In the lead up to The Kickback when we’ll talking about Self-Love, Mhairi shares her experience and thoughts on the topic.
“In fact, stare at yourself in a mirror daily. Each time compliment on something. Maybe today you like your hair or you don’t enjoy the shape of your lips, but that’s ok because tomorrow you’ll be delighted at how cute your smile is even though your hair might be a mess.”
I sometimes think that people feel that in order to be a part of or believe in self-love, you need to love all of yourself and have this flawless, perfect, completely worked out version of yourself in order to feel successful at self-love. To me, that is entirely not what it is about at all.
Self-love is this relatively new idea that we have seen trending on social media and portrayed in so many different ways. To me, it is something that is so, so important, but is also difficult not to cross over the line into vanity or self-indulgence into nasty habits. I would say that I am definitely a practiser of self-love, despite the fact that sometimes I do not always love myself.
I think that when you struggle with issues of depression and anxiety, it sometimes becomes necessary to find healthy ways to appreciate yourself – perhaps affirmations or compliments in the mirror, or maybe a bubble bath, or making yourself your favourite meal. Sometimes these things do make us feel much better, but they in themselves are quite scary, isolating acts, because suddenly all the focus is on you and often you are the one that you are trying to get away from.
However, it is important to realise that your depression or mental health struggles are not all of you. They may be a part of you and for some people a very large part, but you can still find those parts of you that make you feel good, rather than depressed. I think that living with depression is such an incredible thing, so it’s important to find this healthy balance of not just over indulging your negativity by feeding it with laziness or sad songs and calling it self-love or thinking that if you’re constantly showing the world how amazing or beautiful you are it will be enough.
Really it is the raw, honest, modest versions of ourselves that make us beautiful. That being said, we do need to take care of ourselves in order to come out happy. For most people, happiness is our ultimate goal. We need to find the balance between all of it…self-love, self-respect, self-care, and realise that all these things are so fundamental to our growth and progression, but growth isn’t a straight path. There are times when we will fail and it will be hard and times where it is simple.
So I leave you with this quote to think about how you take care of yourself most importantly of all and make sure that you are doing what is necessary in order to love yourself:
“Self care isn’t always pretty. It’s not always candles and a bathtub full of roses, sometimes it’s forcing yourself to get out of bed and dragging yourself, sometimes it’s the pep talk you give yourself or the quick cry in the corner. Sometimes it is convincing yourself to do all these things you should be doing but have no will whatsoever, sometimes it’s cutting ties no matter how precious they were, sometimes it’s the bitter medicine you need to give yourself. Self care isn’t always pretty but it’s so worth it.”
P.S. I’m still trying to get that balance as well.
Join the conversation on the 19th February at Project B from 6.30-8.30pm, and stay updated on what Mhairi’s getting up to by following her on Instagram: @mhairishona