10 WAYS TO PRACTICE SELF LOVE
Self-love isn't something that comes easily to a lot of people. It sure didn't come easily to me, especially in my first few years of college. It's important to recognize that practicing self-love takes time, effort, and conscious intent.
The thing is, as an adult, the only person who's really going to take care of you, is you. Of course everyone needs to rely on others, but at the end of the day you're the only one who really knows what's best for you.
Taking care of yourself, and loving yourself, should be a priority. I really believe that if you can learn to love yourself, wherever you are in life, everything else can fall into place.
Here are 10 ways to practice self-love every day:
1. Spend more quality time with yourself.
How do you expect to be friends with someone you don’t spend any time with? The same thing applies when it comes to yourself. In order to know yourself better, and love yourself deeper, you have to hang out with her.
Go on a walk, plan a spa day at home (or at a spa), do some yoga, watch a sunset, or just sit in a quiet place. The more time you spend getting to know yourself, the better you can do what’s best for you.
2. Celebrate all your victories, big or small
Some days you’ll have big accomplishments, and some days your victories will seem very small. Rejoice in them all. You may not feel like you changed the world today, but did you finish something you’ve been working on, or finally get to that errand, or were you nice to someone? We all do amazing things every day. Let yourself recognize that.
3. Slow down, be present, and unplug.
Sometimes the world can make us feel very small. With all the technology that gives us access to seemingly everything at once, it can make you feel even smaller.
Shifting your focus to what’s going on around you, or unplugging for even a single hour can help us center ourselves and appreciate all the incredible little things around us and about us a little bit more.
4. If you are being hard on yourself or mean to yourself, write those thoughts down
I know this one sounds strange, but it something an old therapist of mine told me. If you let those mean thoughts just bounce around your brain, they’re just going to live there. If you take a moment to write them down, think about what they look like on the page, and what they really mean, they tend to carry a little more weight. Then you can really think about what you said, and let it go.
Chances are you don’t really mean most of the things you say to yourself. Plus, If you wouldn’t say it to someone else why would you say it to yourself.
5. Make a list of your strengths and successes.
Even if it’s a mental note, recognizing everything you’ve done, everything you’re capable of, and all your skills is a vital step in loving yourself. It seems so obvious, but we often forget to give ourselves the self-recognition we deserve.
It’s an amazing way to remind us what we are capable of. Make something and look at what you can do! It truly doesn’t matter what it is. It can be painting, writing, gardening, cooking, baking, drawing, building, beading, doing a DIY project, really anything. Using your own two hands and the head on your shoulders to make something that didn’t exist in this world without you really is amazing. Create something and recognize that.
7. Listen to what your body is telling you.
Whether you’re hungry or thirsty or tired, or feeling any array of complex emotions, your body is always trying to tell you something. Learn to focus on those signs, and act upon them. Taking care of yourself is loving yourself.
8. Be kind to strangers.
We often underestimate the effect we can have on others. Making other people smile, or making them feel good about themselves or something that happened to them that day is powerful. It will make you feel better about yourself and how you’re engaging with the world almost unfailingly.
9. Forgive yourself and others.
You cannot love anything if you’re holding some sort of anger or regret towards it. Forgiveness is one of the strongest things you can do. The hardest person to forgive can often be ourselves.
I am a big believer that everyone lives their lives trying to make the best decisions with the information they have. But, people make mistakes, all the time. Accept that the mistakes you think you have made are just a part of your growth and your journey, forgive yourself, and let them go.
10. Practice Gratitude.
Everyone has something to be grateful for. A while ago I heard that one way to live a happier life is by knowing 5 things you were grateful for that day before you fall asleep. This is a great habit to get into. Living a life with gratitude can help you realize the good around you, the people who have helped you along the way, and how worthy you are of all the good in your life and all the good to come.
Do you have any self-love tips? I’d love to hear them!