Would you believe that 50 percent of women worldwide feel more self-doubt than self-love? Unfortunately, we live in a society that promotes much inner doubt and insecurities. Not many of us can say, “I like myself.”
We don’t have to scroll very far on Instagram to start feeling ‘less than’ – or start questioning our image, life direction, or financial status. Most of us don’t practice self-love and self-care as we should despite the struggles we face daily.
So, what can you do to improve your relationship with yourself and start embracing some good ole’ self-love? Keep reading…
What is self-love? How do you learn to say, “I like myself?”
First, what is this notion of self-love? It can be many things, but it really starts with the recognition and appreciation of our inner worth and value.
Self-love is an important practice that involves valuing and caring for ourselves in a healthy and balanced way. Learning to curate a positive self-love routine is the foundation for a happy and full life – plus, honoring ourselves is necessary for building strong relationships with others.
So, how do you get started? Here are five tips for practicing self-love so you can start saying, “I like myself” (and mean it!)
1. Set boundaries
This may not come as a surprise, but learning to set boundaries in your life is a critical first step to learning to love and honor yourself.
Setting boundaries involves communicating your needs and wants to others (while also respecting the boundaries of your friends/family/spouse as well)
This means saying “no” when you don’t want to do something and setting limits on how much time and energy you give to other commitments, activities, and individuals.
Setting boundaries is a form of self-care because it helps you protect your own well-being and prevents you from being taken advantage of. No one wants to be a doormat!
Sis, PROTECT YOUR TIME AND ENERGY!
2. Take care of your physical and mental health
Taking care of your physical and mental health is an essential part of self-love!!! This means eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and taking breaks when needed.
For me, running or exercising in the morning is my ultimate self-love activity – I’m taking care of my body, clearing my mind, and igniting my soul – usually, all before the rest of the world wakes up!
Find out what that activity is for you? How can you further take care of your mind and body?
That might mean seeing a therapist or going to counseling. Especially if you struggle with your mental health, talking to a therapist or joining a support group can be the first step you need to take!
3. Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude means focusing on the things you are grateful for, rather than dwelling on the negative things going on around you.
Research confirms starting a gratitude practice can help you feel more positive and content with your life and can also improve your overall well-being.
Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.~ Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier, Harvard Health Publishing.
One way to practice gratitude is by keeping a gratitude journal and writing down at least three things you are grateful for each day.
I did this for an entire year as part of my journaling habit, and I can say from first-hand experience that it changes you – it changes the way you think – and it changes the way you approach your life.
Grab a pen, sis! Here’s my favorite bullet journal/gratitude journal you can snag on Amazon!
4. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion
This might be the most challenging tip on the list start – but also the most important! Treating yourself with kindness and compassion means being understanding and forgiving of your own mistakes and shortcomings and speaking to yourself in a caring and supportive way.
Remember, the goal is to be able to say, “I like myself”
One way to get started is with positive affirmations that you say out loud to yourself daily. Not sure what affirmations you need? There are affirmation flashcards on Etsy, positive affirmation apps, and of course, lots of journals.
I’ll share my list here for you to get started!
I am kind
I am powerful
I can choose
I am healthy
I have everything I need
I will find a way
I can grow
I am teachable
I can teach
People need who I am
There is more for me
I am self-disciplined
This practice can help you build self-confidence and self-worth and can also help you cope with difficult emotions and situations when they arise. Doing something new is hard at first, but always worth the effort in the end!
5. Do things that make you happy
Self-love also involves doing things that bring joy and happiness to your life!!!
This can look like running, cooking, hiking, watching the sunrise, etc.! Anything that brings you pleasure and fulfillment are ways you can honor and love yourself.
So often, these fun activities are pushed to the side to make room for life’s chaos and busyness… but it’s important to make time for these activities, even if they are quick small things. Every little bit helps on your self-love journey 🙂
Think about the last time you were really happy – go back to that space and time and add it to your routine. This is the key to helping you feel more balanced and aligned in your life.
The Wrap-Up – “I Like Myself”
In conclusion, practicing self-love involves setting boundaries, taking care of your physical and mental health, practicing gratitude, treating yourself with kindness and compassion, and doing things that bring you joy and happiness.
Believe me, I know it’s not as easy as it seems to say, “I like myself!” and really mean it.
But, by incorporating these practices into your daily life, you can build a strong foundation of self-love and live a healthier, happier life.
I see you and feel you…