Do you know what self-love is?
It’s more than changing your hair, getting a new wardrobe, or attempting to redefine yourself. self-love is gaining an appreciation for yourself through the physical, emotional, and spiritual support you provide yourself with.
It’s not a fixed state but can grow over time through actions that lead to maturity. Establishing self-love can be a long journey but it’s a vital step to improving your mental health and overall happiness. So, here are a few tips that may help you along the way.
Number one, forgive yourself. Are you incredibly tough on yourself?
Sometimes when you’re struggling for perfection you end up overlooking the fact that you’re only human.
Although you may tell yourself that you’re just holding yourself accountable, too much self-deprecation can be harmful to your mental health. Instead, learning to forgive yourself for the mistakes you make and treating them as opportunities to grow, is a step towards practicing self-love.
Number two, be mindful. Are the goals you set for yourself really what you want or are they pushed onto you by society?
Being introspective or mindful can give you a sense of clarity into who you are how you think and what you want. It arms you with self-knowledge that you can use to move forward. Some ways to practice mindfulness include keeping a journal, meditating, or just taking some time to self-reflect.
Number three, act on what you need. Do you know what gives you energy?
What makes you happy? Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed with needing to spend so much time with your friends or colleagues, but feel bad for wanting to step away. Choosing to go anyways may end up draining your energy and leaving you exhausted.
That’s why it’s so important to identify the things that make you feel better versus the things that make you feel worse. Knowing what you need and acting on those needs is a form of self-love.
And it can go a long way for your mental and emotional well-being which brings us to number four, set boundaries.
Are there certain behaviors that you’re not willing to put up with? The purpose of setting boundaries is not to kick people out of your life but rather to help you identify what is acceptable or welcomed in your life and what’s not. Healthy boundaries help you filter out things that drain your energy, and harm you emotionally, physically, or spiritually. A way to set boundaries is by starting with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Figure out what you need to feel loved or accepted and then work from there.
Number five, self-love is protecting yourself.
What type of people do you surround yourself with? Another way to practice self-love is to protect yourself. This may mean bringing people into your life who will be supportive and who contribute to your emotional, mental, and spiritual health instead of tearing it apart.
Getting rid of fake friends or anyone who takes pleasure in your misery is important for your self-esteem and self-confidence.
Number six, live intentionally.
What makes your eyes light up? What inspires you? Sometimes it’s easy to just follow a routine in your day-to-day life to the point where you stopped giving it much thought but it’s important to live life with intention and to make choices that help you move towards your goals.
For example, if you intend to live a peaceful and healthy life you need to make choices that support that goal that may include learning how to meditate or starting to change your diet for the better.
Number seven, show up for yourself.
Do you scold yourself when you don’t finish everything you set out to do? There will be times when you don’t accomplish everything you plan to do but, acknowledging the effort you’ve given and the amount you have done is important. It’s easy to focus on only your fault but showing yourself kindness and compassion, even in how you talk to yourself can help override some of the negative mental patterns you may have and help you feel loved and supported.
And number eight, practice self-care.
Do you tend to ignore your needs sometimes? Taking care of your basic needs is an act of love.
Even taking a few minutes out of your day to check in and provide yourself with what you need can help you feel a lot better. Whether it’s soaking in a hot bath, eating something healthy, or even working out.
Practicing self-care can go a long way for your mental health and your happiness. Have you practiced any of these types of self-love?