Love Yourself First

It is the mid-February so you know what that means...we are half-way through the second month of the year! Oh, wait.. I think there is some type of holiday in February. Groundhogs day! No, that was the second. (And didn't turn out so well for those wanting an early spring.) President's Day I think is what everyone thinks of when it comes to February holidays! Okay, okay so Valentine's Day is the big deal and it would probably be odd if I didn't blog something love-related this week. Valentine's Day can be about spending time with and spending money on loved ones.  But this year, I want to challenge our JoJos to also take some time and energy to focus on self-love. 

After searching through "self-love" pins on Pinterest, I found this one ^^^ that is absolutely perfect in describing the main point I want to get across.  Loving yourself is such an important aspect in life that will inevitably promote love outside of yourself.  Once you are happy with the person that you are, you can love others and accept love from others.  It's one thing to say that you love and respect yourself, but it is another thing to truly feel it.  This seems like an easy concept to understand and put into action, but it can be very difficult. Especially now-a-days when everyone is so quick to say negative things about themselves. I've come up with a list of solutions to target this self-hate problem we all seem to be experiencing. 

1. Make Time for Healthy Habits
You only have one body so take care of it! Eat healthy and clean. The food you put into your body is fueling you, so if you eat garbage you will feel like garbage.  Focus on the overall balance of your diet.  This varies, but the average person should have a balance somewhere around 55% carbs, 30% fat, and 15% protein. I'm also referring to exercise as a healthy habit.  The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity 5 times a week and strength-training 2 or more days a week.  So lay out your favorite Dona Jo outfit, set your alarm, and make that time to show your body you appreciate it!

2. Compliment Yourself
When you focus on what you like about yourself, you enter the positive zone.  In the positive zone, all of the negativities fall away and you stop wasting time putting yourself down.  I'm sure we are all guilty of disliking something or multiple things about ourselves.  But I know there is something beautiful about each and every person.  Whether it is a physical feature, or a personality trait, there are great things that you possess. I have a journal that I write all kinds of thoughts in, but I keep a space for the things I like about myself.  When you realize what you like about yourself, it makes many aspects of life easier.  When you know what parts of your body you favor, you can dress yourself accordingly. When you find your skills and talents, you can maximize them at your job or in your personal hobbies.  So write down or tell yourself three things that you like about you everyday.

3. Get Dolled Up/Pamper Yourself
Do you like your eyes? Take time to curl those lashes and put mascara on. Does a fresh nail color make you feel happy? Pamper yourself with a manicure. Love the legs you've been working to tone? Find a fun printed legging to show them off! Taking the time to do little things to spoil yourself will put you in a good mood and boost your confidence.  I'm not saying blow all of your money on a new wardrobe every month and a mani/pedi/full-body massage every week! Small-scale expenses can be done often, and save bigger expenses for special occasions.  When you do them less often, it makes them more special anyway. 

4. Forgive Yourself/Accept Your "Flaws"
To be human is to be imperfect.  You are not going to look like anyone else. You are not going to possess the exact same personality as someone else. You are not going to get everything right the first time.  It is so important to be able to forgive yourself because you are going to make mistakes.  If you dwell on them, you will not progress.  If there's something that you can't seem to get off of your mind, write it down.  Often, when I have a daunting negative thought, I will write it in my journal and once it is written, it is like it has been released from cycling back through my mind. [From the Hear Me Roar event this past week, Food Mood Girl, Lindsey Smith's husband performed two songs.. Lyrics that stuck out to me were: "Forgive yourself, you don't have to be anyone else."

5. Trust & Believe in You
The self-confidence that you gain from self-love is beneficial in so many ways.  When you know what you like and what you don't like--and won't be easily persuaded by others opinions--then you can stand up for yourself and truly voice your unique point of view.  Some of the most creative artists are told that their work doesn't reach a certain standard.  But when you are truly passionate about something, you set the standards for yourself. Go with your gut on big decisions, and don't sweat the small ones.

6. Follow Your Passions Persistently
Once you realize what it is that you like, keep doing more of it.  Things that we are passionate about often make us happy. You will find success in a career that involves working with something that you find enjoyable.  You will have a great workout if you choose exercises that you think are fun.  You will maintain exceptional relationships with people that you enjoy being around. 

7. Have Fun!
It is definitely important to take time to do extracurricular-type activities that you have fun participating in. This can be a day-to-day thing:  throw on your favorite song and dance while you are getting ready in the morning. It can also be a weekly, monthly, or yearly planned thing that you have to look forward to (like a weekly yoga class, or yearly vacation to the beach).  Just be sure to incorporate fun into your life!

8. Find Beauty in Everyone/Everything
When you pick apart the negative things that you don't like about yourself, you don't feel good. The same goes for when you put down others.  Even if you are not verbally telling someone that what they look like or do bothers you, having those thoughts in your mind will eventually manifest into negative behavior towards that person.  Putting other people down doesn't boost you up any higher (it actually brings you down even more.)  If someone is doing something that truly bothers you, bring it to their attention.  But if you find that the issue is your own, try thinking positive things about that person.  It is amazing how quickly your attitude can change when you do this and how much better you will treat people.  This positivity will spread, and the other person will in turn treat you in a pleasant manner.
Think about if/when you have had a roommate that is not as clean/organized as yourself. When you encounter them and have the thoughts "s/he is so filthy, always leaving clothes out and never cleaning dishes" in your head, you will interact negatively towards him/her.  But if instead you see them and think "I'm so grateful s/he was willing to rearrange his/her day to let me back into our place when I locked myself out" you will approach him/her in a happier mood.

9. Practice Random Acts of Kindness
Like I said, positivity will spread.  When you have the opportunity to help someone, take it! It's true, some people may not return the favor outright.  But when you go out of your way to help someone, s/he will remember how you made him/her feel.  Even if s/he don't repay you in action, s/he may mention to someone else how you were willing to go the extra mile for him/her. Your actions will ultimately determine how people feel about you. But beyond that, you will get that unexplainable warm feeling from helping others that will ultimately help you in loving yourself more.


Which self-love points are you going to practice? Comment below and let me know! 


Posted on February 12, 2014 By Brandi

Wow, what a great read!! All of these are great reminders and people tend to often forget but I personally need to be reminded of #5 Trust and Believe in You Thank you for sharing Maggie :) always a pleasure reading your blog posts!

Posted on February 12, 2014 By Wendy
- DJ headbands – I want some:)
Posted on February 12, 2014 By Laurie

Really enjoyed your comments about self-love. Just taking a few minutes to do some self-reflection refilled my cup. Much needed on a cold wet Thursday. Keep it up please!

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