Selfish? Or Self-love?
February, the month to celebrate love… We all know this, it’s practically crammed down our throats through ads and commercials. Rather than romantic, pair bonding, relationship-y type of love, I’ve decided to talk about another form that can bring us happiness, joy, excitement, and comfort.
Self What Now?
The role of self-love in mental health was first described by William Sweetser (1797–1875) as the maintenance of "mental hygiene". His analysis, demonstrated in his essay "Temperance Society" published August 26, 1830, claimed that regular maintenance of mental hygiene created a positive impact on the well-being of individuals and the community as well.
I encourage you, the reader, to take some time to celebrate the love you feel for yourself. Some of you will be in a position where you have to dig deep. It may not be something that is considered on a regular basis, or maybe things aren’t going great and it’s hard to find at the moment. Consider the ways that YOU have been there for YOU. The times when you haven’t let yourself down and were the only one you could count on to be successful or make it through a challenge of some sort. Times when you gave yourself a break and allowed moments to relax or recharge, lessening the burden for a while. When you gave yourself tokens of love, maybe a wardrobe accessory, delicious treat, a nice dinner… or in my case, a new tool. Either way, it’s something of value to you. How do you show yourself love? Take a moment to think about that. Then do it!
These concepts are basic and every one of us can exercise this muscle… but often don’t. We as therapists or psychotherapists in Kingston, Ontario, consider one’s sense of self, self-esteem or even old school self-actualization as starting points of therapy. We tease out how one truly feels and thinks of themselves and attempt to help build on strengths in that area to foster… you got it! Self-love.
Try this… think of a time when you looked to someone else to bring happiness to you, perhaps a hug, a kind gesture or a token of appreciation. Now, what have you done for yourself that compares to these? The more you practice this concept, the better you will become at it. The love you feel for yourself can grow if you take the time to nurture it.
Am I Not Being Selfish Though?
One other noteworthy point to mention here, as it tends to carry a negative connotation is selfishness. I’m going to say that this is perfectly acceptable and useful in small doses. Go ahead and be selfish once in a while! It doesn’t mean that you are a selfish person, it means that you are the expert in knowing your needs and fulfilling them. YOU can take care of yourself and have expectations. Just be honest and fair about what you expect of yourself and others. When attending therapy sessions with Hammond Psychotherapy you will learn more about how to take care of YOURself and better your life.
Now that I’ve fully explained my take on the subject. How the heck do you do it? Start small, with powers that you already possess.
Be kind to yourself, say nice things to yourself. Speak to your power with words and phrases like “Good job”, “I look good today”, “I nailed that challenge” or consider some qualities that you are proud of such as “I’m a good friend”, “ I am considerate of others”, or “I am an honest person”
Treat yourself. Take a break to recharge your batteries, buy yourself something, take a bath, do something relaxing.
Do this on a regular basis. I generally suggest to my clients to take time at the end of the day to reflect on how you’ve treated yourself, the strengths that were used today, count your successes and goals that were met.
In conclusion, dear reader, consider the points I have made here. Take what you can from it and put it to use. I hope you find something that speaks to your being and helps shape a better day.
Be authentic to yourself, live with intention and love from the heart. Take care of yourselves and each other!
It’s your world. You got this.
If you are curious about counselling services in Kingston, Ontario or psychotherapy services in Eastern Ontario please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We provide therapy services in Kingston, Ontario and area. Especially, if you are needing help with self-love let one of us at Hammond Psychotherapy services in Kingston, Ontario assist you.