Self-love is not simply a state of feeling good. It is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows through actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our short-comings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through our own efforts.
Many people mistakenly believe that self-love is the same as narcissism, or having a big ego. It’s not. So, what do we mean when we say “self-love”? Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. 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.
So do yourself a favor, take a deep breath, give yourself a little hug and start practicing the following:
1.Start each day by telling yourself something really positive. How well you handled a situation, how lovely you look today. Anything that will make you smile.
2.Fill your body with food and drink that nourishes it and makes it thrive.
3.Move that gorgeous body of yours every single day and learn to love the skin you’re in. You can’t hate your way into loving yourself.
4.Don’t believe everything you think. There is an inner critic inside of us trying to keep us small and safe. The downside is this also stops us from living a full life.
5.Surround yourself with people you feel good with.
6.Not everybody takes responsibility for the energy they put out into the world. If there’s someone who is bringing toxicity into your life and they won’t take responsibility for it, that might mean you need to step away from them. Don’t be afraid to do this. It’s liberating and important, even though it may be painful.
7.The timing is never going to be perfect for that next big step in your life. The set up may not be ideal, but that shouldn’t hold you back from reaching to meet your goals and dreams. Instead, seize the moment because it may never come back.
8.Allow yourself to feel things fully. Lean into pain, revel in your joy, and don’t put limitations on your feelings. Like fear, pain and joy are emotions that will help you understand yourself and ultimately realize that you are not your feelings.
9.Get into the habit of speaking your mind. Boldness is like a muscle — it grows the more you exercise it. Don’t wait for permission to take a seat at the table. Join the conversation. Contribute your thoughts. Take action, and know that your voice is just as important as anyone else’s
10.Let go of past trauma and wounds. This can be a really tough one and it may be one of those times you need to turn to others for support. The truth is though, when we let go of things that have happened to us it’s almost like a weight is lifted off our shoulders. We don’t have to carry that around with us anymore. We deserve better.
11.Find your happy place. Where’s the one place you feel totally at ease, calm, happy, positive, high on life? Go to that place when you are going through hard times, or imagine yourself being there. Think about how it feels, what it smells like, what it looks like.
12.The next time you are feeling happy and on top of the world make a list of your best qualities and accomplishments. It may sound a little corny, but it can be a wonderful reminder when you are having a day that’s less than amazing.
13.Turn off and inwards. Grab a cup of your favorite tea, coffee, wine, whatever your choice of drink, and sit down for a few minutes on your own. No TV or distractions, just you. Think about the wonderful things that are happening in your life right now, what your big dreams are and how you can make them happen.
14.Learn to say no. Saying no sometimes doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a smart person.
15.Have fun! Get out there and do the things that light your fire. Enjoy them, enjoy being you and enjoy your incredible life.
The more self-love you have for yourself, the better prepared you are for healthy relating. Even more, you will start to attract people and circumstances to you that support your well-being.