The Art of Self-Love, a short story by proFmagazine contributor, Carey.

"Forgiving Roy was the easy part. But understanding that his black life mattered, even when he didn’t know it, was an important lesson for me..."

Self-love can take many forms, whether it’s moving on with your life, being secure in your own skin, or just blowing off steam on a Saturday night. The songs in this admittedly eclectic playlist all relate in some way to the idea of taking time out to care for yourself, and to love yourself. As John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats sings, “Some things you'll do for money / Some you'll do for fun / But the things you do for love are gonna come back to you / One by one.”

This is best listened to while doing something YOU want to be doing – phone turned off, laptop closed.

Top 10 Ways to Show Yourself
Some Love

Clearly, self-care is a hot topic – a quick Google search returns more than 18 million hits! We at proFmagazine couldn’t resist hopping on the self-love bandwagon. Check out our top 10 tips for living a more self-caring and self-loving life.

  1. Get a move on! Physical activity and exercise is, of course, good for your metabolism and the release of serotonin, but is also good for your soul with the release of stress and tension.
  2. Set Boundaries. Developing the ability to say no when you are over-extended and to say yes to those things that matter the most to you is essential. Well-defined boundaries may not always be easy, but they are a must when it comes to caring for yourself.
  3. Laugh. Maintaining a sense of humor enhances not only your emotional and mental wellbeing, but boosts your immune system, increases your energy, and reduces the effects of stress. So don’t hold back on that belly laugh, just let it out and see how much better you feel!  
  4. Get some sleep. Much has been written about the significant negative impact of sleep deprivation. Our bodies, minds and souls need downtime – they require rest. So don’t deprive yourself. Turn off the lights and screens (and voices in your head) and get some rest!
  5. Eat well. This is a no-brainer, but proper nutrition affects every aspect of our bodies. But, don’t stress out about it! Research suggests that the more you stress about what you eat (or can’t eat), the more damage you do. Just set some reasonable goals when it comes to eating well and maintain a balance.
  6. Engage. Developing a social circle and set of friends you can turn to during difficult times and laugh with during fun times is key to self-care. Of course, if you don’t care for yourself you can hardly care for others, so be sure to recognize this very important symbiotic relationship.
  7. Get away from it all. Time away from work is critical for wellbeing. Whether you engage in hobbies or activities or travels, there should be something that gets you and your mind away from work. It’s a good thing to be well rounded!
  8. Think positively. The more you can enhance positive thoughts and feelings and reject a negative attitude, the more you will benefit physically, mentally and emotionally. That is not to say you can just wipe away negative or painful experiences with positive thinking, but an ability to work through negative thoughts – and not dwell on them – enhances your ability to learn, grow and care for yourself.
  9. Let go. There are few things as self-destructive as holding grudges. Forgiveness can be hard, but forgiving others – and yourself – is key for your personal wellbeing.
  10. Never stop learning. Keeping an open mind, asking questions, reflecting on experiences, and reading for pleasure are part and parcel to self-care. So maintain that curious spirit and recognize that there is always more to learn and know. You will be amazed by the personal growth.
Read Suzette's proFile on Kristen  Neff,  Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas-Austin and internationally recognized, pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion.