Self-love can be a difficult thing to navigate for a lot of us. Here are some actionable tips to help you along your path.
Try writing down things you’re grateful for every day. This can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life and cultivate an appreciation for what you have. List at least three things you’re grateful for daily, and reflect on how they make you feel. Set aside a special notebook or journal that brings you joy, or even some cute decorative sticky notes to leave around as a reminder of all of the wonderful things in your life that you are grateful for. Commit to trying to stick with it for a week, and making it as easy on yourself as possible, like leaving your list by your bedside so you can do them before bed or when you first wake up in the morning.
Positive affirmations are statements that you repeat to yourself to help nurture confidence and self-esteem. Such as: “I love myself unconditionally” “I’m a badass bitch,” or “I am enough.” read them aloud each day, write them on your mirror, or repeat them silently when you need a reminder that you’re an awesome opossum. For a bonus boost of self-love, write short little love notes to yourself when you are feeling good and hide them in cabinets and drawers around your house.
Mindfulness involves focusing your attention on the present moment without judgment or obligation. It can help you practice self-awareness, reduce stress, and improve your overall health and well-being. There are many different ways to practice mindfulness, including guided meditations, breathing exercises, or even just taking a quiet walk. This can be incredibly intimidating and frustrating for someone who has trouble “quieting” their brain, so try a no-pressure approach, instead of attempting a silent mind, make an effort to notice all of the things around you, smells, colors, sounds, things you like looking at (or don’t) and why. The idea isn’t to reach a blissful meditation, but just to practice being in the moment, right now, where you are at.
Self-care involves taking care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. This could look different for everyone but may include things like taking a bath, playing an instrument, reading a book, going for a walk in nature, or practicing yoga. The key is to engage in activities that make you feel good and leave you feeling refreshed and fulfilled. Get that tattoo you’ve been planning, take yourself out for a date, or listen to your favorite album for hours. The world is full of things that could make you smile.
Get to know your present self
Don’t waste time trying to get back to an old version of yourself that doesn’t exist anymore. You’ve grown and evolved into someone new. Get to know and learn to love that person by trying new things and seeing what resonates, find out what makes you happy and fulfilled. Try out a new instrument, craft, style, or hobby. Learn to enjoy spending time with yourself.
Give yourself grace
The journey to self-love is an incredibly personal, sometimes complicated path that looks different for everyone. The most important thing to remember is that you are doing your best and that is always enough. There’s nothing else you “should” be doing. Making yourself a priority isn’t selfish, but the healthiest thing you could do for yourself and those who care about you. You cannot bully, berate and belittle yourself into “trying harder” to love yourself, that’s not how it works and believe me, I have tried!
Check out the Love Yourself! newsletter
The Love Yourself! newsletter is a weekly(ish) cornucopia of all things self-love and self-care including puzzles, recipes, fun facts, art, personal anecdotes about my own self-love journey, and more.