How to practice self love

Photo by Content Pixie on Unsplash

I’m not going to sit here and bang on as though I’m an absolute expert when it comes to self love, but I’m trying and making pretty good progress, so that’s what matters right?

I’m 25 years old and for as long as I can remember, I’ve been practicing self love. It’s something that comes naturally to some and not so naturally to others. As we go about our lives certain things/situations happen that have an impact on the way we see ourselves. This is where our lack of self love comes into play.

One main thing I have learnt is that there is no greater love than self love.. The love we feel for ourselves is the thing that will get us through life. It’s vital to life and makes things a hell of a lot easier.. BUT, sometimes it takes a little guidance to get there.. and that is totally fine, like I said, I’ve been going through my own self love journey and am still very much on it. It’s not the easiest thing to master and definitely doesn’t just happen over night. So a little patience will go a long way.

I thought I would share some of the things that have helped me in finding my true self love. Majority I have found through books, research or experiences of my own and those around me.

Positive affirmations

These are relatively new for me, but my goodness do they work! I’ve read about affirmations in many self help books and to begin with, I wasn’t really sure how to use them correctly. But over a year ago I started implementing them into my daily routine and have done them ever since. They don’t have to be anything too crazy, start off with simple ones.. ‘I am going to have a good day today’ or ‘I am strong and confident and can do anything I put my mind to’. Just simply saying affirmations that mean something to you personally has a way of boosting our self esteem and also impacts the way we see ourselves.

No comparing yourself to others

This was one I struggled with, especially now with social media being at the very centre of our lives. It’s easy to get caught up in ‘Instagram world’ and see all these amazing people doing amazing things, making amazing memories and doing and being everything you wish you could. That though, that’s got to stop. The best way I did this was to cleanse my social media. I got rid of anything that didn’t make me feel good, followed people who inspire me and focus purely on my life and where I want to be in life. Honestly, it’s one of the best feelings! Stop comparing yourself to those around you!

Give your body everything it needs

Self love isn’t just about being positive and being a radiant soul it’s about looking after number one. Not just spiritually and mentally, but physically too. Eat the food you know you need, drink all the water you need, get the exercise you need daily and spend as much time in nature as you can. Nutrition might sound kind of boring, but it’s absolutely vital! Fill your body with greens, proteins and all the other things it needs to survive.. but also treats, we all deserve treats. It’s all about balance after all. Looking after your body is one major factor in self love.

Spend time learning about yourself

We read, we learn, we study just about everything going on in the world, but more often that not we forget about the one most important thing we need to learn about.. us, ourselves, you! Spend time figuring out all those tiny little details about yourself, what makes you tick, what annoys you, what brings you joy, what makes your heart happy.. every single tiny little detail about yourself, learn it!

Know your limits

Learning to let go in order to protect ones self is essential when practicing self love. We sometimes hold onto things that we shouldn’t, we stay too long or we simply dismiss our limits. We need to try our best not to do this. Everyone has there limits, learn what yours are and stick to them! We need to push ourselves from time to time, but we also need to find the healthy balance.

Put yourself first

This is not me saying go out and be selfish, but in some ways, it kind of is. Always be kind to everyone around you, but sometimes we need to put ourselves first. It’s perfectly acceptable to make yourself a priority, so don’t ever stop putting yourself first.

Don’t be afraid to say no

I learnt this the hard way. I was the one who would never ever say no, to my friends, family.. anyone. It wasn’t through any other reason apart from the fact I didn’t like upsetting anyone. As I started in adult years this became very apparent that I was doing this all wrong, and actually, there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying no. If you don’t want to do something, go somewhere, entertain a certain conversation.. any circumstance, if you want to say no, you do!

Spend time alone

Very important when it comes to self love. We need that space, that time on our own to be in our own thoughts or just to be out of the way of people for a little while, it’s perfectly healthy and in my experience, helps with the way I love myself. Have a pamper night or spend the afternoon binge watching your favourite Netflix show. Take yourself on a date, time alone is good for the soul.

Do what makes you happy

I like baking, reading, being around my loved ones, nature, animals, sunsets and sunrises, people, listening to people talk about things they are passionate about.. and the list goes on. Spend as much time as you can doing all the things you love. If you’ve got a busy week, free up some time to make some cookies (if baking is your thing), prioritize your happiness by doing things that make you smile.

Forgive yourself

We make mistakes allllll day long! It happens, we’re humans. We misjudge situations, mess up at work and sometimes say the wrong things… it’s fine! In order to fully love yourself, you have to come to terms with the fact that we cannot be perfect at any given moment, it’s just not in our nature. Rather than holding onto something you did last week or said to someone, which you probably could have said in a nicer tone, understand we all have bad days and we make mistakes. Apologize and move on. Forgive yourself if you’re having a bad day and you haven’t ticked a single thing off your to-do list, we all have those days, pick yourself up and try again the next day. Forgiving yourself for being unapologetically human is essential to self love!

Make yourself proud

I’m pretty sure we all have someone in our lives that we just want to make proud.. usually our parents. But the only person that really matters is ourselves. Make yourself proud, be your own number one fan, cheer yourself on, set goals, get those goals and celebrate them. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing or achieving, if you can make yourself proud, then that’s all that really matters.

Have fun

Have so much fun you have nothing but memories. Do things that set your soul on fire, laugh all the time, be free, travel, everything, do absolutely everything! Have fun doing whatever it is you love.. there is nothing quite like pure happiness when it comes to self love!

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