If you think you don’t have time for self-love…
I suggest you think again.
I’ve spoken to an awful lot of women who are struggling with their body image and mental health, and one of the BIGGEST roadblocks to self-love that I see standing in women’s way, time and time again?
The ‘busy’ trap.
Actually, it’s less standing in women’s way and that women are shrouding themselves in this carefully constructed idea of busyness as a way to reject fear and growth.
“But I really am busy! I have a family and kids and a job and a husband and friends and a mortgage and spin class and cooking dinner….”
I get it, girl. Oh, do I get it.
I know exactly what you’re talking about because I’ve fallen into the same trap, too.
I say ‘trap’ because it is – sure, we all have responsibilities, jobs, families and hobbies to mitigate on top of any self-care or health work that we might do to benefit ourselves.
But, merely having stuff on your to do list isn’t what makes you ‘busy’… it’s how you prioritise what’s on your list.
And if you’re ‘too busy’ to even give self-love a chance to be on your to-do list, you don’t have much of a shot of actually trying it.
The way I see it, ‘busy’ is a state of mind.
It’s a state where we’re starting to feel overwhelmed and instead of doing some introspection, assessing our priorities and finding a solution that allows us to handle things more efficiently in a way that feels good to us…
We just shut down.
We refuse to take on anything else because we’re “too busy”; we keep doing exactly what was already on our to-do list and shut out anything else to avoid the possibility of sending ourselves into a complete tailspin.
It makes sense in the moment, right?
But here’s the thing, and get ready for it (this realisation seriously changed the way that I looked at self-love):
By not actively choosing to make self-love a priority, you’re choosing to make self-loathing a priority by proxy.
“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
— Elie Wiesel
That little voice in your head – your inner Negative Nancy – who picks at your body, pulls apart your flaws; who tells you that you’re not good enough or hot enough or pretty enough or that you’ll never be attractive or that you’re not worth taking care of… that’s the oppressor.
Your self-esteem is the victim.
‘Busyness’ is the story that you tell yourself, and by choosing not to make time for self-love to be a priority, you’re choosing to continue living your life, picking apart your own mental health. And very often, we’ll use ‘busyness’ as an excuse to prevent ourselves from moving forward and growing.
Why on earth would we do that? Well… because we’re afraid.
We’re unsure of the commitment that self-love will require from us, whether it will even ‘work’ and how we’ll feel about ourselves if we fail at self-love. We think that failing at self-love (which, by the way, you can’t do!) will crush whatever amount of self-esteem that we have, forgetting that my resisting self-love, we’re allowing our inner critic to crush that self-esteem for us.
This was a major mic-drop moment for me when I realised this. Is it for you, too?
A lot of us misconstrue what self-love actually involves, which further reinforces our notions of ‘busyness’. We think that to actively engage in self-love, we need to cancel the dinner parties, pick the kids up later, call in to work sick some days and neglect our friendships so that we can go take bubble baths and dance around in our underwear.
But that’s not the case at all (unless you want it to be, which I’m totally on board with. Sometimes, calling in sick and taking a bath is exactly what your soul craves).
To start making time for self-love, the only thing you need to kick off your current to-do list is making time for self-loathing.
- Those few minutes you spend looking in the mirror while you brush your teeth, avoiding eye contact with yourself;
- When you flip through ‘health’ magazines in the car as you wait to pick the kids up, comparing yourself to the digitally altered women on the pages;
- When you browse the supermarket shelves, carefully inspecting nutrition labels to see how little calories you can get away with consuming;
- Those moments in store change rooms where you furrow your brow as you look at the size tag;
- Every second you spend trying to calculate how long you’ll need to work out for to negate the biscuits that you just ate;
- Those times that you internalise your friends’ negative feelings about their bodies and wonder if you should feel the same about yours…
By allowing these things to continue in your life, you’re making time for self-loathing.
So how do we stop making time for self-loathing, and start making time for self-love instead?
It starts with a choice – right here, right now.
Deciding that you’ll use your time wisely, to empower, elevate and celebrate yourself.
Deciding to nourish every move you make from a place of self-love.
Exercising because you deserve to be healthy.
Respecting balance and moderation on your plate – giving yourself the fuel that your body craves and the pleasure that your mind desires.
Disregarding the notions of fear, guilt and shame around your body.
Choosing to pursue a life of self-love, even when you can’t be bothered.
Whatever you do next after reading this sentence is ultimately a choice… you’ll either choose self-love, or you’ll choose self-loathing.
What will your choice be?
Click here if you’re ready to make self-love a priority.