Self-love Isn’t Selfish | A Guide to Self-love

Nutrition Stripped

Self Love Isn't Selfish | Nutrition Stripped

Rolling with our theme of the month, love, in all shapes and sizes this has been a requested topic for some time and one that personally hits home that I LOVE talking about. Self-love. Read on for the guide to self-love, how self-love isn’t selfish, the differences between the two and 10 amazing steps you can take today to increase the love in your life starting with you! p.s. share this with your bff, I have a hunch they’ll appreciate it too.

LOVE, self-love baby

SELF-LOVE (noun): regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).

SELFISH (adjective): of a person, action, or motive lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

I coach mostly women from college students, to young professionals, to young moms all with one common theme- they find themselves giving “too much” and not putting IN the same amount they give out… i.e. giving energy, love, compassion, time, and resources to their loved ones, to their work, to their communities and not taking the time to give back to themselves to recharge. When we make goals together about the concept of taking time for themselves, creating a routine, or doing something they love each day, etc.; 99% of them say “I can’t, that’s selfish” or “I shouldn’t”, “but I have other things to do [for other people]”, etc. I’ve been there before, have you? 2015 was a huge year of personal change and one of these changes resulted in me finally understanding self-love and what I need to do on a daily basis to feel whole, centered, and balanced. My challenge for you this month is to think about ways in which you give and share your energy and ways you can give it back to yourself- this is the true concept of self-love and recharging yourself from inside to give back to the people and things you love most in life. How are you showing up in your life? In your work, relationships, etc.? How can using these acts of self-love improve your quality of life which in turns improves the communities and others that you impact? Let’s take a look at my top 10 tips and ways to create radical acts of self-love in your life. I’d love to get the conversation started below and hear how you practice self-love on a daily basis.

No. 1

Do something every day that you absolutely LOVE.

What would that be like? It could be something as audacious as going to a spa for 2 hours, traveling, or it can be a beautiful simple activity like making a hot cup of tea, taking a walk, etc. My morning routine is non-negotiable and a huge form of something that I absolutely LOVE to do, but sometimes I need a little something extra like taking an entire day off work or social media to just “be”. My challenge for you: to come up with a list of things you absolutely LOVE to do, and do it.

No. 2

Be mindful

Be the watcher and the observer of your thoughts and actions throughout the day. Continually be mindful by checking in with yourself- my favorite way to do this is watching my breath. Whenever I feel my breath get short, shallow, and in my chest I immediately know I’m tense/stressed/or simply not being mindful. My challenge to you is to practice this breathing technique throughout the day, whenever you feel tense or notice you’re breathing only shallow breaths from your chest take a round of 10 deep belly breaths and feel the difference physically and mentally.

No. 3

Set boundaries

Boundaries come in the form of so many things, let’s dive into this one. They can be physical boundaries with certain people, places, situations that leave you feeling uneasy. It can also be setting boundaries from work/personal time. One thing my acupuncturist told me that I’ll never forget is to ask yourself, “how do I feel after I’m around this person– what is the aftertaste?”. I utilize this with every interaction I have and if that person or situation doesn’t sit well with me, chances are I don’t make an effort to engage in that relationship again. What are ways you can set boundaries with your energy and who you choose to be in your life?

No. 4

Make compromises, but never compromise your joy

Mhm. I love saying that one out loud- say it with me here. Life is about compromises and make compromises but never compromise your joy– joy as your innate needs and wants at your core. Only you know your core beliefs and values, stand up for what you need in relationships, with your life, with your work, etc.; you’ll feel strong and empowered. My challenge to you: make a list of what things are non-negotiable for you to experience joy, always remember them and never compromise.

No. 5

Good self care

Simple enough right!? Practicing the NS lifestyle of living whole and eating well emcompasses things you can do to practice good self care. From eating nourishing food, sleeping enough, having supportive friendships and a community, managing stress, exercising, your morning routine, and simple things that make you feel “good”.

No. 6

Cultivate your routine

This goes hand in hand with setting your boundaries and not compromising your joy– what routines can you develop and stick to that’ll help you feel loved, centered, and rooted? For example, my morning routine is paramount to making me feel like I have my self-love game on point + time in nature daily + a nighttime routine where I love making hot tea and reading a book- it’s a very small thing, but it means the world to me and something I do for me! My challenge for you: make a list of things you can incorporate into your routine to keep you on track.

No. 7

Take actionable steps

I’ve challenged you to make quite a few lists thus far, so now we gotta put them in action! Make goals that you can tangibly reach and accomplish. Write these out, do them. Let me say it again, DO IT. Loving yourself in any form and carrying out these routines and activities are the best ways you can connect with yourself so you can ultimately give others love and expand this amazing community and universe we live in. Right? You can’t give love to others in any form if you have nothing to give nor are taking steps to do it.

