23 Ways to practice the magic of self-love
Are you good to yourself?
Do you fully love yourself; mind, body, and soul?
I think it’s something that we all struggle with, or have struggled with, at one point in our lives.
We’ve been raised in a society where we are “suppose to” look a certain way – thin, but not too thin – curves, but not too curvy – perfect smile, perfect hair, perfect complexion, etc. It’s no wonder that we have a hard time fully embracing and loving ourselves when we are surrounded with ideals such as these on a daily basis.
I’ve struggled with an eating disorder, anxiety, and severe depression, partially due to not feeling or being “good enough” in today’s culture. We are surrounded by social media – magazines, videos, websites, tv ads, etc., that we are constantly comparing ourselves to. It’s no wonder that eating disorders, depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses are at an all time high.
However, what I’ve learned is that self-love is everything.
It can change so much for each of us. I believe that self-love is the root from which everything else within our lives grows and flourishes. Our relationships, our success, our happiness, etc., all comes from first believing, knowing, practicing, and achieving a true, deep, love for yourself.
The journey of self-love certainly isn’t an easy one, but it’s so worth it! Along your journey you can learn how to recharge and restore. You can heal your past wounds. You can gain strength. You can become resilient. You can tap into your own inner power and become the person whom you truly love and are proud of. You can become an unstoppable force of your own love. You can become the light of your own life!
You deserve to be loved. Truly. Not only loved by those around you, but also loved by the most important person in your life, YOU. After all, you are the person that you’re going to be with 24/7 for the rest of your life, so you might as well try to start loving your own company right now.
You cannot truly give love to others if you don’t have that love within you first. You may feel as though you have the ability to love, but if you don’t love yourself, what’s really happening is you’re giving love from an empty space, further draining your energy and emptying your tank. This eventually can lead to a sense of depletion, emptiness, and exhaustion after you feel yourself giving, giving, and giving to someone. However, when you remember to take care of yourself and love yourself, then you’ll be giving love from a full tank. This type of giving feels truly energizing. <3
We must realize that self-love isn’t selfish or narcissistic, it’s all about getting in touch with ourselves and our happiness. Once we love and embrace ourselves, it’s easier to love and embrace others too. It’s also important to practice self-love so we can push through our limiting beliefs and live a life that is truly amazing.
For those of us who have experienced the power of self-love, we can agree that the effects can often feel quite magical. The moment we start devoting our lives to loving ourselves, we experience shifts—positive shifts. Life begins to move forward with ease, and everything begins to manifest into their rightful places. Relationships improve. Health improves. And life begins to feel good, actually worth living for.
Loving yourself by creating that deep, internal, sensual relationship with yourself has countless amazing benefits for your life.
So do yourself a favor, take a deep breath, embrace yourself, and start practicing the following list to grow in your journey of self-love:
- Start each day with a morning ritual. (See more information about creating a morning ritual here).
- Surround yourself with people who are positive – those that love you and encourage you, and stay away from those who are negative and constantly bring you down.
- Treat others with love and respect. It makes us feel better about ourselves when we treat others the way we want to be treated. That doesn’t mean everybody will always treat us the same, but the least you can do is try. The universe hands back to us what we put out, so put out love and respect, and you will receive love and respect back to you more frequently.
- Embrace and love the things about yourself that make you different. The freckle on your nose, the scars on your arms, the hair on your back, etc. That is what makes you unique. That is what makes you, you. Don’t let those photoshopped images make you feel inadequate. Your body is unique. Your body is imperfectly perfect.
- Prepare healthy meals for yourself. For some people, this might mean eating vegan food, and for some it might just be avoiding eating fast food or sugar all the time. Put thought and effort into grocery shopping and meal preparation. Treat your body with food that makes it feel good.
- Treat your body with love. Stretch your muscles. Give yourself a massage with a foam roller. Relax into your body. Moisturize your skin with lotions or oils. Give yourself a sensual massage. Practice gratitude and thank each body part for all it does for you.
- Indulge in a spa day for yourself. Go to a spa, get a facial, a massage, or your nails done. If you can’t afford that right now, then you can have your own spa day at home. Take a warm bubble bath with some epsom salts. Light some candles. Play some music. Give yourself a facial mask. Paint your own nails. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but know you are worth extraordinary care.
- Turn off and inwards. Do some reflecting. Get away from social media and TV. Grab a cup of your favorite tea, coffee, wine, or whatever your choice of drink is, and sit down for a few minutes on your own. Just you. Think about what you might not be satisfied with in your life right now, and what you can do to change that situation. Also think about the amazing things that are happening in your life right now. Think of what your dreams are, and how you can make them come to life.
- Wear clothes that truly make you feel good and fit your personality instead of wearing clothes that are “in style”. Additionally, on days you’re feeling “off”, wear lingerie under your clothes. It makes an amazing impact on your mood, not to mention gives you the feeling of being sexy. 😉
- Buy only what you absolutely love. Don’t allow things in your home or closet that don’t bring you positive vibes. If you don’t love it, and it’s not super practical, why keep it? So while you’re at it, get rid of whatever doesn’t meet that criteria.
