What Is Self Love? 15 Ways To Start Loving Yourself Today
Self love is something I talk a lot about on my blog, with my friends, and even with strangers. I think everything starts with self love, and it’s an incredibly important foundation for a life full of happiness, fun, and success. What is it, though? What is self love? Self love is a concept, a feeling, and an action all at the same time.
Self love is a concept, where you approach your life with the notion that you are an important and unique individual. You have innate value, independent of your physical appearance and deserve to have a beautiful life. You also accept who you are as-is, even if you have areas of your life you’d like to improve.
Self love is a feeling, where you experience the sensation of being enough. You feel beautiful, worthy, and empowered on a regular basis. You recognize these feelings aren’t narcissistic because it’s reasonable to want the best for yourself. It’s being appreciative of who you are, your talents, and your lifestyle.
Self love is an action, where you take steps to put yourself first. You create self care routines and implement them with priority and urgency. You say no to things that don’t serve you in the highest regard. You follow your dreams because you believe in yourself.
15 Ways To Start Loving Yourself Today
1. Practice gratitude on a daily basis
Consider keeping some sort of Happy Journal, where you document the good things in your life. This can be in any format from handwritten to digital. Either way, make sure you’re at least making a mental note of the good things you’re lucky enough to have and experience in this life.
2. Create positive affirmations
What is the best compliment someone could ever give you? Write that down on a piece of paper and tape it to your bathroom mirror. Every time you see it, say it out loud. Write and speaking positive affirmations have a lot of power for building up our self worth.
3. Tell your inner critic to shut the hell up
We all have a voice in our head that’s been telling us we’re awkward, ugly, and stupid. It’s probably been there since around middle school. Tell it to shut up. Treat that voice the way you would someone who is screaming unprovoked obscenities at your best friend in the street. You’re not welcome here.
4. Only keep positive people in your life
Negative, draining, complaining people will only hold you back. Spending your precious time with people who don’t make you happy or inspire you in some way is an incredible waste. On the other side of the coin, if you surround yourself with positive and uplifting people, you’ll be more motivated and inspired to go after your own dreams, be productive, and have the kind of fun you want.
5. Believe in yourself enough to follow your dreams
Speaking of dreams, you need to let yourself have them. Whatever you daydream about isn’t just nonsensical filler for your mind, it’s something you wish you had! Allow yourself to entertain the idea you will succeed and create a plan to implement. It’s never too late, and if you believe you can do it there should be no reason to hold yourself back.
6. Say no when you need to
If someone wants you to hang out with them, go somewhere, do them a favor, or work for them and you want to say no, say no! If your gut says no and you cringe at the idea of accepting their offer, that means you shouldn’t say yes. It’s okay to put your needs first and create an environment and workload that pleases you and doesn’t stretch you too thin.
7. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else
In our internet-driven world, it’s almost impossible to not have impulsive feelings of judgment and jealousy. There is no reason to ever compare yourself to anyone else, even if your opinion is you’re “better” than they are. Everyone is always on a different journey and at different stages. You will get where you need to be if you persevere and believe in yourself, and so will they. Just because someone has more money, Instagram followers, or children than you does not make them better and vice versa.
8. Put your mental health first
Depression, anxiety, and mental illness in general are some of the biggest obstacles for practicing self love. Unfortunately, there is a general lack of empathy in society for mental illness, and we make assumptions and accusations without knowledge to back them up. Mental illness of any kind sucks, and I won’t ever sugarcoat that. That’s why it’s important to prioritize your mental health. If you need days to be alone and immerse yourself in your symptoms and emotions, that’s completely acceptable. Loving yourself is about believing you’re worth the effort of getting help with therapy, medication, and the like. You deserve to be happy.
9. Celebrate your unique aspects and inner weirdness
Loving yourself is accepting who you are, including the super strange parts, too! Actually, your weirdness is what makes you interesting and awesome. Regular is boring, let your freak flag fly!
10. Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes
We all fuck up. Often over and over again on the same issue. It’s okay. Try your best to learn and grow, it’ll be okay. You’re supposed to make mistakes and it’s okay to regret your past decisions because it means you know better for next time! What’s not okay is to dwell on the mistakes you’ve made because it’s over and bullying yourself over your imperfections takes away valuable time and energy from your new endeavors.
11. Reward yourself for any and all accomplishments
Crossing stuff off your to do list or achieving a goal is a big deal. Everything you do right is awesome, and it deserves to be celebrated! Try out different reward systems for yourself, whether it’s a physical chart or treating yourself to a fun activity after you do something more difficult. Make it enjoyable for you to succeed and you’ll go further faster!
12. Don’t give a fuck what people think
We don’t get anywhere alone, but caring what everyone thinks about your dreams, lifestyle, and decisions is counterproductive to your personal development. If you back peddle after every nay-sayer shouts something negative, you’ll constantly be apologizing and second guessing yourself. If you’re doing something bold or unusual you will get attention, and with attention comes criticism. There are seven billion people out there ready to judge your every move. Act like they don’t impact your outcome and live life how you want.
13. Give yourself the same advice you’d give to your best friend
We’re always kinder and softer to our friends than we are to ourselves. If your friend had a shitty week where she made a ton of mistakes and a series of bad decisions, you wouldn’t berate her over it. You would console her and tell her it’s going to be okay. You know why? Because it is going to be okay. The same advice you’d give your best friend is the stuff you should be telling yourself in the mirror. Give yourself some slack.
14. Create things that make you happy
Expressing yourself is a vital element to self love. The way you create is drastically different from someone else, it might be outfits, meals, or chapters of a children’s book. Creating gives us purpose, having purpose makes us feel fulfilled, and fulfillment leads to happiness. Schedule time to make stuff, whatever that is to you. We are all artists.
15. Spend time alone
Date yourself. Go out on your own and find out how you like spending time. It’s liberating to be alone and helps you search your soul for what you really adore in this life. Do what you want without the need of company and you will find joy. Doing your own thing with pure contentment will attract the people you need in your life.
I made you a certificate you can print out and hang on your wall to practice self love right now!
Want even more tips, tricks, and support with your journey of self love? Treat yourself to my e-course, Self Love: The Key To Happiness.