Self-love is something that we all want to achieve, but it is difficult to do when we don’t speak nicely to ourselves or make ourselves a priority. What even is self-love? Self-love looks different for everyone. At its very core, self-love is accepting yourself as you are and accepting your emotions for what they are. It is eliminating shame and putting your own well-being first. It is appreciating yourself even when you are at your lowest and taking action to support growth in all areas of your life. Here are 6 ways you can practice self-love:
Create healthy habits
Start creating healthy habits by listening to your body. Our brains send signals to our bodies, which convey important information about our physical and emotional state. Think about what your needs are. What habits can you incorporate in your day-to-day life that will enforce the idea that you are worthy and deserving of love? What will convey the message that you love and accept yourself fully? When you have a deficit in self-love, you feel depressed and anxious. Creating healthy habits will help you fill up your cup. You are creating a stable foundation to fall back on when things inevitably get uncomfortable throughout your day or week. Part of creating these healthy habits come from addressing your vulnerability factors. Maybe you notice that you feel more anxious or depressed when you don’t eat enough, or you don’t eat nutritiously. Part of creating healthy habits and loving yourself means taking care of your physical and mental health. Eat right, meditate daily, and avoid shoving your feelings down.
Be compassionate with yourself
Oftentimes, we set super high standards for ourselves, and get frustrated and angry with ourselves when we don’t meet our expectations. Making mistakes is a part of being a human, and while it’s uncomfortable and embarrassing to make them, they provide us with valuable lessons. Be compassionate with yourself when you make mistakes. Don’t look at yourself with judgment, but with loving awareness and understanding.
Show self-love by treating yourself like you are your own partner
Make a list of everything that you want in a romantic partner or a friend, and become that for yourself. Don’t wait for other people to meet your needs or fulfill you, take charge of your life and do it for yourself! Take yourself out on a spontaneous date. Enjoy your own company. Talk to yourself. Make yourself laugh. Compliment yourself. Get dressed up for yourself. Do the things that light you up, from the inside out.
Step outside your comfort zone
You love yourself when you encourage yourself to grow. You can’t grow when you stay where you’re comfortable. It can be frightening, but when you learn to accept all parts of yourself, you’ll feel more confident stepping into the unknown and trying the things that will help your spirit grow taller. Stepping out into the ring and participating in life takes a lot of courage, it isn’t always comfortable or fun, but it’s incredibly fulfilling and what the human experience is all about. Our souls have a purpose, and they were meant to experience all facets of life, even when the wheel turns in the opposite direction.
Find something to be grateful for every day
We all have days where we don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, and we dread the day ahead of us. When we don’t have that solid foundation of self-love, we can get caught up in and carried away by these feelings, and we allow ourselves to wallow in sadness and discomfort. Try shifting your negative mindset by finding at least one thing to be grateful for every day. It is very human to have bad days, but we can sometimes take it too far and extend it to a bad week or month. Allow yourself a moment each day to think about and feel how grateful you are, acknowledging how far you have come even in the midst of your uncomfortable feelings.
It is time for you to let go of all the things that you feel embarrassed or ashamed about. You cannot change the past and you cannot control the future. Believe that you are a good person who has the ability to change. Shame is a useless emotion. The only thing it does is make you feel so uncomfortable that you want to make a change. Once that shame has done its job in getting you to change, let it go, and start loving and accepting yourself.
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Alli Cravener is a social media coordinator and writer who is passionate about connecting people through words. Alli studied English at Arizona State University and has found her niche uniting concept and content in the realm of mental health and the expressive arts. Alli’s interests include painting, history, learning about other people, and wearing the color pink. She likens herself to a “mouse in a palm tree”, and she loves it that way.