I believe we should all be striving to go on a journey spent outside of others and more in tune with ourselves. 
Khadija Bilal

Doesn’t it sound cliché when people say "love yourself"?

After hearing it time and time again, it becomes an almost obnoxious phrase--condescending, even.

“Oh girl, love yourself or nobody else will."

But what does that love look like, and how exactly do we do that without the help of others?

How I realized the importance of loving myself

In discovering the importance of self-care, I learned that the way in which I cared for myself was directly linked to my love of self. Even more telling were the ways in which self-care simultaneously built up my self-worth. You may be wondering how this is even possible but honestly, when I took the time to care for myself, I began to see much of the value that others saw in me. Self-care forced me to get to know myself in depth and, in many ways, on a deeper level than I was used to when I spent a lot of time avoiding or neglecting my own needs.

when I took the time to care for myself, I began to see much of the value that others saw in me.

Recognizing my individual powers

The more time I spent learning myself and what I wanted, the more I was able to recognize my own value on an individual level. I knew what I was putting out into the world personally because I was now showing that same attention to myself. It was no easy feat to say the least, and it took what felt like forever to get there. Still, the journey has been more than I could ever ask for. I am still learning more about myself everyday. I believe we should all be striving to go on a journey spent outside of others and more in tune with ourselves.

Why I started Self-Care Sundays

During grad school I started up Self-Care Sundays for myself; it was a day for me to take the time to do various activities by myself. I headed out to new shops I had never been to, discovered new music, went the park or picked up new books to read. In getting comfortable with doing things by myself, amazing things started happening. I was able to get acquainted with myself on a much deeper level that allowed me to better articulate and assert certain feelings that I would have had trouble expressing previously.

Reaping the benefits from self-love and self-care

Typically, when we constantly find ourselves surrounded by the thoughts and feelings of others, it can be difficult to drown them out and figure out how it is we truly feel. As human beings we tend to be impressionable, using outside opinions to formulate our own. Although this is completely normal, what happens when nobody else is around to interfere with--or cloud--our own judgment? We are literally forced to sit there and confront those feelings on our own accord. Without the distraction of wanting other people’s approval or agreement, I was finally able to stand tall in my own personal beliefs.

While I am by no means a guru, I speak from experience when I describe this link between active self-care and self-love. I can honestly say it works and I’m reaping the benefits of it.
Khadija Bilal

All the things I found myself wanting from others, I started to do for myself. I took myself to the movies, went to different museums, wrote, read and dug deeper into who I was as a person. I challenged myself and sought to think beyond what I already knew. After doing that for about year I realized my interactions with people started to look different. I valued my time and energy a lot more because of the amount of work I was putting in to care for myself.

I valued my time and energy a lot more because of the amount of work I was putting in to care for myself.

It had become so prevalent that I began to find it easier to cut out what encroached upon my well-being any time someone made me question my own feelings about something. I stopped wasting time and hoping they would understand and instead, took the time to firmly express myself. I finally started feeling brave enough to tell people how I felt, and I was no longer ashamed to do so.

Why I value my relationship with self

My courage and self-worth mounted through the time that I took out to value myself, and other people started to notice. During my going away luncheon at my last job, everybody shared the same sentiments regarding their admiration of my ability to be unapologetically myself. I honestly had no idea I was projecting that, because at some point I slowly stopped worrying about it. I was too in tune with myself to let other people’s perceived notions of me cloud my judgment about who I was becoming. I knew me better than anyone, and not only that, but I was constantly doing the work to continuously grown and evolve. 

Remember to take care of yourself...

In taking care of yourself, you must remember that it is bigger than just treating yourself to some ice cream or taking some down time; you are literally pouring back into yourself what you constantly give out to the world. In taking the time to do your favorite activities, you create your own happiness and learn yourself in depth. This is how you are placing the overall value back into who you are as person. And in time, you will start seeing your personal value double and even triple so much so, you will not need another person to see you because you see yourself. So please take care of yourself… Your mind, body, and spirit, I promise you, will thank you.


Read about The Moment I Realized Skipping Self-Care Was Not an Option

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