Self love is the best love because it needs to start within. Around Valentine’s Day many people dread the “Hallmark holiday” because the expectations are set so high.
Some feel the pressure to remember your romantic relationship, gal pals, friends and family members. The holiday is lovely and is all in good spirit but for some…Valentine’s day can feel very superficial. The teddy bears, chocolate boxes, pre-fixed dinner menus etc. Valentine’s Day is nice but it’s overrated. Agree?
We can shower others with love but we also must learn how to practice self-love. Before we can practice it, we need to understand what self love is.
What Is Self Love?
What is self love anyhow? Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Self-love means not settling for less than you deserve. It means that you accept yourself fully, treat yourself with kindness and respect, and nurture your growth and wellbeing.
Self-love can mean something different for each person because we all have diverse ways to take care of ourselves. Figuring out what self-love looks like for you as an individual is an important part of your mental health. How do you treat yourself? What are your impressions about yourself? People who like themselves know that they are flawed and make mistakes and they accept and care about themselves despite their imperfections.
Self-love is the foundation that allows us to be assertive, set boundaries and create healthy relationships with others, practice self-care, pursue our interests and goals, and feel proud of who we are.
What’s The Difference Between Self-Love and Self-Care?
In general, self-love centres around the thoughts and feelings we have about ourselves whereas self-care focuses on our actions. … In short, we need to learn how to self-love so we can self care. Make sense? There are nine essential ways to practice self-care.
It’s Not Easy!
There are many science-backed methods that you can use to start loving yourself more. But keep in mind that this may be hard at first. You may not feel comfortable treating yourself with the level of kindness and respect you deserve. Learn to be your authentic self. Ease into self-love strategies slowly if you need to. Here are some ways to get started:
As your Gal Pal, I am here to remind you that take time for you! Take time to look within instead of spending all of your energy, making everyone else happy. The longest human relationship you have is with your friends. Be nice to yourself!
For all of you who use all your energy to take care of others and don’t take time to care for yourself. This is for you!
17 Ways To Practice Self Love Today
1. Be Self-Compassionate.
Self-compassion involves being merciful (showing sympathy and concern) towards yourself. According to self-compassion expert, Dr. Kristin Neff, self-compassion includes self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness (Neff, 2003).
2. Create A Self-Love Ritual.
Every day unplug for 15 minutes and take time to sit and reflect. Taking time to chill, think and pamper yourself are all healthy habits to embrace.
Try meditation as a way to help cultivate unconditional kind attitudes toward ourselves and others. This time is ideal for prayer or simply fixating on gratefulness and the blessings you have in your life.
If you are not used to have quiet time to yourself, then you REALLY need this new healthy habit. I used to always have to have music or the TV on. Now I appreciate silence more than ever.
Some examples of a self-love ritual may be drawing a bubble bath, lighting a candle and telling the family you need 30 minutes of “me” time. It could be trying a new healthy recipe or talking a walk in fresh air, so you can breathe and ponder life. Pick up a good book , get cozy and read. Having alone time is a great way to reflect and support your emotional health. Surround yourself with tropical houseplants to create a sanctuary.
3. Love Your Neighbor
Take care of those around you. When you reach out to help others, it creates a ripple effect that pings us right back in the heart. It fills our heart with joy when we can take care of those around us. Random acts of kindness for family, friends, neighbors and even strangers will change your soul forever. It feels so good to help others. So much so that it is a wonderful way to give yourself self-love, too.
4. Build Your Circle
You know what they say – it takes a village. If you are someone who is always doing things for others- like most women I know… then you REALLY need the support and love from authentic friends and family members who have your back. Surround yourself with true allies, co-workers, and neighbors so you can support one another.
Research shows that positive energy is contagious, so whether you’re building a network or planning to go to a fun event, it’s always essential to have a community you value around you regularly.
5. Take Good Care Of You Body
When you are conscience about taking care of your body, you will feel much better- inside and out. Make sure you eat slowly and practice mindful eating. Mindful eating is maintaining an in-the-moment awareness of the food and drink you put into your body.
Be intentional about what you put into your body, not 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. Your body is a loving vessel that will love you back if you take good care of it.
Get lots of good exercise and make sure you keep your Dr apts.
5. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
We’ve all done it. Browsed through social media seeing what appears to be perfect lives. We all know this is not true but our mind somehow doesn’t at times. If we start to comparing ourselves to others it is never a healthy thing to do. Everyone has struggles, but what you mostly see on social media is the good things. I like to see my friends happy… I just don’t let me mind go into a jealous mode.
