This doesn’t need an introduction paragraph. Everyone needs to love themselves a little more.
Self love isn’t simply indulgences, like pedicures, wine, massages. Self love isn’t simply a business trying to sell you a product or service.
Self love is different for everyone. I am actually really terrible at this and there are people who are even worse than I am.
I am not showing myself love by going to the gym or running or practicing yoga every day. What!?! But that’s healthy!?! How is that not showing self love? I, personally, do not have issue with motivation to be active. It’s something I enjoy and stimulates me. While it makes me calmer, less stressed, gives me an opportunity to think and offers time to process new perspectives, for me, that is not self love. That is the bare minimum that I should expect out of myself in that time. The minimum standard for me, physically, is daily activity. That’s my status quo.
Self love is about more. Self love is about LOVING yourself. It’s not about doing the bare minimum to keep your body from falling apart. That is not love. That is taking basic care of ones self.
To me, self love is about cessation. I need to stop the momentum I build around myself and just cease movement. I don’t even mean physically. I need to let my brain stop. I watch movies but I don’t watch television. I very seldom “zone out” and just chill. I used to read novels but now it’s books about how to be a better runner. When I go on vacation, it’s usually packed with seeing things, which means getting up early and staying up late. I need to sleep in. Sometimes I need to go away and not have it be about racing.
I have a really great trip planned for later this year. The plan is to head to the east coast and run two races. From there, to the United Kingdom to run another race. From there, to the west coast (back in North America) for another race. Apart from training during that time (which I will still have to do), that will be 78.3 kilometres during those trips. I’ve never been to parts of those places, so I will also be walking around to see some tourist sights.
I’m super excited about the opportunity to run in those places. Those are races I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. I love the idea that one is at sunset. I love that they are all closer to sea level. I am excited by the historical significance of the locations. I will get to see a friend who I haven’t seen in over 8 years and I will make new friends. I want to eat all the food that those places traditionally have to offer.
Yet, I’m considering cancelling. That’s a really big trip. It will be a financial strain. I won’t get a refund for the race registrations and that’s fine, but I can get a credit with the airline (and I know I will somehow use that eventually). Are finances the only reason I’m considering cancelling? No. It’s not the amount of running either. If I chose to do a marathon at the end of that time, those other races would fall into my training schedule anyways. It’s not the fear of travel, or time zone changes, or jet lag.
I am concerned that I am taking on too much for my vacation time. Am I doing it for fun or am I doing it for the accomplishment? Am I doing it because I really want to do those races (yes) but maybe should I be doing them on different trips? Am I showing myself self-love by going on this trip or am I pushing even my own boundaries?
The important thing about self-love is that it’s about giving oneself what they need. What one needs physically, mentally and emotionally. As a runner, ignoring ones body may result in injuries. As an epileptic, ignoring it may result in seizures. As a human being (and not a robot), ignoring self-love may result in emotional trauma. As non-robots, we need to love ourselves and give ourselves the room to be imperfect, sleepy, relaxed. Someone decided that exhaustion should be the standard and somehow everyone agreed. We can do so much, but when we lose out on sleep, lose out on happiness, and push ourselves even beyond our own boundaries, we are not showing love.
In all honesty, I’ll still go on the trip. I can’t resist this opportunity, even if the opportunity is one I’ve made for myself. I am a bad example. Goal setting for myself is a foundation of my personal identity. Between now and then, I’ll find a way to relax. Maybe the ridiculous number of cherry blossoms will help. They are just so awe-inspiring. My world has been changed seeing the majesty of the cherry blossoms.