Be “Selfish” with Good Reason
Self-Love and Your Health
“Self-love is the source of all our other loves.” — Pierre Corneille
On Valentine’s Day, it’s easy to get swept up in all things love. But do you think about love in the context of yourself? If not, it’s time to go deep, because the love you show yourself is the greatest form of self-care and also what will keep you healthy (and happy) in the long run.
The benefits of this form of self-care or self-compassion are clear. According to Emma Seppala, Ph.D., Associate Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism, making the effort to nourish your body, mind, and soul with love can lead to:
- increased inner strength
- increased productivity
- and decreased stress.
In addition, research out of Wake Forest University about the effects of self-compassion on eating habits shows that women who gave themselves permission to occasionally indulge were less likely to overeat than those who relentlessly beat themselves up over any indulgence.
It may seem frivolous, but self-care is not something to take lightly. You can reap the wellness benefits by focusing on yourself in these important ways:
Love Yourself — Start by being less critical of yourself. Silence the inner voice in your head that tells you are not good enough… smart enough… rich enough… thin enough…. Become aware of when your inner voice launches into her harsh critique, and try to reframe the dialogue so that it’s more caring. This will take some time, but the goal is for that voice to be as loving as it would be if you were talking with a dear friend.
Takeaway: You don’t have to love your extra weight, but you need to love the person who has the extra weight.
Feed Yourself — An important physical form of nourishment comes from the foods you choose to feed your body. A loving attitude towards yourself makes you want to fill your plate with that which make you feel energized and clear-headed (whole foods, organic fruit and vegetables, and healthy fats) as opposed to that which leave you feeling drained, spacey, and hungry for more (fast food, processed food, and fried food). Something as simple as staying properly hydrated can be a powerful signal to your body that you care.
Takeaway: Filling your tank with healthful whole foods is a radical form of self-love.
Time for Yourself — Are you are a mom juggling the needs of your family? Or are you a busy executive, giving 110% to your job? Or maybe both of these roles fit? If so, one of the most important things you can do is carve out time each week for you—and you alone. That means that during that timeframe, everyone else’s needs take a backseat to yours. Whether you schedule a massage, sink into a great book, take a walk with a friend, or simply do nothing, you’ll find that prioritizing yourself in this way provides the perfect opportunity to recharge your batteries.
Takeaway: You show up in the world in a much more meaningful way when you take time to prioritize yourself.
When it comes to taking time for yourself, I invite you to take 2 weeks to focus on you and your own needs. If you prefer something m ore structured, join one of our 14 Day Transformations, which features two full weeks of eating clean, nourishing, whole foods as direct support from me. During that time, you can expect to feel more energetic, mentally clear, better able to sleep, and more! Why not give yourself the ultimate gift of self-love?
To your good health,