Self-love is a phrase that’s thrown around often, but what does it really mean, and how do you practice self-love? You may have heard the phrase “love is a verb”, and you know what? Self-love is a verb, it’s an action… it’s all about your behavior and attitude as you grow in love, acceptance and appreciation for yourself.
Here are 5 steps to get you started on your self-love journey.
Forgive yourself. If you’re anything like me, you can be hard on yourself. I am my own worst critic! Interestingly enough, I am quick to forgive others. Over time, I’ve had to learn that when I make a mistake, it’s not the end of the world. I’ve learned to appreciate my experiences, and view them as what they are: something to learn from. Instead of dwelling on the perceived “mistake”, I look for the lesson in my collection of experiences that I call life! This has enabled me to forgive myself for poor decisions and to continue to grow. Lesson learned.
Let go of anything that no longer serves you. Easier said than done, right? But why waste time and energy on things that no longer serve a purpose in your life? This includes relationships, friendships and even bad habits. Anything that is holding you back, LET IT GO!!! It’s as simple as unfollowing people on Facebook or Instagram that have a toxic effect on you. Fill the void by surrounding yourself with people who love, care and support you, or by following pages on Facebook and Instagram that have a positive influence and vibe.
Prioritize Y-O-U. Sometimes this comes in the form of saying no. Why is it so hard to say no? Yes, it can make you feel guilty, but understand that saying no does not make you a bad person. You cannot live your life to make others happy (or for their approval) at the expense of your own well being. Your value as a friend does not depend on how much you do for other people. It’s OK to say no to others, just like it’s OK to say YES to Y-O-U!⠀⠀
Practice Self-care. Taking care of yourself and your needs is a way of showing love and appreciation for YOU. Remember that your self-care routine is as unique as you are. Need to relax? Take a hot bath, light a candle, play some music. As you continue to practice self-love, this may evolve. You may find that you are more mindful about how you nourish your body, making sure you get proper exercise and prioritizing 6-8 hours of sleep every night.
Make it a daily habit. Self-love is not a one-and-done. Find ways to integrate self-love into your daily life and activities. Start each day with an affirmation, such as “Today is a beautiful day and I will attract good things into my life.”
Reminder: Self-love is not selfish! It’s about making yourself a priority. Be the best YOU that you can be. Your future self will thank you!