Sis, when is the last time you loved on yourself? I mean REALLY loved on yourself? I don't mean this in the erotic sense. I'm talking about looking inward to consider your spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional needs, then caring for yourself accordingly. When is the last time you took the necessary steps to show yourself some love in this way? Don't feel bad if it's been a long time for you. It happens to the best of us, love.
See as entrepreneurs, we often place ourselves on the bottom of our to-do lists. We may have full-time jobs, are enrolled in school full-time, and/or have families as well as other obligations and responsibilities. This means we are sacrificing to pour every minute of our spare time into starting our businesses and building our brands. We stay up late burning the midnight oil, breathing life into visions many around us may not yet understand. So not only are we overworked, overwhelmed, and in dire need of a good night's rest, we often feel like we're all alone out here, without a help or support in sight. And while we like to think that the strength of our vision or dream may sustain us, it won't. Because if this strong vision isn’t coupled with a strong sense of self-love, any distraction or negative experience could end up damaging our entrepreneurial efforts.
I know this to be true because I’ve sabotaged myself in this way a few times. Some nights I’d envision an idea so vivid, I’d have to jump out of bed immediately to flesh out the details in my journal on the nightstand. I would map out every detail of said vision to a “T” and feel damn proud of myself for doing so. But the moment I’d tell friends and family about it and they didn't share the same enthusiasm as me, self-doubt would creep in on the scene. Wondering if my idea was ever good enough to begin with would turn into wondering if I was good enough. Questioning my self-worth would become a downward spiral that made me want to give up creating altogether. Not only that, I would neglect taking care of myself, doing the things I enjoyed, or surrounding myself with positive, inspiring people. And that, ladies, will make you bitter, distant, and resentful. It will block your blessings by making you guarded from the support, opportunities, and whatever abundance may be out there waiting for you. But once I learned how loving myself directly affected everything I did in life, I slowly began to see things differently. When I failed to practice self-love consistently, I gave room for negativity to take root and stick around. And I wanted no more of that. I wanted to thrive. I wanted my creativity to thrive. I had to make a change and love on myself a little more.
Here are three ways to love on yourself a little more:
1. Know yourself, know your worth. This means more to me than a Drake lyric, y'all. This is a way of life! Getting to know ourselves begins with getting in touch with the essence of who we are. Then we must own it by accepting ourselves, making peace with all of our quirks and expressing them boldly with no apology. The other side of this coin is then knowing what you want out of life and what you won’t allow to take place in your life. When you know these things you won't settle for less. You will say no to things that don’t serve you without guilt. And most importantly, you will put yourself first. Once you’ve given yourself the best care, you will be able to do the for your loved ones as well. Because we all know you can't pour from an empty cup, sis. Been there, done that, and have the bags under my eyes to prove it.
2. Walk in your truth and share it with others. While it’s a blessing to be able to share when things are good with you or your business, it’s okay to share the bad and the ugly from time to time. Don't be afraid to be transparent. This is what makes us human and allows others to relate to us. If you're feeling lonely or having a hard time, reach out to someone you trust. If you have a lot on your plate and can’t seem to get it all done, ask somebody to help you, girl. Just as we want our tribe to celebrate with us as we win, we want them to help us get to the finish line, too. No one (who really cares about you) will think less of you if they find out you are not Superwoman.
3. Have a self-care plan in place. Let's face it: when you're down and out or too tired to be bothered, the last thing you want to think about is creating a self-care plan. This I know. That's why I surround myself with things + people that lift my spirits and remind me to take care of myself. Working crazy late hours and need to relax your body? Keep some bubble bars and bath + body treats by the tub. Nerves on edge? Stock your cabinets with chamomile tea (or chardonnay, whatever your preference). Load your phone or tablet with playlists that uplift, inspire, and encourage you. Schedule a weekly or monthly lunch date or girl’s night in with a close friend so that you are both are able to “check-in” with each other. Do these things ahead of time so that you have your own personal "in case of emergency" stash for those days you need to break the glass. To be most effective, break that glass at least once a week!
Though this process does take a little time, I promise you it is worth it. And quite honestly, it’s not a “one and done” deal, either. Self-love is something that we all have to work on every day in order to show up and be the best version of ourselves to everyone we interact with. So remember to put yourself on the top of your to-do list, sis. You deserve it.
photo credit: @createherstock
Written by: The Self Care Pretty Aka Drea
Drea Day is a North Carolina beauty + lifestyle blogger over at www.soshewritesbymissdre.com who rambles endlessly about her love for lipsticks, good books, and 90’s R&B. She also sells tees and things for beautiful dreamers and creatives over at bit.ly/inabeautifulworld