You’ve heard it time and time again, yet truth be told, the concept of self-love still remains to feel completely alien to some and is nothing but a fleeting occurrence to others. A trait or lack thereof that manifests in all areas of life; from body image, decision-making, self-esteem, career choice and yep you guessed it, your own love life – the absence of self-love can make for one difficult existence.
Whilst sometimes it may feel like you’ll never possess the beautiful and fulfilling thing that is self-love, we’re here to tell you that by simply making the conscious decision to read this article, you’re well on your way to welcoming it in to every part of your life. If your own sense of self-love seems lacking, now more than ever during these more isolated times is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with yourself. Read on for our 4 pillars of self-love and the small changes you can start to put into practice today to create a life bursting with self-love <3
The 4 Pillars
FOOD + FITNESS
An extremely important part of the self-love equation: if you’re not nourishing yourself properly or moving your body, it’s almost impossible to feel at your very best both physically and psychologically. Whilst it’s 100% ok to enjoy your favourite foods in moderation and skip a few days of exercise every now and again, when it comes to self-love, feeling good about yourself is a major player. If you’re new to healthy eating and fitness, have fallen off the wagon or are simply looking to up your game, start by making small changes. Here are a few of our favourite ways to eat and move in a self-loving way!
Start your day with a healthy breakfast: The most important meal of the day – be sure to incorporate a generous dose of healthy fats, complex carbs and protein. Our favourites? Rye toast with avo, oats or a smoothie bowl topped with peanut butter, our favourite superfoods & fresh fruit.
Make your lunch break a priority: When work is super busy, it can be tempting to eat your lunch al-desco, or skip it altogether, but as of now those days are gone! Peel yourself away from your desk and enjoy a nourishing lunch. Since we’re all spending all our time at home right now, see it as a luxury to be able to cook your lunch from scratch rather than relying on leftovers or a sarnie from Pret. You really will notice such a difference in your digestion, fullness and even productivity for the rest of the day! Our favourite homemade options? Toasted Quinoa Bowls or Courgette, Pea & Broad Bean Tortilla.
Snack Smart: If you’re anything like us, you love to snack! And if you’re eating the right things in the right quantities, that’s just fine! Snacking is a great way to get in an extra dose of nutrients into your day, regulate blood sugar levels and keep cravings at bay, however the key to snack time success is to choose smart. Our faves? Rice cakes with hummus or sliced banana with a dollop of almond butter. You can also try making your snacks in bulk… we love these Chocolate Beetroot Power Balls.
Make dinner the lightest meal of the day: The last meal of the day, it can be very easy to overeat at dinnertime especially if we haven’t eaten enough during the day! Making sure to have a healthy, hearty and nourishing breakfast, lunch and snack before dinner time rolls around, will ensure you don’t go overboard and set yourself up for a whole host of digestive and sleep cycle maladies. Our favourite light yet satisfying dinner options are: Madeleine Shaw’s Sweetcorn Fritters or Chili Salmon Burgers with Courgette Salad
Make fitness a priority in your day: Under normal circumstances, we’d be suggesting to walk or cycle to work or head to a yoga or barre class on your lunch break, but since COVID has us camping out at home, there are so many awesome ways to move your body online. Read our article on The Best Ways To Workout At Home if you need some inspo. Now more than ever, being conscious of moving your body is vital not only for maintaining physical wellbeing but also allowing those endorphins to positively impact your mental health too.
WORK + CAREER
When it comes to your overall health and wellbeing, ensuring you are working in a job that you love or at least working your way up the ladder to eventually be able to do so is incredibly important. Whilst it’s not always possible to secure your dream job in an instant, there are always loads of little things you can be doing each and every day that will bring you one step closer to reaching your goals. Here are a few of our favourites:
Set yourself realistic goals: Give yourself a timeline and get goal-setting! Read our article on how to do so here.
Make connections: The best piece of career advice anyone could ever give, getting acquainted with people working in the field or similar fields you wish to work your way into is crucial.
Secure yourself a mentor or idol: If you’re super passionate about what it is you want to do, chances are you already have a mentor or somebody you look up to within your chosen industry. If not, start researching and building up a list of individuals who have successfully achieved what you dream of achieving. Get curious as to how they did it and what obstacles they faced in getting to where they are today. If you’re unable to connect with them personally, if they’re a leader in their field there’ll be loads of info out there on them for you to be inspired by.
LOVE + RELATIONSHIPS
When it comes to relationships, a sense of self-love is absolutely necessary for a relationship to be sustainable. If self-love is lacking, it’s all too easy to try and fill the emptiness with relationships that aren’t right, or that cause you more harm than good. It really is true what they say, that it’s almost impossible to love another fully or receive the love you deserve without first loving yourself. If you’re in a relationship that makes you question your self-worth, intelligence, the way you look etc, it’s time to move on. You deserve to be celebrated and loved for who you are, right in this moment. Do not settle for anything less!
REST + LEISURE
It can be all too easy to get carried away with the never-ending hustle of modern-day living, but when it comes to living well, adequate rest and leisure time is absolutely essential. Whilst we know it’s not always easy, try to schedule in even just a few minutes of downtime throughout your day to do something you love or something you find relaxing and restorative. Here are a few of our favourite ways to relax:
– Read your favourite magazine or book with a cup of herbal tea
– Soak in a bath with candles and essential oils (learn how to pimp your bath here)
– Book in a yoga class or enjoy a few minutes of home practice
– Write in a journal or personal blog
So there you have it, our 4 pillars of self-love. If anything good comes out of these strange times, let it be more love, not only for the people around you, near and far, but also for yourself.