For the week that’s in it – red roses, Valentine’s, and all things love – we thought there is no better topic to write about than self-love. It can be a preachy subject but ultimately, self-love is at the root of how we feel about ourselves and how we live our lives. We are just as human as the next person, and struggle with this just like everyone else, but we thought we would share our two cents worth about what self-love is for us and how we try to cultivate it.

For us, self-love is a result of all the things that make up our lives, from relationships, to what we do for work, and how we spend our leisure time to our food choices. How we feel about all these aspects of our life is connected to how we feel about ourselves. It is a constant work in progress in which there is no destination, unless you are some enlightened being living in a cave! With modern-day living, the self is often forgotten. Yet, as the old saying goes, “You can’t fill an empty cup from an empty vessel.”

To be fully present for others in our life, we first need to invest some time in ourselves. Society nowadays is structured in a way that has us constantly comparing ourselves to others. Social media presents the seemingly ideal life, with filtered images that have us striving for perfection, when the reality is- perfect doesn’t exist. We are very much part of the social media world and as chefs, we are always trying to show off our food at its best and we work at styling shots with the right background, lighting and props so we can get that Insta-worthy snap. Yet, the reality behind most of our photos is never as glamorous as it appears. There is usually a messy kitchen in the background and we regularly take snaps on old wood on the floor and use old door frames as colourful backdrops for our pictures!

It is important for all of us to remind ourselves that the amount of followers we have on Instagram or the amount of likes we get on Facebook, are not measures of our self-worth. How we treat ourselves and others and how we feel on the inside are what count.

In our experience, food is one of the foundations for positive change and can hugely influence how you feel. Eating a wholefood diet, rich in fruit, vegetables and whole-grains, is one of the most loving things we can do for ourselves as it really supports a healthy body which is central to our happiness.

When you take care of your health by eating right, it has a ripple effect across all areas of your life. Your energy levels improve, you are more inclined to exercise and spend more time outdoors and you sleep better. All these benefits improve our self-esteem and help us to take better care of ourselves. Also, treating others and our environment with kindness, can help encourage us to treat ourselves the same way. How we spend our time also greatly influences our sense of self-worth.

In an ideal world, we would all have a fulfilling career we love and we would feel valued but life is not that simple and realistically, we can’t all run away with the circus! Yet, we can all take steps in the right direction, however small they may be. It’s about getting the snowball started, over time, the snowball gets bigger and gains momentum.

We’ve always loved Steve Jobs’ concept of looking at life as if it were the last day. What if it was? Chances are, we would most likely be better versions of ourselves and focus on what is really important in life. Spending time doing activities that challenge us helps to foster a positive self-image. It could be taking up a new hobby, learning a new language or volunteering for a cause close to your heart -simply getting outside of our comfort zone and doing something meaningful can lead to big changes. So what are you waiting for? Why not start your own journey of self-love this weekend! It can be something as simple as taking the time to cook yourself a healthy meal, jump in the sea or sign up for a race. Take a step in the right direction and you never know where it will take you (let us know how you get on)!

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