Self-love is an important part of well-being that often gets put on the back burner as we prioritize the needs of others before our own. However, the very definition of self-love requires prioritizing your own needs first, and not sacrificing your own health and well-being for the sake of others. To practice self-love, it is necessary to develop an appreciation for yourself and reinforce it through actions that support your health, happiness and growth. These simple tips can help you get started.
Practice positive self-talk. Getting in the habit of speaking to yourself kindly and reducing negative self-talk increases self-love and confidence. It might sound silly, but try to make it a daily habit to sincerely tell yourself “I love you” while looking in the mirror—after some time you’ll really start to feel it and believe it!
Take an inventory of your strengths and pleasures and nurture them. Be confident in your abilities and personal strengths. Write them down to keep them top-of-mind and participate in activities that help you enhance them.
Be kind to yourself when you make mistakes. Think about mistakes, slip-ups and failures as learning experiences to help you do better the next time.
Take care of yourself. Stay on top of important preventive care measures—this includes physical exams, vaccines, blood pressure checks and more—and get medical care when you need it.
Exercise and eat healthy because you love your body and want to keep it healthy. There are many reasons to exercise and eat healthy, but the best one is because you love yourself and want to be strong and healthy! Bonus: Any type of physical movement can build your self-esteem by stoking up the feel-good brain hormones that lift your mood.
Carve out time each day for an activity that is just for you. Whether it’s a half hour to walk at the start of the day, taking 15 minutes during your work break to read a book, or enjoying a warm bath at the end of the day, daily “me” time is beneficial to nurturing self-love.
Strive to be your personal best. Comparing yourself to others in any way can undermine your self-love efforts.
Spend time with yourself. While time with others is healthy, it’s equally important to spend some quality time with yourself! This enables you to focus on the things you love and avoid compromising to keep everyone happy.
Take time-outs from your phone. Scrolling through feeds, reading the news, texting others, etc. might seem relatively harmless, but it is valuable time you can be spending doing something that contributes to your well-being!
Surround yourself with positivity. Weed out the depressing news, social media feeds and the friends or acquaintances who drag you down rather than lift you up.
Stay focused on yourself. If you’re neglecting yourself in some way that is detrimental to your physical or mental health, it is important to speak with your doctor or mental health provider to help you get back on track!