The practice of self-love is more important than ever when you think about the year you’ve endured.
What is self-love?
Self-love is showing love and appreciation to oneself to grow both mentally and spiritually.
If you practice some self-care, you’re already on the right path of self-love, but you can never show yourself too much love and admiration.
It’s critical to show yourself, love, at this moment in time, especially if you’re prone to depression or anxiety which comes along with the heightened isolation connected to COVID restrictions.
Although it seems like we can spot a light at the end of the tunnel (finally, right), you can always use self-love as a tactic to lift yourself up and appreciate your individuality.
So, in the meantime, let’s explore the topic of self-love more in-depth, so you can determine what it means to you and how you can add a little more into your daily life.
What Does Self-Love Mean to You?
Self-love, not to be confused with self-care, looks different to everyone. Let’s talk about the difference between the two.
Self-care is what you do to take care of yourself mentally and physically, while self-love is showing yourself kindness, compassion, and patience. Although, there is some overlap.
Here are some examples of self-love:
- Making yourself a priority
- Not judging yourself too harshly
- Setting healthy boundaries
- Forgiving yourself when you make mistakes
This is a general list of what self-love tends to look like for some people, but this list can change depending on your personality and needs.
If you need help thinking of ways to introduce more self-love into your life, let’s jump to the next section so we can talk about ways you can achieve this.
How to Practice Self-Love More Throughout the Day
You’re probably wondering how you’re supposed to fit anything else into your already busy, hectic day?
The good news is it doesn’t have to be some tremendous feat that’s hard to incorporate into your routine. Most of the self-love tactics we’re going to touch on are general practices that transition seamlessly into your day.
Here are a few to get you started.
Practicing mindfulness is one of the most straightforward ways to introduce more self-love into your life. In doing this, you connect with yourself on numerous levels.
You’re fully present in the happenings of your life. You’re in touch with how you feel and how you react to certain situations throughout the day. Mindfulness comes in handy when faced with a difficult situation, especially if you get stressed quickly and are prone to panic and anxiety.
Being mindful of your breathing helps you stay calm and relaxed when you face bumps in the road.
Mindfulness is also helpful if you want to ease your way into meditation. Some find it hard to get into meditation because they don’t feel anything or don’t feel they’re doing it right.
Sitting still for a few minutes a day to be “mindful” of your body is a great introductory practice into meditation. Some refer to this as scanning the body, noting how each part of your body feels, down to each breath you take.
Understanding Wants & Needs
Another way to practice mindfulness is by giving yourself what you need versus what you want. Not to say you shouldn’t treat yourself to a “want” occasionally, but more so understanding what benefits your well-being the most at the given moment.
If you’re having a hard time distinguishing between the two, it helps to take some time to think about two things—how much do you want this thing, and how often do you “treat” yourself.
Needs are things attached to survival, but some like to utilize some sort of reward system when it comes to wants.
Think of these rewards as intrinsic motivation—the best types of reward.
The Role of Self-Care
Nourishing the mind and body is one of the best ways to show yourself a little love.
Adequate self-care reduces stress, anxiety, improves sleep, self-confidence, along with a few other things to all support a healthier, happier you. Your self-care routine could consist of daily exercise or a weekly at-home spa routine.
When it’s all said and done, the only thing that matters is whether or not it makes you happy and allows you to take a much-needed breather from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Listening to Your Body
Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you’re going to flatline from exhaustion?
Some people feel like they need to push themselves to succeed, but there should always be boundaries in place.
Pushing yourself is useful when trying to achieve goals and mile markers, but it’s not good when your body pays the price. Listen to your body because it’ll always send the necessary signals like headaches, fatigue, eye strain, and irritability.
Taking small breaks is essential because it gives you a mental pause, and it’s proven to boost focus and productivity since it works against burnout.
It would help if you also listened to your body when you’re feeling stiff, tight, or tense; these are times it’s essential to sit down and stretch and practice deep breathing. Your body retains all kinds of stress in different parts of the body.
Early morning and bedtime stretching helps relax the muscles and release tension from the body in these situations. Yoga is a great way to practice self-love as well since it combines stretching, breathing, and mindfulness all in one.
The average person picks up their cell phone 58 times a day—that’s a lot of screentime.
Too much phone time is harmful in several ways, especially if you’re spending a good portion on social media.
This is why it’s important to take a break from your phone occasionally, but most people find this to be more of a challenge than they expected.
Start by turning off your social media notifications, and then work your way up to a 24-hour detox (if your schedule allows).
Moving Forward with Self-Love
One of the most beneficial things you can do is to show yourself love, compassion, and patience.
Remember, a little love goes a long way, especially when you’re taking care of numero uno.