The last couple of years have been challenging for most of us. We’ve been tested in so many ways – from our physical health to our mental health and the financial struggles in between.
If you’re still standing today, you’re a fighter.
But your self-love has probably taken a hit in favour of your survival instincts. Am I right?
Searching online for all the self-love quotes might bring you momentary satisfaction, but it just won’t cut it.
Keep reading to discover 20 simple ways you can practice self-love and show yourself some appreciation today.
1. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude
Nothing works for maintaining a positive outlook on yourself and your life like adopting a grateful mindset. When you create a habit of focusing on what you do have, it’s hard to allow what you don’t have to get you down. A practical way to do this is by keeping a gratitude journal. It doesn’t have to be a daily essay – just write down three things you’re grateful for each day.
2. Spend time doing what you love
What are the activities that without fail, always bring a smile to your face? Spend more time doing them! From going bush walking to cooking a delicious meal – if it brings you joy then carve out time in your calendar to make these activities a priority.
3. Try something new
When you’re doing the same old thing, day in and day out, it’s easy to become bored. This can quickly turn into self-pity. Self-love and self-pity don’t go together. Seek opportunities to learn and grow by stepping outside your comfort zone and trying new things.
4. Learn from your mistakes
We all mess up sometimes. Failure is part of the journey, especially when you’re trying something new. Instead of dwelling on your mistakes, learn from them. Ask yourself, “what can I take from this experience that will help me in the future?”
5. Set realistic expectations
Nobody’s perfect. It may not be easy but let go of those perfectionist tendencies that only lead to overthinking, stress induced acne and sleepless nights. Lower your expectations to a more attainable level for greater peace of mind. The same goes for your expectations of others.
6. Don’t compare yourself to others
Have you ever heard the quote “comparison is the thief of joy”? These are wise words to not ignore. Think about the last time you compared yourself with a friend, sibling, co-worker or celebrity – did it feel good? Probably not. Do yourself a favour and focus on your own journey.
7. Don’t seek approval from others
Everyone will have an opinion about the decisions you make. Sometimes, it’s because they care. Other times, it’s because they’re just opinionated people. Either way, be selective about the voices you allow in and seek their advice – not their approval.
8. Share your voice
We all have a story to tell that someone needs to hear. Your journey in this life is unique to you, as are your thoughts and opinions. So, when it matters – share your voice and speak your mind. Because you’re worth listening to.
9. Allow yourself to feel all the emotions
Are you hurting? Allow yourself to feel the pain. Are you healing? Allow the process to unfold. Are you happy? Allow joy to overflow. No matter what you’re feeling, your emotions are valid.
10. Ditch the negative self-talk
The way you speak to yourself reflects the way you love yourself. Negative self-talk is one way to allow the opposite of self-love into your mind and heart. Each time you feel yourself verging on that territory, replace it with a positive affirmation – say something you like about yourself.
11. Prioritise you
You may be praised for being a selfless person but when you put others ahead of your own wellbeing, you end up being unproductive. Take care of your own needs and you’ll be better able to take care of others.
12. Say “no” when you need to
This adds to the last point – learn to say “no” if saying “yes” would only fill you with dread and resentment. If you need to stay in tonight instead of going out for dinner with friends, then do it.
13. Be present in each moment
In our fast-paced society, it’s normal to constantly be planning the next thing. What am I having for dinner? What am I doing next week? Next month? Thinking too much about the future can cause us to lose sight of the present. Practice being present and you’ll find joy in the little things.
14. Take mental health days (or weeks)
You deserve it. Life can be a lot to deal with and sometimes you and I need a mental break from what’s going on in our world. If you can, book a staycation or time away every few months to clear your mind and reset.
15. Disconnect every now and then
Technology is embedded in almost everything we do today. Though it can simplify our lives, it can also detract from our mental health and wellbeing. Try disconnecting periodically (a social media detox does wonders) to spend time in nature or with loved ones.
16. Nourish your body
A key part of self-love is self-care. Be mindful of what you put in your body and treat it with the highest respect. Also, listen to your body. If it’s telling you that you’re pushing it too far and you need a break – take a break.
17. Embrace your imperfections
We all have flaws. Yours are more obvious to you than anyone else. Accept that your body has features you’d like to change. Better yet, embrace them as beautiful.
18. Surround yourself with people who build you up
When you have people around you who love and encourage you, it’s easier to love yourself. Be intentional about who you spend time with to protect your self-love.
19. Love others
It goes both ways. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Small gestures for others are an effective way to feel good about yourself, too.
20. Treat yourself
Now, this one isn’t an everyday practice. Although it can be if you think of an affordable way to do it! Maybe you’ve wanted to get a massage for months – treat yourself. Maybe you’ve wanted to stay in that luxury hotel since it opened – treat yourself. Maybe you’ve had your eye one of the premium intimates in our essentials collection – definitely, treat yourself.