5 Ways to Practice Self-Love
If you find yourself without a partner, it can be difficult to see all the over-the-top displays of romantic love and affection. However, this is the time to really focus on the most important love in your life – yourself. This is the true love that will never let you down.
Self-love is a basic human necessity. Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being, respect for your own happiness, and appreciation for yourself. It requires actions that support your physical, psychological, and emotional growth. It is one of the most important things you can practice in order to lead a healthy, fulfilling life. Self-love looks different for each individual, and while there are many tips and tricks for jump-starting a consistent self-love routine, here are our top five tips for practicing self-love.
Put yourself first
Putting yourself first isn’t selfish. It’s a critical tool that must be implemented more regularly. Many of us are raised to believe that in order to be a good child, parent, or spouse, we must put ourselves and our own needs last after everyone else’s needs are met when really the opposite is true. How can you take care of others when you haven’t taken care of yourself? Don’t be afraid to take time to recharge and refresh even when those around you are demanding attention. Loving and taking care of ourselves better enables us to love and care for those around us. Put on your own oxygen mask first.
Build healthy boundaries
Building healthy boundaries takes practice and determination, but it is an extremely important skill for all areas of life. Saying no and implementing strong boundaries with others is one of the best ways to love yourself. “No” is a full answer, but take time to practice saying no in other ways that make you feel comfortable and strong. Have these replies ready when someone makes demands on your time and energy. Pay attention to who disregards or argues against your boundaries, and hold strong in your answer. Those who respect you will respect your boundaries. Most importantly, don’t feel guilty after setting boundaries. Boundary setting is a healthy way of loving yourself.
Take care of your body
You only get one body in this life. Taking care of it is one of the best ways you can practice self-love. Eating good food, drinking lots of water, exercising, and taking a long bath are only some of the ways that you can show your body love. Taking care of your body isn’t vain. It’s protecting the precious vessel that holds your mind and soul. We must acknowledge and respect the mind-body connection that so greatly influences our mental state.
You would never tell your best friend that they are ugly, stupid, or a failure. So why are you telling yourself that? If you wouldn’t say it to someone else, then don’t say it to yourself. Put up a hard boundary with that inner critical voice. Practice thought stopping, and stop those critical thoughts in their tracks. Replace those negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Think loving, positive thoughts about yourself even when you don’t totally believe them. The day will soon come when you will start believing them. Fill your mind with loving thoughts and watch your self-love blossom.
Stop comparing yourself to others
Comparison is the killer of happiness. You are happy with your life until you see the beautiful life someone else has. However, their beautiful life doesn’t take away from your own fulfilling life. It’s only the act of comparison that can diminish your joy. There will always be someone with a seemingly “better” life. Also, remember that what we see of others’ lives might not be accurate. When we compare our lives to other people’s, we don’t have the complete picture. You are actually comparing yourself to a fantasy. Stop the comparisons with others and focus on the wonderful life you have.
Self-love can also be called self-compassion. Have compassion for yourself and let go of those negative thoughts that are dragging you down. Self-love involves being kind and understanding toward ourselves when we fail rather than punishing ourselves with self-criticism. Practicing self-love is just that – a practice. It must be consistently practiced in order for results to be seen. Loving and caring for yourself is a life-long act that requires dedication and determination. You need to focus on the love you have within you every single day. These five tips are simply the first steps on a long, rewarding journey towards self-love and acceptance. Remember that the journey towards self-love is just as important as the destination.
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