Self-Love for me was hard to come by. In my early twenties I had acquired the belief that self-love was earned; the product of a long work week, an extra mile on my morning run, saying no to dessert at the end of the day. It took an injury, a hard look in the metaphorical mirror of self-inquiry, and time, lots and lots of time to learn self-love was a lot bigger and a lot more beautiful than how much I weighed or how burnt out I was. It took the change to learn self-love isn’t earned or bought, but it’s tended to like a garden. While self-love isn’t without effort, by leaning deeply into your self-worth, you can expand the love you feel for yourself and others.
Diet and exercise are crucial to feeling good inside and out, but here are a few different ways to illuminate the path to self-love:
1. Put Down Your Phone
This is a tough one, I know. Our phones are our literal connections to the world, I get it, but there’s something to be said about limiting our screen time. Social media can be a wonderful tool for staying in touch, but there’s a big part of it that leaves us feeling less inspired and really, more deprived. We lose time, we compare ourselves, we get lost in a world that isn’t always what it seems. Set a timer on your phone to help limit screen time, or make it a point to only scroll at certain times of the day. Limit morning and before bed use to help keep your head and heart clear of FOMO. Remember that real life is happening now, right in front of us.
2. Positive Affirmations
Our brains are so powerful. Have you ever heard that saying, “where your attention goes, energy flows”? Well, it’s not wrong. The more energy you invest into thinking a thought, the more life you give to that reality. Try to set a positive affirmation for yourself every week. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or too specific, just keep it simple and honest. One of my favorite affirmations and the one I use the most is to “Trust the timing of your life”. This one helps me stay grounded even when challenging situations arise. It reminds me that I am worthy of everything I dream of, that I am an individual worthy of love. Be bold with your love, make it a statement every week.
3. Do Something You Love
Sounds simple, but this tends to be one of the hardest things to do. Maybe it’s because we put others first before ourselves, maybe it’s because we lack the time needed to do things we love. Either way, it’s time to make doing what you love a priority. Create a schedule or routine that allows time to do what makes you feel good. Whatever your thing is, I can’t stress enough how important it is for us to remain in contact with this source of feel-good. When we are connected to our source of happiness, it shows, and it gives us space to become better partners, parents, human beings. So do your thing, and do it often.
4. Practice Good Posture
I blame technology a lot for this one, but what a huge difference does it make to stand tall. Good posture not only promotes confidence but it radiates a feeling of love for yourself. Its physical manifestation at work, keep your head lifted and your heart open.
5. Try Something New
Get out of your comfort zone! I never knew all the ways I could love myself until I started trying things I had never done before. Last year I started jiu-jitsu and I never knew I was capable of doing anything like that. Growing and expanding beyond what I thought I knew about myself opened me up to so much more self-love. Give yourself a chance to try something new, and witness the magic in your becoming.
6. Clean, Tidy, Organize
There’s a lot of love in creating a space for yourself that feels good. It doesn’t have to be over the top or extreme, but in taking care of the things in our lives, we express love. Everything we begin to do becomes a reflection of this love. I don’t clean because I have to, but because I want to, because I like how it makes me feel. Allow cleanliness to become an expression of the love you have for yourself.
7. Get Outside
Fresh air is so important. Take a moment to go outside and take a deep breath of air in. Being outside is a great way to check in with your alive-ness, to witness the magic in life all around you and within you. Self-Love doesn’t get much deeper than that, to feel and be a part of this miracle of life.
8. Ask for Help
Life can be challenging, and there is no glory in bearing it alone. Sometimes the best practice of self-love is knowing when to ask for help. I like to relate yoga blocks to help, oftentimes we think we don’t need them, or that if we use them we are somehow weaker, but the reality is, in leaning into these tools in class we can go deeper into our practice than before, likewise, help can bring us closer to our source. Self-love is found in the community too.
9. Reach out to Someone You Miss
How often does this happen to you; a person comes to mind, and you think to yourself I should reach out soon, but it slips your mind, only to pop up again weeks later? You’re not alone. Next time this thought comes to mind, make it a point to do it right away, or maybe write it down in your schedule or put it into your phone. Staying in touch with the people we love is good for the soul. Love is contagious, spread it!
10. Gratitude is The Attitude
End your day with a thank you, to you. Forgive yourself, be gracious with yourself, and remember we are all doing the best we can. Gratitude is an important mindset to have but especially towards ourselves. Don’t’ forget how worthy you are of this gratitude, and claim it daily.
The path to self-love isn’t an easy one, it will be filled with setbacks and loopholes, but you’ll be better for them all. Do not seek to be loved friends, but Be Love. I love you all. Thank you for reading.
If you liked this blog, check out our other blogs like: "The Secret of Self-Care: Approach over Action," "Resources to Nurture your Spirituality," "8 Different Types of Yoga: Explained to Help you Choose," and "8 Ways to Show Yourself Some Kindness."