Friday, August 18, 2017

As You Would a Friend (4 Ways to Really Practice Self-Love)

These past few weeks have been beautiful. You might not think working 15+ hour days is really beautiful (lol) but it was during these draining and extended work days/night that I really begun learning the value and meaning of self-love. I've learned that it's crucial for me to love and cherish myself the same way I would for close/favorite friend of mine.

Yesterday I decided to start loving myself. I had a reflective moment where I had to stop and ask myself how much I loved me. Like really and truly loved me. I proceeded with styling my hair  and dressing up for work me (honest hour: I don't usually wear my best outfits to work because I'm always in a hurry to get there). It occurred to me that I should treat myself as I would a friend who I absolutely adored (and I have a small handful of people like that in my life). If I love you, I'd give you the best of my best, I'd adorn you in fine clothes, I'd think the best of you and declare blessings over your life, and only prepare the very best for you. I have to admit that I've failed in this department lately. I've not been good at giving myself the very best.

Here are some ways I've begun to challenge myself to self-love:
  • Support myself: Like really be my own cheerleader and rejoice for every victory (especially on this journey of producing #BYBLondon) the same way I'd cheer for and support my close friends on their endeavors. I'm learning that you can't always wait for others to recognize your progress, or give you kudos, share your work on social media, or clap for you. Sometimes self-love is about giving yourself a standing ovation.
  • Speak life over myself: When I was passing through a season of self-doubt, my aunt sat me down and asked me what I'd tell a friend who was thinking and feeling as I did. The advice and words of encouragement I had for this friend were gold. So how much more myself? The words I think and say to myself should be just as pure and powerful, if not more.
  • Dress for myself: Loving yourself also entails being the best version of you and carrying yourself like the daughter of the Most High that you are. I've come to realize I feel my best, when I look my best. To this end, this week I've challenged myself to dress my very best wherever I go. (Honesty hour - I'm not always camera ready lol. Sometimes I have horrible outfit days (just because I didn't care enough to dress my best) and dread the thought of seeing someone I know in a grocery store..Is this true for anyone else? Lol).
  • Treat myself: How often do we buy small gifts of appreciation for people we love? I've learned it's just as important to gift myself with sweet things that bring me joy. I've been more intentional about buying myself flowers, cute bedroom decor (as of lately), eating right, treating myself to manis and pedis, and gifting myself with expensive (within reason) things every so often.
What are some ways you practice (real) self-love? Or how do you show your loved ones that you really and truly cherish them? If you can only answer the latter, maybe it's time you begin doing these things for you! xo

What I'm Wearing:

White Button Up Blouse - Zara

Cropped Denim - Topshop

Black Lace Up Oxfords - Nine West

Photography by: Sylvia Chuku


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