Six Ways to Practice Self-Love
The idea of “self-love” can be a pretty foreign concept for people even though we talk about love all the time. We do so much for others we love, and we even sing songs about how “all you need is love.” Yet we bristle at the the thought of taking care of ourselves before others because it sometimes has a misperceived selfishness attached to it .What if the act of taking care of you helped you to be better able to be present to the ones you love in your life? What if you could do simple things that could help you feel happier and more grounded in your life?
This is one beautiful piece of what self-love is all about: simple moves that invite in more joy.
There are many ways to practice self-love, and here are six ideas to get your started:
Schedule in Rest
I’m putting rest at the top of this list because I think just doing this much can change your life. Big time.When I say schedule in rest, I mean literally looking at what your planner says for today or even this week and writing in where you can take a few moments of rest. From a nap to simply sitting outside to going to bed early, give yourself the gift of truly letting your body, mind, and heart take a break from your to-do list and rest.
When I watch how freely my four-year-old daughter expresses her crabbiness when she’s tired, I sometimes think about how so many of us feel the same way because we’re going through our lives exhausted. But we don’t express what we need because unlike my four year old, we just keep going and ignore it. Or we take it out on others and don’t even realize it. Try to notice when you’re own crabbiness flares and see if you can rest for even just a couple of minutes to give yourself (and those around you) a break.
And remember, rest isn’t being lazy or not getting enough done or being selfish. Rest is giving your body and mind what you need so you can be fully present in the other moments of your life.
Put Down Your Phone
This isn’t a guilt trip because here’s what I really believe – smart phones make our lives better. We can look up recipes and get to where we’re going and find the nearest gas station and deeply connect with loved ones and so many other things on a device we carry in our pockets. It is amazing.But it can also really distract of us from the beautiful world around us, from “in-person” living.
This week, practice self-love by putting down your phone and being present to the life around you. Schedule in breaks where you even put your phone in a drawer or another room. Let people know that you won’t always be available on their timeline. Even if you only do this for five minutes at a time. Try it.
Buy Yourself Flowers
So this one can be one of those cliches, but it is also such a fun thing to do. Fresh flowers that you get from even just the supermarket can bring much needed color into your world. I love putting a few in simple jars and vintage bottles . One bouquet of daises can give you delightful spots of happy throughout your home.You can also let someone in your life know that you’d love it if they would sometimes buy you flowers. Asking for what you really want, instead of expecting your loved one to read your mind, becomes another act of self-love.
Wear Your Favorite Clothes
Take a Selfie (Yes, a Selfie!)
A self-care practice I turn to again and again is self-portraiture. The act of seeing yourself, your beauty, through your own eyes is a powerful act of self-love. Our internal dialogue can be so negative, but through taking self-portraits, I’ve learned to look at myself with a softness, with more love.Try it. Maybe even try it right now. And if you really enjoy taking them, you might even want to get a selfie stick for your phone or a remote for your DSLR camera.
Do Something Your Really Love
Make a list of 10 things you really love to do. Just get out a simple notebook and jot them down. Then choose one. I love to read poetry and write in the bathtub. It sounds oh so romantic, but I seldom do it. I mostly love the idea of taking a bath, but I like the quickness of a shower. Yet every single time I take a book of favorite poems (usually Mary Oliver) into the tub with a notebook, I end up writing my heart out and it makes me feel so good.What do you love to do? Walk around a bookstore? Get a pedicure? Watch The West Wing? Knit? Bake cookies? Schedule in some of your favorite things and boost your joy.
A current popular saying is ” Do what you love. Love what you do.” Yet, we are a society that can be a bit obsessed with being busy and forgetting to actually enjoy ourselves. What if the “doing” was actually more about creating space and nurturing ourselves so that the actual living is full of more love? Try to invite in more self-love into your life today and notice what changes happen.If you need a few more ideas, check out my Self-Care Tools collection and these other guides: