Self-love is more than a pampering spa session or shopping indulgence. It’s about prioritizing yourself, working on yourself, and consciously making decisions that are good for you. Check out 12 ways to practice self-love.
Value Your ‘Me-Time’
The responsibilities of the world may be on your shoulders, but you need to take a brief pause every day to look after yourself. Set aside 30-60 minutes from your schedule for ‘me-time’. Think of it as a date with yourself. Spend this time doing what you love.
Move Your Body
Any form of exercise pumps up your endorphins, your body’s natural stress busters and pain killers. Sway to your favorite song. Go for a walk in nature. Stretch and flex with yoga. Run with your partner or pet friend. Sweat it out in the gym.
Do Mirror Work
Louise Hay, the famous self-love coach and motivational speaker, recommends doing mirror work for self-love and self-esteem. A mirror reflects to you the feelings you have about yourself. Stand in front of the mirror and say positive affirmations, words of praise, or ‘I love you’ to yourself every day.
Stop Judging Yourself
Don’t judge yourself more than others judge you. Your or their opinions don’t define who you are. Next time you are hard on yourself, think of the universal law of relativity. It states that ‘nothing is good or bad, just relative.’
Do Digital Media Detox
According to addiction expert Dr Anne Lembke, digital media has turned people into dopamine (a feel-good chemical in our brain) junkies. Each swipe, like, and tweet feed their habit. This short-term dopamine surge can create mental health and body image issues in the long run. Give yourself a break from smartphones and social media for at least a few hours a day or once a week/month.
Try Something New
Doing something you never did before gives you a break from the mundane. It expands your horizons and brings a fun element to your life. Don’t let anyone stop you from trying a new hairstyle, taking dance lessons, learning a new language, or going on a stargazing trip.
Eat Mindfully, Not Emotionally
Zayn Malik, the former member of the boy band One Direction, opened up about his eating disorder to cope with his need for control a few years ago. If emotional eating triggers you to find pleasure in unhealthy food, it is a red flag for your body.
Show love and respect to your body with mindful eating. Pay attention to your food choices and be aware of all your five senses during meals.
Nurturing your spiritual self is also a pathway to self-love. Embrace spirituality with an open mind for peace, happiness, and self-awareness.
Do simple practices such as meditation, deep breathing, gratitude journaling, spending time in nature, sitting in silence, or chanting positive affirmations and mantras.
Late-night work hours, Netflix binge, or dinner with friends can adversely impact your sleep pattern. Research shows that sleep deprivation impairs the brain, and sleep loss over long periods can increase the risk for some diseases.
Your body needs sleep to heal, repair, restore, and reboot. Ensure you catch at least 6-8 hours of deep sleep daily.
Connect With People
As social animals, humans are hardwired to socialize with people to fulfill their emotional, physical, and other needs. Self-love isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Create a tight-knit community to lean on and be your vulnerable self.
Draw Boundaries In Relationships
While you must have people to share and laugh with, it is equally crucial to avoid people-pleasing. Learn to draw boundaries in relationships. Oprah Winfrey says, “You have to be able to set boundaries, otherwise, the rest of the world is telling you who you are and what you should be doing. You can still be a nice person and set boundaries.”
Forgiveness is considered the most beautiful and ultimate act of self-love. Katherine Schwarzenegger gives meaningful insights into unforgivable relationships in her book, ‘The Gift Of Forgiveness: Inspiring Stories From Those Who Have Overcome The Unforgivable.’ She urges people to walk the road of forgiveness and extend empathy and compassion no matter how difficult.