6. Explore Your Spirituality
Faith is the foundation for self-love. Whether or not you’re religious, 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 intuition.
As as a Christian, I have come to understand that God’s love is different from any other kind of love. In fact, the Bible says that God is Love.
Sometimes it’s hard to understand that God loves us more than anyone or anything. By understanding we are loved by a higher power is a good reason to love ourselves. Taking time to love your God fills your heart with joy and is the most fulfilling spiritual experience.
When you have faith, you have less fear. When you have less fear, you have more gratitude and self-love.
7. Find Your Passion And Purpose
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.
If you love to cook, then cook! Like to paint- schedule time in your day to paint. If you love to run, then grab those sneakers, head outside, and run. I have had friends who discovered their purpose and passion later on in life and it’s been a joy to see how they light up like a Christmas tree when they talk about their new found joy.
8. Let It Go!
Let go of things from your past and start fresh. This includes all the clutter in your life. Donate clothes and items that make you feel stressed. Tidying up is therapeutic. Getting rid of old things will make room for new treasures to come into your life.
Cleansing your mind and closet works the same way. Our past and old items can trigger negative vibes so let them go!
9. Protect Your Energy
When you go about your daily life, you are constantly interacting with people and taking on their energies. Toxic people tend to be energy vampires. Have you ever felt drained after a conversation or a news story? If you are a sensitive person, these energy zappers are bad for your health.
This is why it is so important to be careful with whom you hang out with and what books, TV shows, movies, news sources, and magazines you consume. Your body absorbs these things like a sponge.
10. Be YOU! You Are Imperfectly Perfect!
Embrace that you are imperfectly perfect! Remember that loving yourself is not being narcissistic it’s essential. Positive self-talk
is not easy to do but the self-love mantra is key for those who have a low self-esteem. Most women beat themselves up too often. Most human beings would benefit from more self-compassion in order to change the way we view ourselves. Negative thoughts
poison our hearts and minds, So next time a negative thought about yourself pops into your head about your body image, personal character or whatever, stop yourself because this type of negative self-talk will take you down a rabbit hole.
Loving yourself means that you are happy with who you are, and are confident in your abilities. You have faith in your judgment, and trust yourself to make good decisions. You believe that everything happens for a reason, and that you can handle whatever comes your way.
Write it down. Sometimes writing out your feelings is the best way to get to know yourself. daily affirmations or things you were grateful for on a daily basis, you’ll be amazed at the power of the written word. A gratitude journal is a wonderful way to offer yourself positive affirmations.
12. Spend Time With Your Gal Pals!
Get your best gal pals together! Go for a walk. Take a painting class with wine of course! Play tennis or golf… Just have coffee! Spending time with your close pals is a way to make yourself feel better. Close loyall friends are healthy relationships that give you unconditional love.
13. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is an extension of acceptance; it is an appreciation for what is. This is not to be confused with toxic positivity. It’s critical that gratitude is authentic and feels true. There are scientific reasons we should all practice being grateful.
Gratitude is an appreciation that shifts the focus towards moments of contentment, what is good and enough. Make a gratitude list of all your blessings. This list should include your personal good qualities. For example, your patience, your big heart, your lovely hair, your friends and family and on and on. Work hard to get to know yourself so you can recognize your strengths.
14. Live In The Moment
We need to find a way to recharge and nourish ourselves. Creating a mindfulness practice is the initial step in building a more present you, and elevating your quality of life. That’s why learning how to be mindful is such a necessary thing to do.
Although it might sound complicated, mindfulness can be as simple as remembering to pay attention to the present moment or naturally taking the time to breathe.
15. Challenge Yourself
Without challenge and change, there can be no progress or improvement in our lives. We often talk about things that we want out of life, things we dream about, and that’s where it ends- with us talking about it. Then we feel bad when we don’t achieve it.
Change and challenge, doing things that scare or intimidate us might seem challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Get our of your comfort zone.
A study found that mentally challenging yourself can be help us feel less anxious and sad. When you stick to doing things the same way you’ve always done them, it’s rare that anything will change for you.
16. Plan A Vacation
Look at your calendar right now and plan a getaway. It doesn’t take much time, make a list of where you would like to go and who with. Make it happen. Adventures are good for our soul. A life experience with what you will remember as you age. Girl’s trips are necessary-hint hint.
17. Consider A Change
If you are feeling stuck in your job, look for a new one. Change is good for you. Embrace something new.