Self Love vs Self Indulgence

In the last post I wrote about 15 Things to show yourself self-love in quarantine. Today we’re going to talk a little bit more about what that means. Many people thing self love is selfish – however what you’re thinking about then is self-indulgence. Self love is like eating a slice of your favorite pie…self-indulgence is like eating the WHOLE pie. Like everything in life the key is moderation. I know I know I know! Moderation is so easy to preach about and yet so difficult to actually follow through. 

My mind immediately goes to John Mulaney’s “Happy Birthday” bit from his Netflix special The Comeback Kid. You can watch/listen to it below (it’s only 1:22 min).

Self-Love

Here’s what the world wide web (according to google) defines self love as: noun. regard for one’s own well-being and happiness. Let’s dissect that a little. Regard for one’s own well being and Happiness. What does that mean to you? Does it mean not sacrificing your needs over someone else’s? Does it mean saying no to going out with your girls because you really need your rest? Is it taking a bubble bath when you’ve had a long day? Or treating yourself to a little chocolate when you’re feeling a lil blue and need a pick me up? It’s all of those things and so. Much. More. It’s building your self-esteem. Your confidence. Your security in your abilities.

In today’s world many of us suffer from something called “imposter’s syndrome”. This is a psychological pattern, in which one doubts their accomplishments. This can further exapand itself to a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Which then leads to anxiety. Oh how we all have anxiety.

This is where the self love comes in and how we can use it to better ourselves and our state of living. Here’s some quick and simple ways to start incorporating self love in your life today:

  • Stop saying yes when you really mean no. This one’s the hardest to do but the most important. So often we agree to things we don’t want to do out of fear of dissapointing those we care about or those that may be “holding” something over us (ie your boss or coworker).
  • Keep promises to yourself. Start out small – it’s easier to keep up with it and turn it into a habit. When you say you’re going to do something for yourself follow through! This can be as small as “I’ll stretch in the morning in order to help me wake up”.
  • Don’t neglect your self care. This just means to remember to give your body and mind what it needs. Feed yourself food that will make you feel good. I’m not saying don’t eat junk food – just remember that our bodies are highly affected by what we put into them. Fruits and veggies are an amazing and tasteful way to get those vitamins in while still being able to snack! My personal favorite is bell peppers with cream cheese…yum! Rest when your body asks for it – did you know people with sleep deprivation have worse reflexes and cognitive abilities than a drunk person? (Check it out here if you want to read more on the topic).
  • Put yourself first. Listen, this one is self explanatory…but if you really need me to explain it to you think back to how when you’re flying and the flight attendant tells you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before the child. Same theory.

Self-Indulgence

Self-indulgence is the act of allowing oneself to enjoy the pleasure of something desired. This is a slippery road to hedonism. Not that there’s anything wrong with hedonism, simply as long as you are not harming or infringing on other people’s rights while pursuing this life of pleasure, and only pleasure.

See the problem with this is that not everything is going to always be good. There can’t be dark without light or ying without yang. Same goes for suffering and pleasure. Realistically speaking you can not be happy 24/7, 365.

While self indulgence may feel like self love, or self care, it is usually an avoidance mechanism of dealing with your feelings. Things like going shopping, drinking with friends, taking a nap, or giving yourself a pedicure are really all wonderful way to take care of yourself and cut yourself some slack. However they are also ways of us avoiding our feelings and dealing with our lives because they are surface level solutions to problems that may run deeper.

So What’s the Difference?

Self indulgence is not bad. It can help you start taking the steps towards self love. It’s just important to know the difference. Remember my pie analogy at the begining? Too much of a good thing will make you sick. Superficially taking care of yourself will make you sick (and emotionally exhausted). The point is moderation is key. A little bit of this a little bit of that. The key is to try and live as balanced of a life as you can.

x Mica

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