14 Ways to Love Yourself

And if I asked you to name all the things you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?

Love is a many splendored thing, and self-love is no exception.

Self-love means being gentle, kind, considerate, compassionate, and understanding towards ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate. It is about having a high regard for our own well-being and happiness by taking care of our own needs, and not sacrificing those needs to please others.

Loving your self creates and builds self-respect, -esteem, -worth, -confidence, and compassion. When we put consistent care and effort into truly loving ourselves – not from a place of selfishness or conceit, but from a humble place that embraces wholeness and wellness, that makes us stronger, healthier, more joyful and content – we are then better capable of loving, serving, and giving to others.

You are worthy of the same love you give to everyone else.

Continue reading for 14 ideas on how to love yourself – and your life! – better.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.com

1. Speak Kindly to Yourself

Treating yourself with love includes the way you talk TO yourself, and the way you talk ABOUT yourself. This world shows us so many ideas on how it thinks we should be, that we forget to allow ourselves grace, patience, understanding, and compassion. Even more, we focus so much on who we want to be, that we forget to love ourselves and like who we are NOW. Speaking kindly to ourselves OUT LOUD throughout each and every day, teaches us to appreciate how we’re made, who we are, and what we’re capable of NOW. Remind yourself that you are strong, capable, healthy, loving. Be descriptive and specific. If you find yourself focused on the physical, think about how your appearance is beautiful or useful – (That tummy pooch is because you carried your children for 9 months; it is a symbol of love and life. Those wrinkles around your eyes is from years of laughter and smiles.) We suggest choosing 3 things each and every morning, and repeating them throughout the day when you need a reminder. Who you are is wonderfully unique, complex, and beautiful, and we want you to know it!

2. Practice Gratitude

A huge part of loving yourself – and your life! – is by being thankful! Big or small, there is always, always something to be grateful for. Did you know that by recalling 3 things you are grateful for each and every day for 21 days, you can “rewire” your brain to be happier? There are online forums, apps, and journals specifically dedicated to practicing gratitude, and many find these tools useful; but you can join in just by taking a few moments each evening to recount some things that brought you joy or appreciation that day. When you start looking for things to be grateful for, you’ll find you start noticing even more things. Soon it will be a habit to “look for the good” wherever you are!

3. Buy Yourself Flowers

You don’t have to wait for a special occasion, or a special person, to enjoy the beauty of a bouquet. Fresh flowers on your kitchen counter, dining room table, or nightstand is a reminder of simple pleasures, life, and beauty, and they enhance your surroundings with color and the flowers’ fragrance. Buying yourself flowers can be empowering, and can elevate your self-esteem and boost your mood, especially if you’re feeling down. It’s also a symbol that you are worth enjoying the little things, and you don’t need any reason to, other than it makes you happy.

4. Treat Yourself

When was the last time you bought something, or did something, for yourself? Something you WANTED? A new outfit, a new haircut, a new perfume, a big box of chocolates, getting a mani/pedi, ordering something off of Amazon . . . ? You likely don’t think twice about treating a friend, so why would you not consider treating yourself? Even buying yourself a cup of specialty coffee in the morning can relieve stress, boost your mood and set the tone for a great day. Spoiling yourself on occasion, even in seemingly “small” ways can be a great reminder that you have value, and that you deserve happiness and good things in your life. It can also carry over into caring for yourself in other ways, such as exercising, eating healthier, or spending time with friends. New studies are showing that these little indulgences (so long as you don’t get carried away into debt or a full-blown addiction) can be just as important and healthy as setting long-term goals.

5. Take Yourself Out on a Date

Get dressed up. Put your favorite jewelry and makeup on. Put all the effort in to getting ready. And take yourself out.

Going out to eat by yourself, going to a class or workshop alone, or attending a movie solo, are all great ways to boost self-confidence and to learn more about yourself. You can discover more of what you like (and don’t like), and just enjoy your own company. Doing things by yourself helps to filter out distractions, making you more focused on the actual experience. You can take your sweet time, and not care what anyone else thinks. You’re also more likely to try new things, things that you might not if accompanied by a friend or family member. It’s a great way to practice independence and self-sufficiency while enjoying yourself.

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.
– Buddha

6. Get a Massage or a Facial

Receiving Massage Therapy is just as beneficial to mental, emotional, and spiritual health as it is to physical well-being. Benefits of Massage therapy include Increased Relaxation and Reduced Stress, Reduced Pain and Muscle Soreness, Improved Sleep Quality and Mental Alertness, Lowered Heart Rate and Blood Pressure, Improved Immune Function, and so much more! Skincare is an important part of selfcare, and facials are a great way to get specialized treatment done, while learning about your specific skincare needs. Consistent, routine sessions give you something to look forward to, and helps to keep you focused on caring for yourself in other ways.

