Self-love can be a tricky pursuit. On the one hand, you want to love yourself because it feels good and makes life great. (Obviously.) On the other hand, you've got society, your teachers, your boss, your mother, and even your own ego constantly telling you why you're not good enough. Which can make things a little tougher...
But if you really do want to start dedicating yourself to loving yourself there are several tools and tricks that will help you tremendously along the way. In this article, I'm sharing some of my favorite ones that I feel get overlooked neglected the most.
I mean, there's always the obvious ones, like affirmations, yoga, meditation, taking baths... Those are all great practices and everything, but these ones I'm about to teach you are more like things we might not even realize we should be doing.
Every point in this article is something that if you just start doing a little more of it every day, you'll be acting more and more like someone who loves themselves. And by practicing that for a little while, you'll be well on your way to a lifestyle that is self-loving. So let's dive in, shall we? #timetoloveyoself
1. Saying "No" More Often
Saying "no" more often, in other words having boundaries, is one of the healthiest most powerful ways to start loving yourself. It's O.K. to politely decline sometimes. It's O.K. to skip the party in order to rest at home. It's O.K. to call in sick when you need a break. It's O.K. to not be everything for everyone all the time.
What I'm trying to say is, stop bending over backward for other people and start putting yourself first. Then, and ONLY then, can you decide who and what you want to say "yes" to. I challenge you to stand in your own authenticity today and practice saying "no" (nicely, of course) whenever your first inclination is to decline.
Usually, we just ignore the part of us that wants to say no because we have been taught it's not "nice". But what's really not nice is putting yourself at the bottom of your own priority list!
2. Relating to Meditation in a New Way
It's easy to get into the meditation grind and forget how pleasurable it can (and should) be. Practicing stillness is an important part of getting in touch with the real you. No self-love checklist is complete without it. So if you're feeling like meditation has become a chore, it's time to fall back in love with it so you can fall back in love with yourself!
If the whole sitting and breathing technique doesn't do it for you, here are some other meditation techniques you can try so you can enjoy your practice once again. Try a new one every day of the week and see which one resonates with you the most. Then, when you've found your favorite, enjoy that meditation style until it get's stale and move on to the next!
3. Forgiving (and Not Forgetting)
Forgiveness is your very own shortcut to feeling better when you've been wronged by someone or something in your life. For that reason, you should make it regular a part of your self-love practice. BUT, and this is huge but, just because you forgive someone, doesn't mean you have to forget about what they have done and excuse their past behavior.
There is a fine art to forgiveness where you can genuinely forgive someone in your heart (doesn't even have to be to their face) and then choose how to properly handle the situation in real life. As a person who loves yourself, you should still hold them accountable for their actions and you can choose not to trust them or even associate with them any longer if that's what you need to live your best life.
(Pssst! If this topic intrigues you, there is a whole lesson in my online course Manifesting Masterclass that is dedicated to how to forgive people.)
4. Wanting More
You know how when you love someone so hard you just want them to have everything they could ever want and then some? Naturally, you want the best for them because you love them. Well, if you seriously want to love yourself you should try wanting the best for yourself too every once in a while!
Take it from a very healthily self-centered girl, wanting the best for you and your life is a surefire way to ensure you'll do everything you can to create your dream life and never settle for less than you deserve. Not only will it help you to feel amazing, but that energy is going to affect and touch every single person you come into contact with. And along the way, you're going to inspire others to live their best life too! So really, it's a win-win for everybody, not just yourself.
5. Feeling Good Unapologetically
A lot of people (without even realizing it) subscribe to the notion that there must be a reason for them to feel good. Everything in life has to be perfect, otherwise there is no valid reason to feel good, cause you "don't have anything to feel good about". Well, I say f*ck that! Why not just decide to feel good because life is short and you can choose to feel good anytime you want?
Let me tell you right now that you don't need one single reason to feel good, although I'm sure you already have many good ones! You can choose to feel good just because it feels good. It really is that simple.
6. Resting When Necessary
In today's world, it can seem like if you're carving time out to rest, you're falling behind. But this is simply a lie we tell ourselves in order to try and keep up with the Jones', so to speak. Which in and of itself is a tiresome and restless pursuit.
Really what we should be doing if we want to get ahead is taking care of ourselves and getting in alignment with the chill, calm and collected person we are meant to be. Because when we can get into that flow state, that's when the magic happens, that's when your genius turns on, and that's when life get's reallllllly good.
So make sure you're giving yourself permission to rest on a daily basis. If you're tired, take a nap. If your brain hurts from thinking too hard, go for a walk. If you're sick of dealing with stupid people, take a break.
7. Giving in to Pleasure
There's a reason why your soul chose to come to earth and live life as a human. As humans we get to experience the awesome sensations that come with living in a three dimensional reality. We can interpret all kinds of information with all five (or sometimes more) of our senses.
For whatever reason, there seems to be a lot of shame around the idea of pleasuring oneself and giving in to pleasure. But there doesn't have to be! When you take the time to enjoy what brings you pleasure, weather that's stroking your dog, enjoying the most delicious candle ever, (dare I say it) participating in the "S" word, you are taking advantage of your time here on earth by soaking in it's juicy moments through your senses. You're indulging, and that's great!
8. Suffering (Temporarily)
I think Danielle Laporte said it best when she sated, "When we paint over pain with premature positivity, we short circuit our healing." In other words, don't go through life bypassing your negative emotions in order to fake feeling better.
It's O.K. to suffer sometimes. It's O.K. to feel shitty every now and again It's O.K. to cry, and mourn, and get mad, and scream into your pillow! (Clearly, I have experience in this department.) So if you are going through some pain right now, I highly recommend you check out this video where I talk about how to handle fear and other "bad" emotions.
Give yourself permission to start going through your "bad" feelings instead of trying to go around them. Sit with them, validate them, work through them, and on the other side, once you've healed properly, you will feel that much more whole and the negative emotions will not come back to keep trying to teach you a lesson.
Self-Love Tools To Help You On Your Journey
Now, while I haven't personally created any courses about self-love or self-care I have two resources in mind from other great blogs that you will LOVE and greatly benefit from!
The first is a Self-Care Planner by resiliantapp.com. In the planner, you get tons of self care ideas, journaling prompts, everyday exercises, simple action steps, a daily planner with morning and nighttime prompts, and it's designed really beautifully (which I always appreciate)!
It's basically a 15 page printable PDF that will totally help you make some shifts in the right direction. And the best part is it's only $12!
The second is Sacred Self-Care for Moms by jessicadimas.com. It's a 44-page PDF guide that comes with 7 worksheets that only costs $15!
It will help you to learn how to identify your unique stressors and triggers, establish you own self-care strategies, transform your habits, start a badass morning routine, enjoy a re-centering nighttime routine, and make more time for self-care everyday.
Hope these help!
Ready to start on your self-love journey?
Download the free printable “21 Self-Love Journal Prompts” and get started today!