An old, familiar adage on the topic of self-love goes something like, “you have to love yourself before you can love somebody else.”
Easier said than done, right?
While it may feel like a massive hurdle to overcome, learning to truly love yourself can lead you to living a more peaceful and satisfied life. Self-love strengthens your mind, body, and spirit.
Get started with these 12 simple tips.
1. Wake up to daily affirmations.
An endless supply of affirmation ideas abound online, or even buy a deck of affirmation cards and pull one card each day. No matter how you approach it, setting the tone of your day with an affirmation can help you shift your mindset about yourself. A few affirmation ideas could include:
– “I accept myself with love and respect.”
– “I love who I am and who I’m becoming.”
– “I deserve to be proud and confident.”
2. Be intentional about your time.
By being present in your life, you will feel more fulfilled about how you spend your time. Instead of moving through your day mindlessly, keep a planner to organize your week. Sometimes it’s perfectly okay to go with the flow, but with some structure you can eliminate pesky distractions and feel better about your productivity.
3. Make sure you’re hydrated.
Forgetting to drink enough water during a busy day is easy. Try setting a recurring alarm on your phone to remind yourself to hydrate every now and then. You can even incorporate foods into your diet that are naturally hydrating, such as most fruits as well as nut milk.
4. Treat yourself to gifts.
Whether retail therapy is your go-to, or you’re a foodie who appreciates an upscale restaurant, treating yourself is a great way to show yourself a little extra love. You do not need to earn the gifts you give yourself; you do not need to have any reason other than “just because.”
5. Move, move, move.
Exercise has a powerful influence on your brain through the release of endorphins. Your mood can be immediately improved by stepping outside for a walk or dancing to your favorite music. Make it a priority to move several times per day, especially if you have a sedentary job or home life. Remember that your body is your temple–exercise out of self-love, not self-loathing.
6. Feed your body nourishing foods.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever come home from a long day and thought, “I’ll just heat something up fast.” Raise your hand if you skip breakfast or even lunch. Many of us are guilty of this. It may be more convenient, but you’re causing more harm than good to your body. Your gut holds the key to your brain, which holds the key to your emotions–love yourself through the fuel you give your body.
7. Get adequate sleep.
If you struggle with keeping a healthy sleep schedule, a few ways can help you improve it. Start by establishing your bedroom as a sanctuary of rest. It should be a place that feels cozy, safe, and relaxing. You may also want to consider natural remedies such as:
– drinking chamomile or valerian tea,
– doing a short meditation or yoga session, or
– putting your devices away early.
8. Set appropriate boundaries.
It’s okay to say “no.” It’s okay not to please everyone (that’s a pretty impossible task anyway). Setting healthy boundaries is an excellent way to love yourself because you are also respecting your personal time and energy. By doing this, you remind others what to expect, which can aid in keeping those boundaries for yourself.
9. Surround yourself with those who encourage your self-love.
If your people don’t make you feel loved, then they aren’t your people. Always spend time with others who stimulate your mind, cheer you on, and embrace you for who you are. Solid, healthy relationships can be a blessing in learning to love yourself better.
10. Keep a journal.
Journaling is an insightful and rewarding practice you can weave into your daily life. Several types of journaling can get you started, from gratitude journaling to art journaling to bullet journaling. Experiment with different forms and find what’s right for you. Allow your journaling practice to be part of your self-love ritual.
11. Speak kindly to yourself.
Loving yourself means telling yourself so. The thoughts you think are a direct conversation with yourself, so it is important that your self-dialogue be positive and uplifting. Pay attention to when you fall into negative self-talk, then gently guide yourself back and give yourself grace.
12. Don’t neglect your “you” time.
Leading a chaotic life often means you don’t make proper room for your own alone time, but setting aside time to just be with yourself, enjoy your hobbies, and reflect is crucial to your mental health. Your self-love rituals should always center around YOU, otherwise…it’s not self-love.
Which do you want to try first? There is no single, certain way to approach these self-love tips. You may begin with practices that feel easiest to you in the beginning and then move up from there. Or, maybe you want to challenge yourself–that’s great, too!
No matter where you are in your journey to self-love, remember that it’s all about you, and no one else can decide it for you.