No. 8

Community and your tribe

Hang out with people who “get” you, who can respect your boundaries, your wishes, you personality and ultimately think about that ‘aftertaste’ I mentioned earlier! Are your relationships, community involvement, and friends, people you want in your tribe? Is there a mutual energy exchange? Do you challenge each other for growth or do you feel completely wiped out after being with them/this community? Ask yourself these questions as a way to cultivate your self-love environment.

No. 9

Let go

Let go of emotional baggage, of people, places, life situations that no longer serve you at your core. It’s a challenging road to initially take, but take it from my personal experience through the years, it’s beautiful and filled with so much more love on the other side. From an internal standpoint, what can you let go of? Behaviors, ideologies, pressure, comparison, the list can go on and on. Have that conversation with yourself and pinpoint those areas you can let go.

No. 10

Live with intention and with a greater purpose

As mentioned, self-love is not selfish, there’s a huge distinction between the two. Loving yourself 100% means that you’re able to “be” 100% present for others in your life and on a bigger scale, the world. I know it seems a bit massive when you think “how can I have that much impact on the world?”– you can and you do. Collectively if we all start to shift into practice self-love and self care, the more love, care, and compassion we can share to others and the cycle continues– a beautiful cycle! If you need a jump start, join me in the mountains for the Soulstice Retreat with Albion Fit. I’ll be doing nutrition talks, cooking demos, we’ll be eating, hiking, manifesting wellness, and hanging. Register here.

My challenge to you: what are ways you can live with more intention in self-love to serve a greater purpose? What acts of self-love do you do regularly? What challenges do you face in keeping these as routines and actionable steps? I want us to share these and help support one another in this! Leave a comment and let’s chat!


A Cornell study showed that we make more than 200 food-based decisions a day…what!? That’s about 195 more decisions you should make a day- your valuable energy is being lost to food. That’s why I created the NS Society, a way to make meal planning super simple and to help you integrate wellness into your everyday life with support and an amazing community. Click the button below to join us – 10% off for 24 hours!

xx McKelmailing-list-button-coaching-services

Share your thoughts

  • Samantha

    Love this!! I definitely need to establish a morning routine…my mornings are usually hectic/stressful!

  • Alexa []

    Loved this, McKel! Self-love is soso important and definitely something that I struggle with daily. I liked your idea of making a list of things you love doing and then do one every day – definitely trying that out this week!

  • Nancy

    McKel, this is a wonderful post! So many good reminders. I loved your other recent post about Creating a Morning Routine so I love that this post builds off of that a bit. Would be fun to hear if you have a specific night time routine, from how you care for your skin to what type of tea you have at night.

    I am a member of your Society and I have been so impressed with it so far, it is wonderful and such a great resource for nutrition advise and recipe ideas. The coconut butternut squash soup is my favorite, so delicious!
    xo Nan // Simply Elegant Blog

  • Rebeca

    Self-love is something I’ve been thinking a lot about this year…2015 left me feeling drained and in need of focusing on taking better care of myself. So far, I can’t say there’s been much improvement, but you’ve given me some ideas to work with!

  • Laura

    Hi McKel,
    I just happened to come across your page as I was searching for Turmeric milk. I started reading and now I am hooked!! I know you said that you typically deal with a much younger clientele, but I wanted to reach out to you anyway. I am on a journey to get my health and well being back on track. I am 54 and it’s just my two boxers and myself. I have always been the one who takes care of everyone else and now I’m the only one I have to take care of, so I’ve been searching for something that is balanced and helps me to be consistent, keeps me focused and holds my interest. What you have here seems perfect for me!! I look forward to becoming a member of the Nutrition Stripped community!!

    • McKel Hill

      Welcome Laura! So happy to have you here and joining the NS lifestyle! Have you joined the NS Society- a healthy meal planning and wellness membership? I have a hunch you’d LOVE it especially with all the supportive members you can chat with in real time. Join us here. Also, sign up for the free newsletter so you can get special downloads, coupons, tips, all the good things! xx M

  • Vanessa Cassani

    I love this topic! I feel like I’m just now starting to understand what self-care & self-love look like for me. When I’m in alignment with that, I feel strong in my power & purpose. Thanks for the tips, I love everything your put out into the world <3

    • McKel Hill

      So glad you enjoyed this Vanessa! It’s so important! xx M

  • Kris

    Mckel, this post is wonderful! This is an issue that I think is too commonly overlooked in the world of wellness. Our bodies hear everything our minds say and do, and ultimately to feel good and DO good in the world, we must put good into ourselves, too! Would love to hear more about your self care rituals, in later blog posts! Thank you for this!

    • McKel Hill

      Thank you for the kind words Kris and for sharing your thoughts on this- I couldn’t agree more! I have so many blog posts in the pipeline it’s just a matter of writing them all right!? xxM

  • Tess

    I found this article exceptionally helpful and really grounding. Thank you for sharing your wisdom McKel/NS.

    • McKel Hill

      You’re welcome Tess!

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