For someone who hasn’t practiced treating themselves with that dammit-I-deserve-it kind of self-love, it’s not a matter of when to do it, it’s a matter of how.
If you’re not already used to putting you first, treating yourself with kindness, and doing the things that you KNOW you should be doing for yourself… I have some news for you.
Learning how to practice self-love may feel like learning a new language. It’s strange, foreign, and doesn’t feel very natural.
I get it, bro.
But it’s not impossible, and once you learn it, it has UNDENIABLE benefits like improved confidence and self-esteem. I mean the type of self-esteem where you don’t have to compromise your authenticity and staying true to who you are. That’s what I call self-love.
Being committed to living a life that’s in alignment with who you are is a form of self-love.
Real quick – can you tell me what’s a better way to live? I’ll wait.
Step 1: reflect
What does self-love mean anyways? What does it look like to you?
Self-love looks different for everyone, it’s important to understand what it means to you.
To me, self-love means:
- Honoring myself by listening to my inner voice or intuition
- Being committed to my personal, spiritual, mental and emotional growth
- Allowing my passion and excitement to be the compass needle pointing me in the right direction
- Allowing myself to have peace of mind and to seek the brighter side of things
- Refusing to settle for less than, and knowing that I am worthy of having all that my heart desires
Learn what it means for you, by:
- Reflecting on what self-love means as you by hold space for yourself; meaning, be present with yourself, journal about it, meditate on it, etc.
- Ask yourself, what are some ways that you show yourself, through your words and actions, that you love yourself right now?
- What are some things that you could do differently?
Exercise: Throughout the day, ask yourself “if I loved myself unconditionally and wholeheartedly, what would I do now?” and then do that. Again and again and again.
Step 2: establish a routine
Once you have learned what self-love means to you, demonstrate it by establishing a self-love routine.
Adapt a beauty routine for your hair, skin, and nails.
Cook or buy yourself foods that are healthy for your mind and body. Meal prep if you don’t have the time.
Explore different types of self-love affirmations that you can tell yourself on a daily basis.
Make time to journal for reflection and introspection.
Take an hour of the week to do something you love (painting, walking in nature, going to a museum, etc).
Commit yourself to tidy up your home every day.
Love is action, and self-love is no different.
Step 3: tune in + realign
With everything that can be going on in our lives: work, school, children, bills, our home, laundry, cooking, etc. (#woosa), it is especially important to tune-in and check-in with our feelings. Since it is very possible to lose sight of who we are at our core when having to tackle our day-to-day tasks, the simple act of just sitting down with no agenda for 5 minutes can go a long way. Simply allow yourself a moment to appreciate yourself and your surroundings. Allow yourself the opportunity to breathe in and out for a couple of seconds. Don’t wait for someone to offer you the sentiment of a: “how was your day?” Give it to yourself. Ask yourself that question and tune-in to how you’re feeling.
Use this opportunity to remind yourself what is important to you. What holds the most value to your life and how can you ensure that you’re not losing sight of this on a daily basis?
- Do you deeply value spending time family? Then prioritize spending time with your loved ones.
- Do you value your role in your career? Then read a book about becoming the best professional you can be.
- Is it important for you to live a purpose-driven life? Then meditate and pray on what your purpose-driven life looks like.
- Do you value your significant other? Then ask yourself how you can be more of a blessing in his/her life.
STEP 4: consider the value that you’ll have to offer the world
We can change the world by changing ourselves. We can change the world by SHOWING UP as the self-loving, ALREADY WHOLE and COMPLETE selves that we already are at our core.
This bigger-picture perspective is important when considering the changes that you want to make.
Realize and acknowledge that these changes are not only for yourself… they are also for your family, loved ones, your community at large.
You’re setting the example for other people to follow. You’re choosing to live a life that is true to you and by your very existence, you are giving other people the opportunity to do the same because you are showing them what’s possible for them.
Besides, if you can only love someone to the extent that you love yourself… then think about how much you can really love someone else once you begin to put YOU first by demonstrating to yourself how lovable you really are.
Recap + last minute thoughts to walk away with
- We all experience and feel love differently. Learn what it means to you.
- Establish a self-love routine. Love is action; and what’s a better way to demonstrate self-love to yourself than by committing yourself to an actionable routine?
- Take time out of your day to tune-in and realign with yourself. Remind yourself what is valuable to you so that you don’t lose sight of what brings you joy.
- Look at the bigger picture: self-love doesn’t have to be selfish, in fact, it’s the complete opposite. By embracing self-love, you are uplifting your family, loves ones, and community at large. You are also expanding the amount of love you have to give.
Your turn, how can you envision your life changing by wholeheartedly and unconditionally loving yourself? Comment below and let us know what you feel.