11 Practical Ways to Practice Self-Love Every Day
One question I often get asked by clients is, “What is self-love and how do I practice it?” It was a foreign concept for me until I took a personal journey of self-discovery over eight years ago. Before then, I believed it was akin to being self-centered and arrogant!
Discovering that self-love was key to my personal growth and development, I had to learn how to practice it on a daily basis. It wasn’t easy knowing what that looked like though! However, the more I explored what it meant to love myself, the easier it got to do the things that were right for my well-being.
Keep reading as I talk about self-love, what it means, and how to practice it every day for your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness.
What is Self-Love and What Does It Mean?
The Oxford Dictionary defines self-love as having, “regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.” The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation describes it more eloquently as being, “a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological, and spiritual growth.”
What Does Self-Love Mean?
Self-love means to have a healthy and loving regard for your well-being and own happiness by meeting your own basic needs and values.
It doesn’t mean:
Sacrificing yourself for others
Settling for less than you deserve
Prioritizing others’ needs and wants before yours
Beating yourself up when you make a mistake
Self-love can also mean self-care. It’s about listening to your body, getting physical, connecting to yourself or others without using social media, and eating nutritious food. Practicing self-love allows you to accept who you are in the moment without judgment or criticism.
What Does Self-Love Look Like For Me?
Your version of self-love could be very different from the person sitting next to you but all you need to focus on is what it means for you personally. For me, it’s about:
Aligning my daily life with my personal core values
Living my truth by fulfilling my true life purpose every day
Forgiving myself when I default to negative self-talk
Believing in myself
Installing healthy boundaries
Once I understood what self-love meant, I was able to identify what it meant for me and what practices I needed to install every day to love myself.
11 Practical Ways to Practice Self-Love Every Day
When identifying practical ways to practice self-love on a daily basis make sure you’re mindful, know what your needs are, and have a deep understanding of your personal core values.
1. Connect With Your Higher Power Every Day
Connecting with your Higher Power every day is an act of self-love. You value a deep and loving relationship with your God, whoever that may be. Spending time in prayer or meditation allows you to tap into the unconditional love that is synonymous with your Higher Power.
Starting your day in conversation with your God sets the tone for the day and lets you open your heart to loving yourself and all others around you. Knowing that you are a beloved child of the Universe is key to opening the door to embracing all that you are.
Reading Neale Donal Walsch's, "Conversations with God" book series showed me how to talk with my Higher Power and that it's a powerful two-way street!
2. Tune Into Your Personal Core Values
Knowing what your personal core values are and using them to guide you on your journey of LIFE is vital if you want to practice self-love regularly. Your ultimate values define what is most close and dear to you and violating them would be going against your Truth.
Tuning into your personal core values every day reminds you of what is important to you and keeps you on the right path that is yours and yours only. Aligning your daily actions with your values is one of the most valuable ways of practicing self-care every day.
3. Drop the Comparison Game
How often do you catch yourself comparing yourself with someone else either on social media or when you’re spending time with friends or family? Playing the comparison game is a dangerous one that leads to self-recrimination, harsh criticism of self and even disgust for yourself. This is NOT self-love!
Whether you like it or not, there’s always going to be someone more beautiful, wittier, smarter, and stronger than you. But, knowing that you have your own unique and special character assets and fully embracing them shows that you value and love yourself.
Stop comparing yourself to others and instead, focus on whether you’re using your personal assets to their full advantage.
4. Install Healthy Boundaries
Installing healthy boundaries allows you to meet your needs and values all the time. It’s one of the greatest self-care gifts you can give yourself. Whenever I think of healthy boundaries, I visualize my consensus circle. This is my sacred space and I only allow those I love and trust with all of my heart into my circle.
Creating healthy boundaries allows you to preserve your sanity by keeping those who are detrimental to your well-being out of your personal space. Healthy boundaries clearly indicate what and who you allow in your life while letting go of toxic people who undermine your self-worth or confidence. Gaslighters, beware!
