Self-love, as known as self-care, can take on many forms. Read below to learn why it may be the greatest love of all. Plus, hear from some of the RISE Barre & Fitness Instructors how they show themselves some love, in ways big and small.
But first, let’s clear a few things up. Self-love is not selfish; it is essential. It also need not be glamorous or what may typically be thought of as indulgent. It doesn’t need to be expensive, and even when it may seem expensive, the cost may be worth its weight in gold. Self-love can be practiced in a variety of ways and doesn’t require big blocks of time set aside. It’s not optional. Simply put, if you do not love yourself, you can’t fully love others.
What is self-love? Psychology Today defines self-love as a state of appreciation for oneself that grows through actions that support your physical, psychological and spiritual growth. The key part of self-love is the action or actions that you take to support your well-being. Take a minute now to note the different ways that you currently invest in yourself, particularly as it relates to your body, mind and soul. You may be practicing self-love regularly without even consciously intending to.
Self-love can be done in many ways and what fuels one woman may not fuel another. What women experience though, when they are engaged in self-love, is generally similar regardless of how they practice it. We appreciate ourselves more, for what we do and who we are. We are more compassionate with ourselves and we give ourselves permission to fail. We are better equipped to handle life’s everyday challenges and we are more apt to celebrate life’s successes, big and small. We become less of our biggest critic and more of our loudest cheerleader. All of this allows us to be more, do more, and love more, for ourselves and for others.
Julie Savage, one of our instructors, turns to field hockey as a means to reduce stress and invest in herself. She plays in an adult league on Saturday mornings and finds that while she may not have the fast feet she did when she was younger, she is energized by the required hand-eye coordination, required body control and the team unity. This once a week activity allows her inner athlete to play on, even years after having fallen out of touch with the game.
Corey Beardsley, another one of our instructors, who has her hands full with three young boys, turns to the outdoors to rejuvenate. Whether by going on a hike or simply taking a walk, she is able to reconnect with nature and breathe in fresh air, while putting aside everything else even if just for a few minutes.
After experiencing a painful and disruptive injury late last year that may have been partially stress induced, Jeannine Garrick, instructor and also co-owner of RISE, uses chiropractic care and massage to treat her injury and take care of herself. While she initially felt like she would be better off using the time to get things done, she now realizes that investing the time to care for herself is just as important and maybe more important than tackling her to-do list.
How can you practice self-love? First, figure out what feeds you. Physically, what activities best support your physical body? When do you feel your best mentally? What actions or activities allow you to feel fully present, mind, body and spirit? When do you or have you felt your best? You may just need to keep doing what your doing, or do more of it. You may even need to go back to doing things that you have done in the past that you have gotten away from. Sometimes, it’s the smallest tweaks or actions that can drive the biggest changes. Small moves, big changes! Sound familiar?!