HOW TO CULTIVATE SELF LOVE
Self-love, like self-care, are words that gets thrown around a lot, and as a result, gets misunderstood. Self-love and self-care really go hand in hand. Self-care is an essential part of self-love, and you can’t really have one without the other. What’s important to understand is that self-love is more than just feeling good about yourself, being confident, or taking care of yourself. Self-love is a deep appreciation and connected-ness with yourself. It is truly accepting yourself as you are and having compassion for yourself. So how can you begin to cultivate more feelings of self-love into your life?
1. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS
The “comparison trap” is the ultimate killer of self-love (and self-esteem), and unfortunately, it’s very easy to fall into these days with how prevalent social media is. We’re constantly looking at what other people portray about their lives on social media, but the reality is they’re only showing the best parts. People only share the highlights of their lives, not their struggles. I understand there are exceptions, however, the people we tend to compare ourselves to are those who appear to have everything together; those who present to be living the perfect life. It’s ok to look up to or admire others, however, it becomes toxic when we start comparing ourselves to these people and talking down about ourselves because of it. Focus on being more present in your own life, as opposed to being so focused on everyone else. Create your own beauty in your own life and know that YOU are beautiful too!
tip: Unfollow social media accounts that make you talk down/think negatively of yourself. Those accounts you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to (ex. clothing brand accounts that set very unrealistic beauty standards through the kinds of photos they post [these are often photo shopped by the way]. Try to only follow accounts that add value, positivity, or inspiration to your life.
2. KNOW YOU ARE WORTH LOVING
Don’t rely on anyone else to tell you that you’re worth loving, or that you’re worth anything for that matter. You are worth it, and you’ve been placed on this Earth to do amazing things. You don’t need to change for anyone or anything. The only changes you should make to yourself, are those that YOU see as benefiting you. Changes related to your personal growth and development. You’re worth it just the way you are.
Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as YOU see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different ~ Stacey Charter
3. HAVE FUN
When was the last time you had genuine fun? The last time you allowed yourself to go do something just for fun. As young kids, “having fun” is all we care about it, and we’re able to do that doing just about anything. Kids can make anything fun, and they’re so carefree that “fun” comes very easily to them. Then we grow up, and “adulting” takes over, pushing “fun” to the bottom of our priority list. Do yourself a favor and allow yourself to have fun again. Whether that means playing video games for a few hours, playing your favorite sport, going to the movies with a friend, swimming, etc. Just do it! How is this related to self-love? Because you love yourself enough to let yourself have fun and enjoy your life to the fullest.
4. SET HEALTHY BOUNDARIES
Setting boundaries is key to cultivating positivity and self-love in your life. Setting boundaries involves being able to say “no” to relationships, activities, and work that drain you, create stress, and negatively impact your life and happiness. The ability to set these boundaries shows self-love and compassion because you are cutting out the things that harm you. Sometimes you may just need to take a break from certain people or commitments, and taking that break gives you time to evaluate whether you want to invite these people/things back into your life later.
5. FORGIVE YOURSELF
Shift your mindset from “punishing yourself” to “learning and growing from your past mistakes.” View your mistakes as lessons and opportunities for growth and change. Consider doing an activity such as a “write & burn.” Write down all your thoughts and/or past actions that are bothering your or that you regret. You can either write them on one sheet of paper, or on several small pieces of paper. Then, burn all the paper. This activity symbolizes letting go of the past and forgiving yourself. It’s meant to be a form a release of the emotions that are tying you down or causing you to practice negative self-talk. Practice self-love and compassion by letting go of these toxic thoughts and forgiving yourself.
6. TREAT YOURSELF, HOW YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED BY OTHERS
Yes, this is a flip on the popular saying “treat others how you’d like to be treated.” If you want other people to treat you with compassion, and respect, then don’t you deserve the same from yourself? It sounds awkward but stand in the mirror and compliment yourself and recite positive affirmations in the morning. Do this over and over in order to shift your mindset to one of self-love, and positivity. The more you say these things to yourself, the more you will start to believe them. The more you believe them, the more positive you’ll feel, and the more you’ll love yourself and believe in your abilities.
7. GET TO KNOW YOURSELF THROUGH SELF REFLECTION/EXPLORATION
Get close to yourself and show yourself the same love and respect you give to your loved ones. Consider yourself to be one of your loved ones! It’s all about mindset and change in perspective. When you think about things differently, you’ll feel differently. Consider starting a journaling practice to aid you in getting to know yourself.
Becoming acquainted with yourself is a price well worth paying for the love that will really address your needs ~ Daphne Rose Kingma
8. COMMIT TO LOVE YOURSELF NOW, NOT LATER
You don’t need to wait until you make whatever personal growth changes you’re looking to make, before you start loving yourself. Commit to love yourself now, as you are. Making the conscious decision to love yourself now will make it easier for you to work towards your personal development goals and life aspirations. YOU ARE WORTH IT!
Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world ~ Lucille Ball
9. SELF CARE
This list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t include self-care. Self-care and self-love are intertwined. When you love someone, whether it be your child, spouse, family member, or friend, you want to take care of them right? So, shouldn’t you take care of yourself because you love yourself too? Self-care is basically a way to say, “I love you.” and “Thank you for being so awesome.” to yourself because you’re taking the time to nourish every part of your being. Self-care is the act of showing yourself love, which is the key to living your most fulfilling and positive life
Article credit to: MorningCoffeeWithDee.com