show yourself a little more love. Feeling content within your skin is crucial to happiness, health, and healing. Search for things that help you see the light in the darkest days. You are worthy of love! 

Source: https://www.bbrfoundation.org/blog/self-love-and-what-it-means