Health & Wellness / It Is All About You: Give Yourself Some Meaningful Self-Love The Mindful Way

It Is All About You: Give Yourself Some Meaningful Self-Love The Mindful Way

Health & Wellness Apr 17, 2019

Celebrating love shouldn’t just be reserved for Valentine’s Day. It’s important to remember the most important love we can give is year-round and to ourselves. Here are some mindful ways to really give yourself some meaningful self-love. Give yourself some meaningful self-love the mindful way. 

In the South Asian culture, there’s no shortage of messaging on the importance of loving and respecting elders, family and in-laws and putting their needs first. Sacrificial behavior is honoured and putting one’s own happiness first can be met with familial pressure and societal shame. We see this in all aspects of traditional South Asian culture from love and marriage (as depicted in countless Bollywood films) to career, home, fashion and even wedding planning choices.

Though we believe in honouring family and respect tradition, we have to recognize that continuing to push the cultural concept of sacrificing ourselves for the good of others may seem like an act of love in the present but it can lead to sadness, isolation and anxiety in the future which isn’t good for anyone.

So how do we find the fine balance of respecting and valuing others while also giving that same love (if not more) to ourselves?

 

Check out our tips on simple life-shifts that can cultivate more space for self-love:

Stop giving to others more than you give to yourself; you can’t give from an empty cup. Being generous is a great quality but to sustain helping others, you must ensure you’re not depleting yourself. For example, if a loved one is in financial difficulty, it’s good to help them but only if you truly can; getting yourself into debt to clear their payments will lead to stress and bill collectors of your own while deepening the family debt-cycle. Do what you can when you can and don’t feel guilty if you can’t; if you give so much you burn-out, you won’t be helpful to anyone.

Stop feeling shame for saying no: After you own you can’t give from an empty cup, set certain boundaries and stick to them; remember respect is a part of love and anyone who loves you should want you to behave in ways that demonstrate self-respect. Sometimes without meaning too, our loved ones can take advantage of us; we owe it to ourselves to not allow that to happen. Remember if you keep saying yes to things you don’t want to do, you can internalize resentment which can lead to a big blow-out or to distance within the relationship. It’s healthier for everyone for you to learn to outwardly express yourself in a polite, caring manner; saying “no” can be intimidating at first but trust that it will eventually lead to feelings of empowerment and better relationships with those who truly love you.

 

 

Give Yourself Some Meaningful Self-Love The Mindful Way
Give Yourself Some Meaningful Self-Love The Mindful Way: Say no with love and you’re loved ones shouldn’t mind.  Photo Credit: https://www.providesupport.com

 

Stop feeling guilty for taking time for yourself: In an ideal world, we could take a blissful one-two hours every day dedicated to nothing but self-care but we understand that we live in the real world and that picture perfect bubble bath might not be feasible every day. Life can be busy but the good news is, even taking just a few moments of alone time can strengthen the relationship we have with ourselves. How to begin? We know it can be intimidating to create space for a new activity so start by choosing something you’re already doing and turn it into an act of self-love. For example, next time you’re in the shower, make it a mindful practice by bringing your attention to how nice the water feels on your body, enjoy the sound of the water flowing, appreciate the smell of the soap and give thanks to your body for helping you accomplish what you need it to do.

 

Give Yourself Some Meaningful Self-Love The Mindful Way
Give Yourself Some Meaningful Self-Love The Mindful Way: Less expectations, more love. Who can forget the mom and her cultural expectations from Bend it Like BeckhamPhoto Credit: https://www.dopewope.com

 

Stop participating in shaming others: One way we can learn to be easier on ourselves is by being easier on each other; it’s time to let go of the South Asian cultural ideals of what a “perfect” person should be. Let’s stop competing and exchanging stories on who has the biggest home, best career and flashiest material things. When we truly love ourselves, we feel a deep sense of self-fulfillment allowing us to celebrate each other without feeling competitive. Next time you hear anyone being critical of someone else, don’t just refrain from participating in the gossip/shaming but put a gentle stop to the conversation by complimenting something the person does well or share a story of your own difficulties to level the playing field; we are all doing the best we can and what would help us love ourselves more is to show more love to others; stop playing the shame game.

 

Main Image Photo Credit: http://www.leoniesii.com 

Rachna Sethi

Rachna Sethi

Author

Rachna (@mindfullyyours)is a graduate of the Applied Mindfulness Meditation program from the University of Toronto, a certified Educator with two bachelor degrees and a diploma in Art Therapy. She's dedicated to living with a compassionate approach. Committed to helping people integrate Mindfulness...

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