The practice of self-love of so important. Yet, it may be something we avoid because we aren’t exactly sure where to start. Or, we feel like there is always so much else to do that seems more important. It may be helpful to think of building a practice of self-love into our days as a lifelong process; a cultivation that takes time, devotion, and discipline.
We may avoid ourselves at different times and need to feel that slight shift to open up to loving ourselves more. A new perspective can give us the grounding we need to deepen our self-love practice.
One of my favorite teachers, Byron Katie, says, “Do you want to meet the love of your life? Look in the mirror.” That may feel uncomfortable, but it’s true when you think about it. All of the love we feel comes from within our own hearts, so we need to take the time to nurture and care for our tender hearts properly. When we are in balance and feel that loving openness within, we can radiate love, wellbeing, and happiness to those around us.
Oscar Wilde once said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
So how do we start that romance? How do we learn to love ourselves? Here are 8 practices to ease us more into the mode of caring for ourselves- mind, body, and spirit, so that we can begin to flourish in all areas of our lives:
1. Schedule Time in Your Day to Do What You Want to Do
Shrug off the never-ending expectation to continually be connected. Challenge yourself to think about how you can carve out time in your day to do the things that make you feel good. You can take 15 minutes to read a chapter of your favorite book with a cup of hot tea, take a long walk, or do absolutely nothing at all. Do whatever you want to do that feels nourishing for your body and soul, and make it happen – today.
2. Daydream, Open Your Mind, and Welcome in the Happiest Version of Yourself
Taking the time to explore our spirits is a deeply self-loving practice. You can do this by taking a moment to stop, meditate, and even daydream of the days you felt most beautiful and happy. Focus on why you felt that way in those moments. This simple practice will help you create a path to rediscovering and replicating these special times in your daily life. Connect with your spirit and allow it to lead.
3. Pamper Yourself as a Form of Self-Love
You might think this is superficial, but it’s so important to our self-esteem. Whether it’s booking yourself a massage, simply painting your nails at home, or taking the time to draw yourself a luxurious bath surrounded by scented candles. Enjoy putting your phone away and putting yourself first.
If you want to splurge on some luxurious bath soap, consider trying Milk and Honey.
4. Keep a Gratitude Journal Near Your Bed and Use it Every Day
“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.” – Amy Collette
We all love to make lists to keep track of what we need to do, but it’s also therapeutic to notice what we have in our life. Try keeping a journal by your bed, and note the things you feel lucky to have. Everything from your comfortable, cozy bed to feeling grateful for that friend who called and brightened your day can be jotted down.
To help make gratitude a part of your everyday life, create cues to remind you when to pause and take a moment to reflect on what you are grateful for. Be grateful for the small things as well as the big. Practice gratitude regularly, and it will naturally become a part of your everyday life. It may bring happiness, better health, and contentment to your world.
5. Reduce and Cleanse Your Social Media – a Self-Love Must
Whenever you start to feel down on yourself while on Instagram, Facebook, or whatever social media feed you find yourself on, disconnect from it. Make sure you only follow people who bring you joy, lift your spirit, and inspire you. Anyone else, unfollow.
Most often, people on social media only report on their success, and so it can be tough when you’re comparing your entire life to everyone’s feeds. Take the time to break away from social media, and allow yourself to focus on the beauty of the moment, that’s perfect exactly as it is.
6. Eat Healthily and Mindfully as a Self-Love Practice
When you can take the time to cook something delicious for yourself, think of how you are lovingly caring for your body – that has been so good to you. Be sure that whatever you are preparing is healthy and filled with the nutrients that are right for your body. Then, sit down and mindfully enjoy eating your meal at your leisure.
7. Move Your Body as a Practice of Self-Love
It has been proven that exercise improves our moods by releasing endorphins. As part of your self-love routine, choose something that you enjoy, so you feel you aren’t forcing or punishing yourself. Consider yoga, walking your dog, or dancing around the house like J.Lo! It doesn’t matter. Just move your body to care for your body, mind, and spirit.
8. Loving Ourselves Goes Hand in Hand with Creating Healthy Boundaries
Overcommitting and being too busy are primary causes of stress and exhaustion. You are not an unkind, selfish, or rude person for saying no. Women especially seem to blurt out “yes” when thinking “no, no, no” inside our heads. By saying no to others, you say yes to yourself and free up space to do what you really want to do.
Remember that practicing self-love takes time, patience, and a level of commitment. It may take some effort to lean into building these loving and caring habits into your daily routine, but it’s worth it every time.
“It shows, you know. That you’re glowing from the inside and out. That love you have for yourself and your life adds a beautiful spark in your eyes.” -angelica moone
I hope these tips and practices serve you as we move through this season together…
For another powerful self-love tool, consider writing morning pages. For more on this, look here.