“Finding joy in something you do for yourself is the absolute baseline of self-care.” -Pinky Shabarekh, Yoga in Our City Instructor
At MHC, we know that everyone is facing something. We also know that when we practice self-care, we can strengthen our resilience and our ability to deal with life’s challenges. For Mental Health Awareness Month 2023, we are partnering with Yoga in Our City and taking the time to give back to ourselves. Join us each Sunday in May for #SelfCareSunday! Today we’re sharing about radical self-love as a tool for self-care.
Incorporating radical self-love into your self-care habits is an ongoing process that involves unlearning toxic beliefs about inferiority and replacing them with self-acceptance and compassion. It involves accepting yourself, caring for yourself, and knowing you are more than enough, and inherently worthy of love, respect, and compassion.
Why radical? Loving yourself is a radical act in a society that often tells us in many ways that we aren’t good enough, or that we need to do/have XYZ to be worthy of feeling good about ourselves. Once you begin practicing radical self-love, you will slowly notice your perspective and attitude can change.
When we allow ourselves to give us the care we deserve, we often start to feel better about ourselves. It also enables us to engage in radically loving others, in leading our lives with compassion, empathy, and mutual care and respect. So, how do you turn radical self-love into action?
If you want to try incorporating radical self-love into your self-care practice, consider trying one of the below:
- Be your own best friend: This means practicing forgiveness, kindness, and grace. Be your own cheerleader and pay attention to your mood and needs. Find ways to spend time with yourself the way you would with a friend. Write yourself a love letter: Write a note to yourself as if you’re writing a letter to a long-distance best friend.
- Write down and recite affirmations: Write down a list of affirmations that resonate with you and put them somewhere where you will see them every day, such as above your desk, or on a mirror. Try to pick a time and commit to reciting them.
- Question your negative self-beliefs when they arise: If you find yourself thinking negatively about yourself, whether it’s about the type of treatment you deserve or criticism about your body or something else, try to challenge these thoughts, where they came from. Oftentimes these are not our own organic thoughts, but ideas created by stigma from society. Consider why you’re thinking about them, so you can then replace them with more loving and generous thoughts.
- Do things that bring you joy: Making a list of feel-good activities can help you think of things to turn to when you’re feeling down. Plan to do at least one special thing a day for yourself.
- Practice gratitude: Creating a gratitude practice can help you to keep things in perspective and to acknowledge all of the wonderful things in your life. You can try writing down three things you’re grateful for when you wake up in the morning or at night.
As you try to incorporate radical self-love into your self-care practice, remember that it’s going to look different for everyone, “Self-care is not a one-size-fits-all matter. What might work for one may be impossible for incorporation for another. There is definitely some tailoring involved to truly fit one’s needs. I find that trial and error is the best way for me to discover which self-care practices actually works for me.” – Yoga in Our City instructor Pinky Shabarekh.
You can practice your self-care with Yoga In Our City all summer long, and on May 21st Yoga in Our City will be back in parks near you! Join the kickoff event and visit yogainourcity.com to learn more and find free classes near you!
This year, MHC invited Connecticut residents to demonstrate their self-love through our #LetsFaceIt campaign. Gifts from the campaign help to support the launch of The Art of Wellbeing, an arts and wellness program at the Hispanic Health Council’s (HHC) Family Wellness and Cultural Heritage Center in downtown Hartford. A donation to the #LetsFaceIt campaign is an investment in the safe and welcoming environments for those we serve and it’s an investment in our future.
Stay in touch with us on social media @mentalhealthct and keep up with our blog posts so you don’t miss a #SelfCareSunday in May!