7. Spend Time with a Friend

If you have ever walked away from a girl’s night, or a nice lunch with someone you’re close to, lighter, happier, and feeling better about your life and yourself, then you already know the importance of spending time with a friend. Often times, this gift of quality time gives us opportunities to communicate with someone we trust. Good friends allow us to practice our boundaries in a safe environment. They also may offer advice or knowledge from perspectives we have yet to consider, or life experiences different from ours. Time with a friend can be a distraction from the stresses of life, or support and encouragement during a difficult time. Chat, laugh, cry, try new things . . . Spending time with a good friend is a great way to boost your confidence and self-esteem. Remind yourself that you are someone special, someone important, and that you are already loved and cherished! Go out with a friend and spend time talking, sharing in new experiences, strengthening your bond, and reminding each other that you are cherished, and that you have all the love, support, and encouragement you need.

8. Set Boundaries

Self-love involves having the respect and consideration for yourself that you have for (and expect to receive from) others. Boundaries are an important life skill that is an extension of our morals and ethics. Setting boundaries tells ourselves and others what we are, and aren’t, okay with or ready for; they are the limits and rules we set for ourselves within relationships. When we set good boundaries, we are communicating in respectful and constructive ways through our words and actions about what our needs are for healthy interactions with someone else. Setting and practicing good boundaries is one of the highest forms of self-love and self-care. When we consistently hold to our boundaries with others, we are practicing and building self-respect, teaching others how to treat us, and engaging in healthier personal relationships and interactions.

9. Enjoy a Favorite Hobby

How much time do you make for your favorite hobby? If you’re like most people, it’s not nearly enough. Yet participating in activities that we enjoy allows us to practice creativity, disengage from work stress, or sharpen our talents – all things that allow us to return to our responsibilities feeling more confident and capable! Hobbies provide a fulfilling, productive use of our free-time. They allow us to feel less bored or dissatisfied with life, and can lessen symptoms of anxiety and depression. Hobbies remind us that we are not one-dimensional – humans are well-rounded individuals who hold many areas of knowledge, skill, and interest. Making time for our most preferred pastimes can boost confidence, patience, social skills, creativity, and mental health.

10. Start Something New

As important as it is to make time for things we enjoy, it is also just as important to try new things. Trying new things is yet another way to grow, boost confidence, learn new life skills, discover new areas of interest, or find new applications for talents we already have.  The many benefits of staying curious and trying new things also include improved memory, mood and motivation, and increased adaptability and agility. By learning or doing something different, you’ll feel bolder and braver, and more capable of handling new tasks or unexpected situations.

How you love yourself
is how you teach others to love you.
– Rupi Kaur

11. Clean, Organize, or Decorate Your Space

The way we feel about ourselves often carries over into our personal space, and our personal space can similarly have an affect on the way we feel. Having a space that is tidy, organized, and pleasant can carry over into feeling more put-together and in control in other areas of your life. And having a comfortable, inviting, stress free home can help you to better rest and relax after a long day. Studies show that a clean, well-kept home can improve physical health, reduce anxiety & stress, provide clarity, and boost mental health. Your home should be a sanctuary, a welcoming place, a place you look forward to spending time in. Overwhelmed with the thought of a thorough deep cleaning? Start with organizing or cleaning out just one closet or drawer, or redecorating just one room.

12. Set Monthly Goals

Setting mini goals is a great way to achieve better self-care in a realistic, obtainable way. Smaller goals can also act as stepping stones towards accomplishing larger goals. You’ll feel more confident, productive, and have increased motivation. Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

13. Plan a Vacation

Whether an elaborate 2 week Cruise to the Bahamas, a flight to another country for the month, a weekend trip to the beach, or a 1-day Staycation in the comforts of your own home, planning and taking some time off at least a couple times a year can be a great idea. Vacation time can be a great way to rest, relax, and reset. A trip or mini-leave gives you opportunity to explore your interests, see new things, spend time solo, or with family and friends, or inspire with new locations and cultures. And studies show that having things to look forward to can boost mental health and feeling of contentment and happiness.

14. Volunteer

What better way to feel better about yourself, and to spread the love, then by volunteering? Volunteering is a wonderful way to share our time, efforts, gifts and talents with others. Additionally, volunteering tends to increase socialization, decrease loneliness, and build self-esteem. Whether donating unused or no-longer-needed items, helping out at a soup kitchen or warming center, working at an animal shelter, or some other act of service . . . doing good for others and the community can be a great way to provide a sense of accomplishment, purpose, and belonging. Just be cautious not to overextend yourself, or to give out of a feeling of obligation. Volunteering should be done, not reluctantly or in exhaustion, but rather graciously and out of kindness, from a cup that runneth over. By blessing and giving to others, you’ll boost confidence, providing a more positive perspective on your life, abilities, and future goals.

What if you simply devoted this year to loving yourself more?

Remember, self-love isn’t selfish. It’s important. Self-love is necessary for a functional, successful, satisfying & fulfilling life. Understand yourself. Respect yourself. And love yourself more. You are worth it.

Photo by Secret Garden on Pexels.com

For more tips and ideas towards self-care and self-love read our last article: Resolve to Relax and Renew

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