A few weeks ago I dashed off a post about self-love in about twenty minutes. My self-care practices aren’t particularly picturesque or luxurious and I imagined that disclosing this fact would come off as a bit … negative.
I didn’t think many people would relate to my less-than-Pinterest-worthy self-care practices of leaving parties early and avoiding amusement parks.
5 practical self-love acts that don’t include a mantra or bubble baths
1. Cull bad people from your life
It doesn’t sound particularly loving or good-natured to tell you that you should delete your former roommate’s number or only see That One Girl in 20-minute intervals.
But I bet you knew E-X-A-C-T-L-Y who I was talking about when you read that heading: the friend who’s overly concerned about everyone’s weight and income, the friend who complains constantly but never makes any steps towards changing anything, the friend who always needs a ride/an extra $20/a shoulder to cry on … but never, ever returns the favor.
You get to choose who you let into your life and we’re the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Show yourself some love by choosing carefully.
2. Do things you love – even if other people don’t quite get it
A lot of my friends love punk shows in dirty dive bars or metal shows in which the lead singer yells obscenities. I take twerk out classes and several of my friends show self-love by removing their clothing for crowds as burlesque dancers.
Another friend is a super-successful roller girl and loves nothing more than bruising her way around the rink.
A few of my friends have (very fulfilling to them) non-traditional sex lives. If something makes you feel happy, fulfilled, joyful – and you’re not hurting anyone – you owe it to yourself to pursue it.
Maybe your mom doesn’t understand why The Triple Rock is your version of church, but she’s not the one living your life, is she?
3. Know your limits and respect them
As previously mentioned, I usually top out after three hours of social interaction. I don’t like anything that involves crowds, lines, fried food, or other people’s poorly behaved children. I need eight hours of sleep, my alcohol tolerance is laughable, and I don’t know how to smoke things.
I spent years trying to buck these deeply uncool traits before I realized that’s this is just who I am and no matter how many times I try to like Grand Old Days or body shots it’s just not going to happen. We’ve all got social, physical, psychological, emotional limits and (usually) they don’t offer us much wiggle room. A big part of self-care is making peace with your limits + loving yourself enough to honor them. Click To Tweet
4. Learn to say no
But we’ll all encounter bad ideas dressed up as temptation:
a) a very good looking and untrustworthy human who wants to sleep with you (and lots of other people) when you’re in the market for a serious relationship
b) a super fun house party the night before your career-making presentation
c) an amazing pair of boots that are on sale – but still cost as much as your rent – and you’re incredibly broke
5. Establish boundaries
Again (and it bears saying it twice in one post) you get to choose who you allow into your life and how you interact with them. You don’t have to disown a friend who waxes non-awesome when she’s drunk, you can just say to yourself “You’ve shown me the type of person you are and I will adjust my expectations and behavior accordingly.“
Are there any not-particularly-positive-sounding ways that you take care of yourself? Share them in the comments – I’m sure we’d all benefit!
P.S. Practicing self-love is a habit. You can develop it! This will help – and it’s free!