5. Mind Your Thoughts
Mindfulness lets you become aware of your thoughts and know which ones don’t serve you. Minding your thoughts is essential if you want to practice self-love daily. Negative thoughts, depreciating self-talk, and overthinking that lead to excessive worrying should be avoided if you take self-care seriously.
If you notice you’re doing any of these, you need to stop and process your thoughts. Why are you being self-critical? What has got you thinking negative thoughts? Are you falling into the self-pitying mode? If you answer yes to any or all of these questions, slow down and take a deep breath.
Be kind to yourself and use meditation to shift from a fixed to an open mindset.
6. Embrace Life and All Its Opportunities
While life has its moments of challenging times, I try to be hopeful every day and become aware of opportunities that present themselves. It could be something as simple as finding myself with a free afternoon and choosing to sit in my garden, enjoying the beauty and joy it gives me.
Embracing life and looking for opportunities not only improves your mental and emotional state but also elevates your vibrations for attracting more good things your way. Having an open mindset and being curious feeds your soul. How’s that for giving yourself some love today?
7. Prioritize Yourself
Putting yourself first isn’t an act of selfishness. It simply shows that you value who you are and that you care about your personal wellness. Prioritizing others before yourself is a bad habit and one that women especially are guilty of. Hands up if you’re always putting your children or spouse first while you’re feeling drained, stressed, or resentful.
Creating your own DIY self-care kit and using it on a regular basis is an excellent way to ensure you’re prioritizing yourself when you need to decompress. Taking time out to journal, taking a hot scented bath, or reading your favorite book are some ways you can put yourself first as an act of self-love.
Isn't this Tree of Life journal beautiful?
8. Tap Into the Healing Powers of Nature
Tapping into the healing powers of nature is a powerful way of nurturing your mind, body, and soul. Sunshine gives you a good dose of Vitamin D while walking in a local park will increase your serotonin levels, making you feel happy and alive.
I often give a tree a hug or stroke its trunk and when I do this I feel an overwhelming sense of love flowing through my body. Forest bathing is another act of self-love as is spending time working in your garden.
9. Use Your Voice
Speaking your mind, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else, is a bold and powerful act of self-care. It means you value your place in the world and you’re not afraid to voice your needs. Joining conversations, being willing to share your thoughts, and voicing your opinions demonstrate your willingness to own your space.
Your voice matters as much as it does for every other person who values themselves. You can use your voice to clearly define your healthy boundaries or embrace an opportunity that has presented itself to you.
Stepping into your Truth requires you to speak up and be heard. Just make sure it’s fair, and gentle but firm while respecting yourself and others in the conversation.
10. Learn From Your Mistakes
Mistakes aren’t failures but rather opportunities for learning something about yourself. Learning from your mistakes is empowering as long as you avoid being self-critical. Instead, you can take a step back and reflect on what happened with an open and loving mind.
John Powell wisely said, “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” Don’t let this be your mistake when you slip up. Make sure you learn something from the experience so you can continue to grow and evolve your consciousness.
True self-love isn’t about beating yourself up when you make a mistake but rather about being kind, compassionate, and gentle with yourself.
11. Remember to Have Fun
The second last chapter in John Kehoe’s book, “Money, Success, and You” is simply titled with one word – FUN. His first sentence in this chapter is, “Have fun three times every day.” Why? Because your mind thrives on diversification BUT also because you deserve happiness in your life.
Happiness is one of the cornerstones of self-love. Without it, you feel drab, bored, worthless, and joyless. If you battle with a fear of happiness and yes, that’s a real struggle for many people, start with simple steps. Watch a comedy on TV or a funny YouTube clip to get you laughing or join your kids at the local playground.
Self-care includes bringing fun activities into your life so make sure you do it.
You deserve self-love and no, it doesn’t turn you into a conceited person who demands to have all the attention at every opportunity! It’s about valuing and nurturing yourself so that you’re whole and complete in more ways than one. The more you love yourself in healthy ways the more you have to give to others.
Practicing self-love every day is key to feeding your mind, body, and soul with everything it needs to stay grounded, balanced, and calm. What are you going to do today to practice self-care?
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