8 Signs You’re Lacking in Self-Love
Self-love is very much in fashion at the minute. Instagram has given the body positivity movement the space to thrive and flourish, and self-care has become a booming industry that’s now worth almost $10 billion. It’s easy to dismiss the current hype for self-love as a trend which companies can make a decent profit from.
But the movement’s core message of loving and respecting yourself is something that should not be ignored. Whilst we could all benefit from a bit more self-love, some of us need it far more than others. If you identify with any of the following 8 signs, you’re seriously lacking in self-love.
- You’re not feeding yourself well
Do you often find yourself skipping meals? Or maybe your diet is now comprised solely of microwave meals? You may be pleased that you’ve saved yourself some time and effort by not cooking, but this is actually a bad sign. You’re not showing yourself any love when you can’t take the time to nourish your body properly.
Of course, cooking nutritious meals from scratch can take up a large portion of your day. To save yourself time and energy, try out some batch-cooking recipes. Once you’re done, simply store the meals in the freezer and reheat them whenever you need to.
2. You’re distancing yourself from your loved ones
It started when you missed the weekly Zoom quiz every once in a while to give yourself a bit of extra me-time. But now you find yourself dodging your friend’s calls, and promising to visit your parents sometime soon, just not this month. Does this sound familiar? If so, it could be down to a number of reasons. Maybe the voice in your head is telling you to stop being a burden, or maybe you fear the judgement of others.
Whatever the reason, there’s likely to be one common denominator: a lack of self-love. But keeping our loved ones close is crucial for our mental health. It’s important to realise that when they try to contact you, they’re not doing it out of obligation but out of love. So try to keep in touch with them as often as you can. Even if it’s just a quick phone call, they’ll definitely appreciate it, and you will too.
3. You’re working too much
Working from home definitely has its perks, but it can make maintaining a work-life balance seem impossible. Since lockdown began, it’s been far easier to keep working that little bit longer night after night, until you find yourself still sending emails at midnight. But by failing to set yourself boundaries, you’re letting yourself down.
By pushing yourself to work more and more every day, you’re setting yourself an expectation to keep this up. And when you inevitably end up burning out, you’ll blame yourself and feel like a failure. But you shouldn’t; we aren’t built to work 24/7. It’s bad for our health and our careers. So try to remember to set yourself some boundaries. Act like you’re back in the office and set a time to switch off to ensure you aren’t pushing yourself too hard.
4. You can’t accept any praise
Whether it’s your boss praising you on your great work performance or your friend complimenting your new haircut, you can’t just say ‘thank you’. Instead, you respond with ‘well I had a lot of help with this project’, or ‘it’s just because my last haircut was so awful’. Accepting compliments can sometimes be awkward — how do you express thanks without sounding conceited? But if you can’t accept any praise at all, it means that you don’t think that you deserve it.
If you don’t see yourself as worthy of praise, you don’t think you should receive any from others too. And that just isn’t true! The person complimenting you is seeing your value, so you should too. Try not to fight back against compliments, as hard as this may be. Just say thank you, and store it in the back of your mind. You can use it to boost your self-esteem when you’re having a bad day.
5. You’re staying in all the time
Granted, there’s probably not much that can tempt you to get outside at the minute. Since COVID cases are expected to rise throughout the winter, many of us are opting out of going for drinks and shopping sprees to protect ourselves and our loved ones. And even just going for a walk seems like more of a chore now that the days are colder and the nights are longer. But if you find yourself really struggling to get out of the house, this is a sign that you aren’t appreciating yourself as much as you should be.
When you hide away from the rest of the world, you’re not letting yourself live. And by not giving your body the sunlight and movement it needs to thrive, you’re depriving both your mental and physical health. Try to get out at least once a day, even if it’s just for a 5-minute walk. Take the time to appreciate your body, and the way it works to carry you through your day. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.
6. You’re prioritising others over yourself
Helping others is a great thing to do. Whether you’re going the extra mile for your boss or helping your elderly neighbour with their shopping — you’re doing someone else a favour and you get to feel good in return. But when you start to put others’ needs above your own, this is a sign that you respect them more than yourself. You do this because you think others are more deserving of your time and energy.
By failing to take care of your own needs, you’re actually doing more harm than good. There’s a reason that the air hostess tells you to put on your own oxygen mask first. You can only help your loved ones if you take care of yourself first. So make time for yourself, and be a bit a little bit selfish.
7. You’re overthinking things
Overthinking your actions and decisions is a sign that you lack self-love. You feel that you need everything to be absolutely perfect because you hold yourself to an impossibly high standard. And when you fail to meet your own expectations, you waste no time in criticising yourself. So to avoid failing, you spend all your time considering and evaluating each option available to you. And once you’ve made your decision, you spend even more time worrying about whether the choice you made was the right one.
But try not to have such high expectations of yourself. You probably don’t have these standards for anyone else, and you wouldn’t spend hours scorning your colleagues for making the wrong decisions. So try to treat yourself with the same respect that you give others.
8. The voice in your head just won’t stop
This voice is a force to be reckoned with. No matter how much time you’ve put into making the right decision, no matter how much work you’ve put into something, that niggling inner voice always finds a way to belittle you. Even when you’ve achieved something amazing, it still brings you crashing back down to earth, telling you that it’s all down to luck and you don’t really deserve your success.
This voice can be so cruel sometimes, and almost feel like it belongs to someone else. But it’s a part of you. It’s telling you how you truly feel about yourself, and it’s not pretty. So it’s time to mute it! Make sure that you stop the voice in its tracks, whenever it tries to bring you down. And make sure to replace it with a loving voice that you’d use with others. Silencing your inner critic is tough, but you’re the only one who can do it.
You are worthy of love
We all need love. We need it to comfort us and to drive us. But sometimes it can be hard to feel loved by others. Maybe it’s because you feel like you don’t deserve love, or you’re far away from your friends and family and you feel isolated. This is why you need to learn to love yourself. You can’t rely on others for all your love and happiness, so it’s time to start depending on yourself a bit more. You need self-love. And more importantly, you deserve it.
Written by Siobhan Kelly
Siobhan is a recent Sociology graduate, with a passion for writing. Her degree has given her experience researching a range of topics relating to the Sociology of both physical and mental health. She has a particular interest in understanding the effect that body image has on mental health.