Self-love is an incredibly important part of taking care of yourself.
Often times, self-care and self-love go hand in hand — to routinely take care of yourself often involves prioritizing yourself and your needs. Sometimes when we have trouble showing ourselves love, we are also having trouble taking care of our needs.
Self love is the act of appreciating, encouraging and valuing yourself.
Self-love is often confused with self-indulgence, selfishness and vanity. Being loving towards yourself is actually having immense gratitude and self-respect for who you are internally and externally.
If you’re having some trouble with showing yourself some love, her are 4 practices that can help:
Speak to yourself kindly.
Saying kind, warm and caring words to yourself is a simple, but truly special way to show yourself love.
Many of us can be pretty critical, nit-picky and sometimes even ungracious with ourselves. We can be quick to judge ourselves, insult ourselves or talk to ourselves negatively.
Speaking kindly to yourself could look like taking moments to replace negative comments with positive ones. Instead of saying something judgemental to yourself, how can you say something that’s understanding? Instead of saying something self-critical, how can you say something that recognizes that you are growing and learning?
The practice of noticing when you are being unkind to yourself and trying to switch out negative sayings with kinder sayings is, in itself, a self-loving act.
Encourage yourself by creating your own affirmations
Affirmations can be a special way to reconnect to yourself and what’s important to you.
Affirmations are sayings and quotes that evoke positive feelings within you. The positive feelings can include feeling inspired, motivated, encouraged, excited and hopeful.
Creating your own affirmations can add another layer of care to your self-loving act. To create your own affirmation, think about:
- What words and/or sayings resonate with you? What words and/or sayings are special to you?
- What do you need to hear or see on a daily basis to feel supported, encouraged and loved?
- What words and/or sayings help interrupt your negative or self-critical thoughts?
Feel free to write or voice record your affirmations so you can view them and listen to them regularly as part of your self-care.
Notice your own strengths
What do you do well? What are your unique skills of? What is a talent of yours that you appreciate?
Noticing your own strengths is a self-loving practice, as you are noticing the parts of yourself that you are proud of and that make you feel good about yourself. As a self-love practice, take some time to reflect on what things, activities and skills you do well and what you love about these parts of you.
The first section of our guided self-care journal, Self Explore, Self Restore has a bunch of journaling prompts to help you reflect on this very self-loving act!
Celebrate and treat yourself
When I facilitate self-care workshops, one of my favorite questions to ask is “When was the last time you celebrated yourself?
And I don’t mean the last time you had a birthday or the last time you and your loved ones celebrated a holiday — when was the last time you recognized yourself for sticking to a goal, or for stepping outside of your comfort zone? When was the last time you committed to something that was important to you?
Routinely celebrating yourself and treating yourself are self-love practices you can start today. Reward yourself for maintaining boundaries, choosing to be courageous and for handling a conflict in a healthy way.
When it comes to treating yourself, find ways where you can gift yourself something special. Whether it’s with taking the afternoon off of work or purchasing a gift for yourself off of your wishlist, get creative with how you show yourself love in this way.
Allow self-love to be a regular part of your self-care routine. You deserve to appreciate, care for and love on yourself every single day.
What are your favorite ways to practice self-love?