10 Tips for Practicing Self-Love
It’s the season of valentines, of red roses, of chocolate-covered everything. It’s a time to tell others how we feel about them. It’s an occasion focused on romance and loving other people.
We’re fully supportive of all of this. In our busy lives, it’s all-too-rare that we take a moment to press pause and show our loved ones how much we care. And while Valentine’s Day can make us all fall victim to commercialization, it’s hard to hate on a holiday that seeks simply to spread love.
We do find it strange, however, that there’s not a similar holiday dedicated to loving yourself. Yes, it’s important to be open about our feelings with others, but it’s equally — if not more — critical that we turn those positive feelings inward and show ourselves the love and kindness that we so deserve.
Here’s what we propose, then: celebrate Valentine’s Day… and celebrate it well! But start integrating elements of self-love into the festivities. Not sure how to start? Keep scrolling for ten ideas.
1. Make a habit of positive affirmations.
Words matter, which means that the way you speak to yourself can have a massive impact on the way you perceive who you are and on the way you live your life. Come up with a positive affirmation (or five!) that you can repeat to yourself regularly. Remind yourself of this mantra whenever you’re questioning yourself or — better yet — every morning when you wake up. Your affirmation can be something as simple as “I am strong and powerful” or “My inner light is shining.”
2. Don’t feel guilty about self-care.
We hear a lot about self-care these days, but making time to prioritize it is only half the battle. The other half is learning not to apologize to anyone (including yourself!) for doing it. Be proud of that self-care time. Own it!
3. Cut out the temptation to compare.
We’re willing to bet that one of the things that most frequently robs you of your self-love is your tendency to fall into comparison traps. And where do we find those traps? Two words: social media. Nothing will tempt you to wonder how your life measures up to someone else’s quite like a scroll through your Instagram feed. If you can’t resist that temptation, you might consider taking a break from social media for a bit so you can spend time focusing on all of the wonderful qualities that you already possess.
4. Spread love to others.
Love begets love. Doing more to intentionally show your friends and family how much you care about them is bound to inspire you to spread love in all directions — including internally.
5. Seek support and community.
You may struggle to love yourself because you don’t have enough opportunities to see yourself as others see you. Find a positive, affirming community — like the one we offer at Jyoti — or consider seeing a coach or counselor who can help you rediscover all of the things you should love about yourself. These kinds of resources will also give you the tools you need to manage stress and anxiety in the future so that your light continues to shine.
6. Be kind to your body.
Loving your body means respecting it and treating it well. Practicing healthy movement and nutrition on a regular basis is a great way to steward your self-esteem. You show your love for others by taking care of them. The same should go for you.
7. Do the things you’re good at .
We can’t work in our strong suits 100 percent of the time, but who says we can’t make a priority of exercising our strengths? Stop hiding the hobbies and passion projects that allow you to feature you at your best. Offer to step in at work when it will give you the chance to shine. Doing what you’re good at will give you a confidence boost, which will make you want to do more of what you’re good at. And so begins a beautiful cycle of self-love!
8. Learn to let go of the things you’re not good at.
As you celebrate your strengths, you should also work on making peace with your shortcomings. No one is perfect! When you feel yourself getting down in the dumps about something you might see as a failure or weakness, focus instead on all of the things you do beautifully. This will help you learn to let go of everything else!
9. Accept compliments.
For some reason, we’ve been conditioned to deflect when people give us compliments. Change the cycle! Next time someone says something nice about your outfit or your work or how well-behaved your children are, simply smile and say “thank you!”
10. Give yourself a day off.
You deserve it. A little down time will allow you to reconnect with your best self and to rest your body.