Self Love is one of those buzzwords I keep hearing. At first, I really thought – this whole love yourself business is for people with more time, money, or issues than me. It’s something for salespeople, motivational speakers or hippies, but not for me.
When I started researching the topic though, I realized it was really just about taking care of yourself. There are some power benefits of not putting yourself last on your to-do list!
By putting yourself first – or at least scheduling some time just for you – you are able to be more productive, cope with problems, and choose better friends and possibly a spouse too!
Psychology Today even says putting some self love into practice can help you have more compassion for others! I totally believe that too because I know I’m nicer to someone in line at the grocery when I’m not in a rush and just going with the flow versus after a hard day.
In this post, we’ll talk about the philosophy, benefits and action steps to self-love.
What is Self-Love?
Psychology World describes self-love as “..a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth.”
This doesn’t mean we have to burn incense, chant, or even do affirmations. (Sorry – but I seriously thought that was what it was about!)
It really is just about treating yourself with the same compassion, concern, and support you’d show your best friend.
Self-love grows as we do so you start wherever you are right now. Taking time to love ourselves can help us accept our weaknesses and strengths.
My favorite part of self-love though is the compassion and centeredness that comes from it. By loving yourself first, you have more empathy for someone else.
Benefits of Self Care
- Decreased anxiety and depression.
- Increased positivity
- Better recovery from stress.
- Increased motivation towards activity, eating right and meeting spiritual needs
- More compassion towards others
- Increased productivity and focus
- A more optimistic and creative outlook
How to Self Love
The idea of a self-love practice kind of worried me. I was a little nervous it would be too “out-there” for me. It really is all about finding what works best for YOU though.
With that said, I’ll outline some of our favorite things to incorporate into our self love practice. You can add or subtract from this list.
1. Be Mindful
Mindfulness is really just living in and enjoying the moment. This may be taking 5 minutes before everyone else is up to really enjoy your coffee. Thinking about the smell it gives off, how your hands feel on the cup, and how the warmth flows through your body with each sip. This allows you time to be silent, still and just breathe.
You might also look for a 3-5 minute mindful breathing or meditation series. Another way to be mindful would be to do a scan of each part of your body. Our friend, Judy, is a mindful expert and offers a course on meditation if that is something you’re interested in.
2. Create a Morning and Evening Routine
Every day we wake up and go to sleep. Everything else may be different, but those 2 pieces happen each day. So creating a short little routine in the AM and PM is a great way to make your self love practice stick.
This may be as simple as brushing your teeth and putting on sunscreen with your favorite playlist going in the background. You could also choose to pray, read the Bible, journal, set an intention for the day or review how your day went.
3. Be Grateful
The idea of doing a grateful journal puts me personally to sleep, and then I feel GUILTY because I don’t want a journal like that?! And then I feel anxious about what to include – do you list things more than once – do you make it sentences to just words?
Maybe I’m the weirdo, but part of self love is accepting what works for YOU. So for me, if I feel I’m getting short tempered or anxious, I’ll remind myself of 3 things I’m grateful for.
They may be big or small. They may relate to my current situation or be totally different. Just being present and remembering the good things in life can put you in a centered place.
4. Learn to Say No
In short – it’s okay to say no. If you are a people pleaser, consider saying, “Thank you for thinking of me! Let me check my calendar and get back to you.” Then you can evaluate if the opportunity aligns with your priorities or not.
5. Fill Your Mind with Positivity
This one felt like brainwashing to me at first, but really – aren’t we flooded with negative all the time? Disasters, politics, anger and prejudice, and hate are all over the news. We never see puppies on the news, but murder – sure why not?!
Find a good personal development book and listen to it in the car or as you meal prep to mix in some happy thoughts.
6. Good Self Care Routine
Making sure you feel good is key! You are worth the time and energy to be your best self!
7. Set Boundaries
This goes back to being able to say no. Boundaries also can mean cutting off time with negative friends or turning the phone off between 6 pm and 6 am.
Find what works best for you and honor it!
8. Let Go Of Perfection
No one is perfect, so why do we hold ourselves to that standard? We all have strengths and weaknesses. It’s okay. Let it go.
9. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Comparing ourselves to others or our past accomplishments doesn’t honor ourselves either. Plus, the comparison doesn’t bring us any closer to what we are wanting to start with.
We also never know what someone else is going through. Today – more than ever – it’s easy to just show the glossy, happy side. Don’t buy into it.
10. Forgive Yourself
Rehashing old mistakes or being critical of ourselves doesn’t move us forward either. Stop living in the past or worrying about the future, today has enough on its own to focus on.
11. Forgive Others – Letting it go
Now that you’ve set those boundaries, let the past go and focus on today. Letting it go can help you have a healthier, happier life.
A grudge or hurt feelings only hurt you not the person you’re upset about.
12. Try Something New
Trying something new can energize us, and it can help build our confidence! Even going for a walk on a new path or trying a new recipe can help you break into a better mood!
13. Have Quiet Time
There is so much noise in your world all the time. You are worth a few minutes each day to just recapture the best pieces of the day and just be present. It will make the rest of your day more enjoyable, focused and centered. Keep at it.
14. Live Intentionally
It’s really easy to react versus being proactive. Being proactive and living intentionally allows you to live the life you want and how you want to live it. Don’t look back and wonder where your life was between all of those emails, critical thoughts and social media posts.
Figure out what is important to you and schedule those things in first!
Self Love Books
All 3 book recommendations are affiliate links to Amazon; however, they all 3 have changed how I live daily. I can’t tell you how much they helped me, and neither of us (my mom or me) is into quick fixes.
Also, one of the how-to’s was to increase positive thinking into your life – all 3 books will help you do that!
I’ve struggled with expectations for a long time. I always want to do what is expected of me and take care of others. The thing is – people learn how YOU expect to be treated. You have to set boundaries and show people what is acceptable. That also goes with setting realistic boundaries for people in your life that can cause you stress and upset you.
That also goes with setting realistic boundaries for people in your life that can cause you stress and downright sadness. This book allowed me to let go of that guilt I felt saying no to certain people.
This book is really for couples, but it applies to your self-love practice too. You’ll identify your love language in the book, and you’ll want to show yourself love in that way. For example, my love language (how I receive and appreciate love) is quality time. So the idea of throwing our
For example, my love language (how I receive and appreciate love) is quality time. So the idea of throwing our affirmations every day seems like a waste of time for me. On the other hand saying, I’m taking an hour bath with a glass of wine is right up my alley.
If you struggle with people pleasing or worrying, I beg you to try this book. It’s the most “out-there” of the 3 books, but it really can change your whole perception.
What does your self-care practice look like?
How do you describe the self love philosophy?