Self-love is the most vital way for us to have a positive impact on the world. It occurs as a result of consistent self-care. Loving & caring for others well is equally as important. But if we cannot take care of the number one human in our lives – ourselves – how can we effectively love & care for others?
Trying to care for other humans when we don’t have self-love is kind of like trying to teach someone a job we have never done. We cannot teach what we have not learned. We cannot give away what we do not have.
As difficult as it may seem – especially as a parent – to create time & space for self-care, I believe it is the greatest way for us to create more self-love & in turn impact the lives of other adults & children.
When other adults see us taking care of ourselves, they can become inspired to do the same. They may even decide to join us on our healthy lifestyle journey. If or when they do, you never know who they will inspire to follow in their footsteps. The ripple effect of one person sharing their journey could impact thousands of lives.
This is the prime reason I remain a Coach to this day. I have seen how far that ripple effect can travel & it is an awesome thing to watch unfold!
As for children, they learn so much by imitating their primary examples in life. Whether you have negative or positive habits, they will pick up on them. It is likely they will imitate them for the majority of the rest of their lives. Which is why when they see us engaging in self-care, it is a powerful way for them to learn these good habits & in turn learn their own value & worth.
So how do we engage in self-care when we do not feel like doing it?
When we don’t feel like taking good care of ourselves, that is usually when we really need it the most. Maybe we are experiencing a sudden loss or some other stressor in our lives. We totally just feel like crawling back into bed & pulling the covers over our heads. But if we do, it turns into a vicious cycle in which it becomes even more difficult to free ourselves.
I’ve felt that way many a times in life.
But I have learned from recent experiences, that we do not need to allow those feelings to take over. We can say to ourselves whenever we feel stressed, “I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. It will all work itself out.”
In the beginning, we can focus on taking small steps in the direction of caring for ourselves well. Some examples include: mindful bathing, mindful eating, taking quiet time in the morning to enjoy a coffee, meditating for a few minutes, doing personal development, moving our bodies & cooking for ourselves.
Just like anything else, self-love is a process.
As we engage in these self-care activities a little bit more each day, we can feel ourselves getting stronger. As we build our strength, we become able to face difficult situations head on. We can stop running from them & instead learn how to manage ourselves correctly through them free from judgment.
During this process, we create more love for ourselves exactly as we are. We start to value ourselves not just when life is going along great & we look & feel our best. But even during the times when we make poor choices or feel down & out.
If we make mistakes, we can recognize that it is just where we are at in this moment & things will keep getting better. Letting go of the self-judgment creates so much more space in our hearts to love ourselves & others well. And then our lives can become even more impactful than we ever imagined.
So, while I believe caring for & impacting the lives of others is our most important job, I don’t believe we are able to do that job well until we learn to love & care for ourselves first.