Do you love yourself? It’s not the kind of question most of us spend a lot of time thinking about. The sad thing is, we probably should. Self-love isn’t about arrogance or conceit. It’s about self-awareness. It’s about self-esteem. It’s about having the kind of confidence that can help us to feel good about ourselves. When that happens, we’re able to be more productive, achieve our goals and strive for dreams that, without self-love, may seem close to impossible.
If you’re someone who struggles with loving yourself, that’s nothing to feel ashamed about. Honestly, it’s an issue that most of us battle with at one time or another. The key is to be intentional about doing the sorts of things that will make you look in the mirror and like what, and who, you see.
It’s a daily practice, but if you follow these six steps, you’ll be way on your way to loving yourself---and inspiring others to do the same.
Make Yourself Your Top Priority
It’s not a question of if you “have time” to focus on yourself. It’s about
making the time. And you know what? You deserve to do just that! There’s no way you’re going to be able to give your best to others if you don’t focus on doing that for you first. The basics include getting enough rest (less than five hours every night does not qualify), eating right and getting in some form of exercise no less than two to three times each week. But don’t let it stop there. Schedule in monthly pampering appointments, whether that’s getting your hair trimmed, having a mani/pedi or getting a massage. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that these are unnecessary expenses. They will relax you, affirm you and make you feel beautiful. That can only benefit everyone around you in the long run.
Set A Goal. And Reach It!
Self-love is about self-betterment. The more you’re devoted to improving yourself, the higher your self-esteem will become. That’s why it’s always a good idea to set goals for yourself. It could be to lose five pounds this month. Or maybe it’s time to get that vlog started or website off of the ground. To keep saying to yourself “I’ll do it later” is like saying “Watching myself succeed can wait”. Get out a piece of paper, write down a list of goals and devote a couple of hours each week to reaching them. You’ll be so proud of yourself every time you can cross one of those things OFF of your list!
Say Out Loud Five Things You’re Thankful For
When’s the last time you thought about something that you were thankful for? It’s a smart thing to put into practice because there are documented benefits that come from doing it. When you express gratitude, it reduces stress; makes you feel less competitive and envious; makes you kinder to those around you; decreases your desire for materialism; improves your sleep patterns; makes you more productive at work, and helps you to become a more centered and spiritual person. Each morning, make it a practice to hear yourself say five things that you’re thankful for. Then watch how much smoother the rest of your day goes because of it.
Put On “A Favorite Thing”
All of us have favorite things. A favorite ring or pair of earrings. A favorite pair of shoes. A favorite purse or color of lipstick. A favorite hat or hair scarf. Don’t let one day go by without putting on a favorite thing! It’s a small but significant way of loving on yourself. And every day that you’re alive? It is worth celebrating!
Forgive Your Mistakes
Forgiveness is hard. Yes, sometimes when we're trying to forgive other people, but mostly when you struggle with forgiving yourself. Here’s the thing, though. Did you know that unforgivingness can damage your health over time? When you harbor something against others or yourself, it causes your blood pressure to race. It also leads to muscle tension, sleepless nights and irritability. No mistake is worth putting your mental, emotional or physical well-being at risk. You’re not perfect, but you are a good person. Keep that mantra in mind and it will be easier to love yourself by forgiving yourself.
Reward Your Efforts
Believe it or not, some people actually feel guilty for rewarding themselves! Don’t you be one of them. Just look at what the definition of reward is: “something given or received in return or recompense for service, merit, hardship, etc.” A reward comes from putting in work! Do you feel better about having that bottle of wine or cup of frozen yogurt now? You should. For every effort that you put into something or someone, it’s OK to pat yourself on the back. You’re doing your part to make things better and that’s something to reward yourself for, and most certainly love yourself about!