- Create an organized, clean, and aesthetically pleasing home for yourself. Your environment is everything. It should make you feel happy and give you positive energy. You should feel inspired. You should be able to love your home and be proud of it. Buy some artwork, make a vision board, rearrange your living room, buy some flowers. Even if you’re on a budget, it’s possible, there are tons of DIY projects out there. Make your house your home.
- Get creative and express yourself. Write, paint, listen to music, sew, dance, DIY crafts, play an instrument, etc. Do whatever it is that you feel you can express yourself and your emotions. There are no right ways to be creative.
- Step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. Or do something that’s on your bucket list. It’s an incredible feeling when you realize you’ve achieved something you didn’t know or think could happen before. Color your hair a new color, go skydiving, check out a new store, take a vacation. Get out there.
- Invest in your learning. Buy a new book, or two, or three. Take a class through a local college or search online through Groupon, Udemy, or Teachable. Find out if you can take some classes at your local gym. Volunteer somewhere to learn new skills. Gift yourself with knowledge, and who knows, you might even find yourself a new passion!
- Speaking of passion, follow yours! You know the thing that gets you excited, but also scares you at the same time? The thing you really want to do, but have convinced yourself that it won’t work? Go try it! Want to write a book? Start your own business? Teach a yoga class? Go to college? Do it! You’ll never know how it might turn out if you don’t at least try.
- Use affirmations. Affirmations are usually short, positive statements that you write or repeat several times to help you overcome negative thoughts and self-sabotaging behaviors. Our thoughts lead into our emotions and behaviors, so if we use affirmations on a regular basis, we can change our thoughts, then changing our emotions and behaviors as well.
- Get a journal. Write your thoughts down. It’s a good technique to use to be mindful of your emotions and what you’re thinking and feeling. Carry your journal with you and write down all your thoughts as they come up, no matter how crazy, mean, sad, terrifying, or amazing they might be. Keep track of everything in your journal. Maybe you want to tear it up and throw it away afterwards, or maybe you’ll want to refer back to it. Do whatever it is you need to do to let it go of the negative emotions and hold onto the positive ones.
- Find gratitude every day. It’s inevitable that you will have some down, or “off”, days. Don’t worry though. This is totally normal. It only means you’re human. What will help you get through these days is if you find at least 1 – 5 things that you’re grateful for. Finding gratitude helps to shift your mind and energy to a more positive place. I recommend getting a separate gratitude journal specifically for this purpose. Write 1 – 5 things when you wake up and/or before you go to bed. Or maybe you just want to use it in the moments when you’re feeling down. Ooor maybe you want to list a bunch of things you’re grateful for when you’re in a happy state, and then when you’re having a down day, you can refer back to it. It’s ultimately up to you, but practicing gratitude daily can lead to huge transformation. Being grateful can be about anything – your family, your job, flowers, the smell of pine needles, your ability to write, clean underwear, etc. It can be however big or small, it’s what you are truly grateful for.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to your family, friends, counselors, coaches, healers, hotlines, etc. Reach out to whoever you need to help you through the tough times. No one is expected to go through their struggles all alone.
- Find your own happy place. Whether it’s somewhere real – maybe a place in nature, maybe a place in your home, or maybe it’s somewhere fictional – a place that exists in your mind. This place should be where you feel totally at ease, calm, happy, positive, carefree, and loving life. Physically go to your happy place whenever you’re going through hard times, or just imagine yourself being there – truly visualizing it. Thinking about how it feels, what it smells like, what it looks like. Going to your happy place can give you a sense of peace, even when your life isn’t feeling that way.
- Be aware of how you’re treating yourself. How are you talking to yourself? What actions are you taking on yourself? Are you treating yourself like you would to your younger sister, a friend, or your daughter? If it’s not loving, encouraging, inspiring, or supportive, be aware of that and start making a change. Start reframing your thoughts and actions as to how you would treat someone else. You, above all, deserve your loving thoughts and actions.
- Make time to do what you love. What you love to do should be a priority to you. Make time for it without worrying that you’re “wasting” your own time, even if it’s just 15-30 minutes. You should make time for yourself daily. Read a book, take a bath, go for a run, eat a nutritious meal, stretch, watch an episode of your favorite show, etc. It’s all about doing what you truly love, regardless of what others have to say about it.
- Be realistic. Even though it might seem like there are some people who have it all together, there isn’t a single person on this earth that is happy every single moment of every single day. You know why? Because we are all human. We feel emotions, we might think negative thoughts, and this is okay. Allow yourself to feel and express yourself. Allow yourself to be human without fear of being perfect. Allow yourself to just be. You are okay. You are enough. Just the way you are.
Keep in mind that self-love doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s a daily practice that will grow, evolve, and develop over time if you’re dedicated and committed to it. So just be patient with yourself. After a while, you’ll be able to look back and see that you’ve blossomed into your greatest self.
Also please know that self-love is most definitely not selfish. Self-love is about connecting to your innermost needs, celebrating the freedom of being you, and honoring who you truly are, while dropping your destructive patterns. Loving yourself is pure magic. Having a divine relationship with yourself will help you radically improve every single aspect of your life. So go on, drop the guilt, and embrace having a deep, loving relationship with YOU.