Loving yourself…it’s a topic that’s pretty hot these days and with good reason. While we all long for others to love us, the most important person that can love you is….YOU! It all starts with you and it establishes your own sense of worth and internal joy.
When we love ourselves, we respect ourselves and we present ourselves to the world as more confident and strong. We also don’t put up with people treating us badly because we know that’s not okay and we love ourselves enough to walk away from that crap.
But, for a variety of reasons, practicing self-love tends to be a challenge for a lot of people. For some, it’s time…we barely get everything done on our to-do lists as is, how can we be expected to take time out for ourselves, too? For others, it’s a matter of never being taught to love themselves and taking care of others was promoted as the more ‘thoughtful’ thing to do.
Women in particularly are often slotted into a caregiver role and frequently chastised if they take time for themselves, which isn’t fair nor is it right.
So, it’s no wonder that so many people feel uncomfortable with the idea or have no clue where to start!
It may take time to learn to love yourself and to regularly do things that make you feel loved, but there are little things you can do every single day that will help you walk that path.
But, before we get started, I just want to stress…taking care of yourself and taking time for yourself is NOT selfish. If someone tries to tell you that, just ignore them and go about your way. I believe that’s one of the biggest misconceptions about self-love and its time we embrace the idea that taking care of ourselves is a necessity.
Related Topic: What Self-Love Isn't
Daily Self-Love Tactics
Below, I’ve listed out a number of things you can do every single day to help you feel loved and cherished (by you!).
You don’t have to do all of these (although, you’re more than welcome to!). Pick the ones that align with you and what you enjoy. If you’re not sure how you feel about something, give it a try…you may find you love it! If you don’t, then at least you know and you can move on to something else.
Choose the ones that make your heart expand with love (for yourself) and your inner light (i.e. your joy) shine a bit brighter.
Related Topic: Finding and Embracing Joy
Meditation doesn’t have to take that much time or be all woo-woo. It’s really about turning your gaze inward, silencing your mind from the endless chatter, and just focusing on your breath. If you don’t have much experience with meditating, there are endless guided ones on YouTube or try the Headspace app.
Even if it's only for 5 minutes, meditating will allow you to release stress, feel more relaxed and positive, and allow you to get more in touch with yourself.
Get those feelings out of your head! Let it flow through your pen to your paper and let it go.
I find journaling to be where I can think deeper on topics that are bothering me. Often, I find that it allows me to think of things that I would’ve never thought of had I not written it out. It’s almost like as I clear the space from my head of the initial problem, it allows my mind to go further and learn more about myself and the situation.
Related Topic: The Power of Journaling
Moving your body is a sure fire way to feel good about yourself. This does not mean that you need to join a gym or get up at the crack of dawn to work out (if you enjoy that, then keep on doing your thing, girlfriend!)…it could be a simple 15 minute walk during a hectic day at work, or dancing around your living room to your favorite songs.
I recently shared my thoughts on how powerful pausing is with my Moxie Girls tribe and it’s one of my favorite tactics for centering myself and checking in with myself. This will allow you to assess what you need in that moment which can do wonders for staying balanced.
Related Topic: The Importance of Living a Balanced Life
Release a little stress and have a little fun by laughing….every single day. Bonus points if you don’t take yourself too seriously and you’re laughing at yourself!
Connect with Others
Connecting with others is a great way to remind yourself the difference you make to others. It doesn’t even have to be someone you know, it could be someone in front of you in line while you’re waiting for your coffee at Starbucks.
Recently, I was chatting with a sales girl at one of my favorite stores while in Atlanta. She was telling me all about recently graduating from college and trying to follow her dreams of being a dancer, but that it was very scary. So, I shared my thoughts on following our butterflies. She said that was exactly what she needed to hear, told me she was so glad to have met me, and gave me a big hug before I left. I don’t even know her name, but I connected with her and made her feel better, which made me feel really good too!
Related Topic: Why You Need Butterfly Goals
It’s no secret that gratitude will brighten your life. When you are routinely reflecting on the different things in your life that you are grateful for, you will find there are so many reasons to love yourself and your life.
Silence the inner critic
This is a big one and one of the biggest blocks to having a good relationship with yourself. Instead of tearing yourself down, speak compassionately to yourself. Treat yourself like you would your best friend, not your worst enemy. Besides...@@we don’t have to believe everything we think@@.
Related Topic: 6 Ways to Banish Negative Self-Talk for Good
We are our own worst judges and critics. We hold grudges against ourselves for minor things that we wouldn’t care in the slightest if someone else did! This inability to forgive ourselves will continue to block your ability to love yourself.
Think about…picture someone from your past (or even your present) that did something that was unforgivable. How much do you love that person? I’m going to bet they’re not at the top of your Christmas card list!
So, it’s time to forgive yourself for whatever you’re holding onto, for thinking you’re not enough, or for not getting it all done. @@You’re one person and it’s one day and my dear, you are doing just fine.@@
Related Topic: The Power of Forgiving Yourself and How to Do It
Remind yourself how awesome you are
Every morning, start the day by telling yourself something you like about yourself or something that you’re good at. I also employ this tactic when I hear the inner critic pop up…I stop it and replace it with something positive.
Just like something negative, the more times you hear something positive, you'll start to believe it!
Don’t compare yourself to others
We’ve talked about this before, but stop comparing yourself to others. @@Nobody else can compare to you because you're wonderfully unique just as you are!@@
Related Topic: Why You Need to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Try something new
Trying new things can be exhilarating, can help you step past a fear, and boost your confidence! The next time you have the opportunity to try something you’ve never done before…do it!! You'll feel amazing afterwards and suddenly think you're the coolest person around!
Do something fun
This is an easy one! Try to do at least one fun thing every day! Get an impromptu ice cream, treat yourself to a manicure, play with your neighbor’s dog, etc. It doesn’t have to cost anything or even take that much time, but try to find something fun to do every day!
We can’t and won’t be happy every single day, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t love and respect ourselves every single day. Self-love takes practice, but the more you focus on it and make it part of your life, the more it becomes second nature
Remember, we have to love ourselves first before we can expect others to love us. @@Its not someone else’s job to make us feel loved…that starts within ourselves.@@ If we love who we are, as we are, we set our standards higher and only accept those that also love us just as we are. We don’t settle for things (or people) that don’t make us happy. We live a life that is more in tune to who we are, which results in greater satisfaction in our life.
Its one giant circle and we are at the beginning, the end, and every step in between.
And believe me…you’re worth the effort!