“Love yourself more,” we’re told. But what does that mean? I know the whole self-love thing is being talked about all over the place right now, but most people still have no clue what that even means! It really means something different for each person, because we all have many different ways to show that we love ourselves. However, self-love is not about being in love with yourself, but rather, loving your true self more – listening to what your body is telling you it needs. Sometimes, though, that can be tricky…so I’ve compiled 10 easy things you can do to help you get started.
Pick a couple of them to do today, and do another two or three over the coming weeks. You will thank yourself.
1. Give yourself the gift of time. Do not feel guilty for spending time thinking about and reflecting on yourself and your own life. It is important to give yourself the time and permission for self-love. Learning to get comfortable with who you are is one of the most crucial parts of self-love!
Spend some time alone. At first, spending this time by yourself can feel uncomfortable and awkward. You might think that people are looking at you, judging you, and saying to one another, “Look at that loser all by herself!” The opposite is true. Most people who see you are actually wishing they had the guts — and the personal freedom! — to do exactly what you’re doing!
The feeling of discomfort will go away. Even better, as you do this more often, you will realize how essential this time is for building up your own sense of self. Also, you will likely find that by doing so, you are more able to spend quality time helping others.
2. Pay yourself an amazing compliment & make it meaningful. Find some positive thoughts that help you feel better, and repeat them daily. It’s okay if it takes you a little time to come up with the perfect thing. Maybe you could choose to compliment yourself about something you’re having trouble with recently…
A good positive affirmation to promote self-love is: “I am a whole, worthy individual, and I respect, trust, and love myself.”
When you come up with your compliment, take a deep breath. Say it out loud, while you look at yourself in the mirror. Write it down too!
This may seem awkward or cheesy at first, but the habit will cause the positive thoughts to sink in, and you will begin to believe them, even if you don’t at first. Say it until it feels real & true. Then, once you’re feeling great from your own self-love (!!!) call a friend and compliment them, too.
3. Shift to inner focus. What is more important? Being beautiful on the outside, or the kind of person you are becoming on the inside? As fun as it is to play with cosmetics, it’s a fact that even the most gorgeous people age, and looks fade.
What really matters is the kind of person you are on the inside. Are you good and loving and kind? Do you try to help people whenever you can? Are you generous with your time? Do you strive to make other people happy? It’s never too late to begin doing all of these things, and it will bring you true happiness.
4. Evaluate what you’re feeding yourself… and I’m not talking about food! I’m talking about social media, television, and the people you associate with! We’ve all done it. Browsing through social media only to see our favorite media personalities or friends posting so many positive pics, and know that everyone has bad days. The next time you want to browse the web for reasons to feel bad about yourself, remember that you are perfect just the way you are; being in a pattern of compare and despair only makes you focus on the negative, when there’s so much to be grateful for.
5. Let it go. We’re constantly holding on to things in our past, and it can tend to weigh heavy on our souls and even give us low self-esteem. The more blocks we clear, the more we can really live big in the area of self-love. Although we may do this as a way to protect ourselves from hurting, it’s really only holding us back from moving forward to reaching optimal self-acceptance and loving who we are.
6. Make a “What’s Working for Me” list. You always hear that to love someone else you must first learn to love yourself. But in order to really love yourself sometimes you have to recognize all the love you have around you. One practice to do when you are feeling down is to go within and acknowledge what’s really working then make a “What’s Working for Me” list. Once you see it on paper and accept all of the positivity in your life, it will make it that much easier to love yourself.
7. Know that your body is a loving vessel. Ok, this time I’m talking about food… Treating your body like a loving vessel will not only boost your self-love, but also your energy. Be intentional about what you put into your body, not only because you want to look good but because you want to feel good. Feeding your body nutrient-rich foods will have you oozing love out of every pore.
8. Explore your spirituality. Faith is the foundation for self-love. Believing in something opens up your soul to the beauty of belief and trust. It will build your intuition and help you make decisions based on your gut. It will take you on a journey to learning things about yourself and those new thoughts, feelings, passions, and raw emotions will make you appreciate yourself for being authentically you.
9. Do something you are good at. If this isn’t the ultimate self-esteem booster, I don’t know what is! Self-esteem and self-love often go hand in hand, and participating in a hobby you’re good at will not only boost your endorphins, but will bring out the best version of you.
10. Do something good for somebody else. The more I learn about self-love, the more I realize that self-love which is only focused on the self is not the whole picture. No, not at all.
Self-love is about getting yourself to a loving, beautiful baseline, and then taking what you’ve learned and transferring it to the external world. It’s about helping other people, leading by example, and contributing your time or skills to anyone who needs them. So think about how you could help someone else today. Then, go and do it!
And remember, you are beautiful inside and out!