Truly loving yourself is more about actions and less about feelings or a nice idea. This is how I discovered how to love myself.
While on a self-improvement journey I attended a 6-week virtual course. There were weekly classes, goal setting, journal prompts, and the coaches regularly sent texts to keep us accountable.
The goals I set in that 6 weeks morphed into a daily ritual which I call “me time”. At the end of the 6 weeks, I realized that not only had I achieved the goals I set for myself; I also learned the actions required to love myself for real.
Me time starts when the alarm goes off to wake up. I feed my cat, drink a full glass of water, and get my walking shoes on. I walk 1 to 2 miles in my neighborhood. While walking I notice the birds, the trees, the cacti, and the flowers. I appreciate the beautiful sunrise and every other beautiful and natural thing around me.
I come home, make coffee, and start a 7-minute intense workout through an app on my phone. After the workout, I get some more water and a cup of coffee and begin a meditation. I search on youtube for something around 5 to 20 minutes, sit on the floor with my coffee and my cat, and close my eyes. I meditate.
Once the meditation is over I go to the bathroom mirror to do the “mirror exercises” which are the key to making all of this happen. I look into my own eyes and say “I love you” and “what do you need from me today?” I answer myself honestly. I say at least 1 affirmation; I have multiple written down and will say them until they are engrained in my brain.
The dreaded mirror excises started out with me feeling silly, embarrassed and worried I would be over-heard. I had a hard time looking myself in the eye. I had an even harder time trying to take myself seriously and not be sarcastic or make light of it. Each and every day I get a little more comfortable, a little more serious, I answer myself with more honesty, and I really am starting to feel the love for myself.
The last part of me-time is spent journaling. I will write what I am stressed about as well as what I am grateful for. I write about what I did the night before or what I will do that day. I write my hopes, my fears, and my dreams. I track my short and long term goals.
At first, all of this was just a list of goals and habits I wanted to implement in the 6-week program. Now it has become a lifetime habit for me and changed me forever. I finally understand what it means to love myself and to care for myself. I can put my mental well-being first so I am complete mind, body, and spirit.