Self-love The Upspoken Way
It can be difficult to practice self-love in a society where you’re constantly being deemed unworthy of love as a Black woman. Upspoken is here to tell you that you are deserving of love, not just from others but from yourself. Self-love often gets confused with self-care, but Upspoken is here to add clarity. Self-care is nurturing your mental health needs and self-love is the act of loving yourself and accepting all the things that make you who you are. They may seem interchangeable but both are crucial to your mental wellness and sometimes one informs the other.
Here are some self-love practices as an Upspoken woman to help you love yourself, empower your sex life, and nurture your mental wellness.
Practice What You Preach– Between the microaggressions Black women face on a daily basis and the historically unjust treatment Black women have experienced, it can be challenging to not internalize harmful behaviors and beliefs. You can combat those negative thoughts by reciting daily affirmations that focus on the things you love about yourself. The benefits of affirmations? Your thoughts materialize and become practices. It has also been proven to lower stress levels. When you are comfortable with yourself, other people’s opinions of you are subjective and matter less. When no one dictates your value, you set the standard for how people approach and treat you.
Love Your Body– Since slavery, our bodies have been hypersexualized, and in the age of social media, body dysmorphia is real. We’re always worried about being too curvy or not being curvy enough. It’s time we appreciate our bodies and embrace them. Don’t be ashamed of your love handles or feel pressured to have a thigh gap. Challenge yourself to dress to impress yourself and focus your fitness goals on getting in shape rather than losing weight. The way you see your body can have an impact on your sexual desires and abilities to become aroused. Having a positive body image is linked to having a better sex life. Think about it. If you’re always anxious about how you look naked, stressing about how you want to be seen, and where you want to be touched, it takes away from enjoying sex or even having the desire to have sex.
Learn to Say No– It’s one of the hardest things to do when you’re the breadwinner, caregiver, and overall superwoman, but saying no doesn’t have to be hard and it’s a complete sentence. Some ways you can learn to say no is by not always saying yes right away. Buy time by responding “I’ll get back to you”. Then, you can decide if it’s something you want to commit to or find a solution that doesn’t require your involvement. Another way to become comfortable saying no is to not equate refusal with rejection. You’re saying no to the request, not the person, and anyone who would make you feel bad for saying no doesn’t value you. Sometimes speaking up for yourself means setting boundaries and prioritizing your needs.
Self-love isn’t one size fits all and it’s a practice you have to define for yourself. Adding a little self-love to your routine will help you grow as a person and your soul will thank you. Challenge yourself to take on one of these practices and let us know how you’re committing to practicing self-love in the comments.