Self-love is sooo important. When you love yourself, it manifests in all areas of your life. When you love yourself, you tend to make better, healthier decisions for yourself. Not only will self-love raise your self-esteem, it will also lead to higher levels of optimism and better recovery from stress. Sounds great, right!? We all could use a little more self-love in our lives.
The most common and easily recognizable enemy of self-love is that inner critic of ours.
Being aware of this inner critic and stopping yourself when these thoughts start to surface is crucial. One way to do this is to notice how you treat and speak to yourself.
We often give more attention to and treat others better than we treat ourselves. Next time you’re harshly judging or criticizing yourself, stop and ask yourself: “Would I say this to someone I love?”
If the answer is “No” (hint: it usually is) – why are you saying these things to yourself?
Self-love is about taking the time to notice your unhealthy behaviors, and slowly starting to implement change.
Below are some action steps to self-love:
Practice self-care – I am a huge supporter of self-care (if you haven’t noticed). Taking care of your needs through healthy activities is the ultimate form of self-love.
Be mindful – Be more mindful of what you think, feel, need, and want. Sometimes writing these things down will help you collect your thoughts and identify what is an actual need versus what is a want. Start to act on these needs instead of doing what others want.
Forgive yourself – You have to accept the fact that you are not perfect (spoiler: nobody is!). Practice being less hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Remember, failures are lessons learned.
Set boundaries – Practice setting limits. Identify what your needs are from your mindfulness list (see “be mindful” above), and start to act on these things. Say no to anything that may negatively affect you, and make sure the people you choose to have in your life are adding to it, not taking away from it.
Greenberg, M. (2017). 8 Powerful Steps to Self-Love. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201706/8-powerful-steps-self-love
Khoshaba, D. (2012). A Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/get-hardy/201203/seven-step-prescription-self-love