So many people make this mistake: They spend their lives working a job they don’t like, just to get by. They’re weighed down by debt, which leads to feelings of inadequacy.
Maybe you’re one of these people.
Maybe you laugh with friends over drinks, but deep down, you know something is missing.
Love is a verb, and if the actions we take don’t showcase that love, then it’s safe to say that we don’t love ourselves fully.
We love ourselves just enough to avoid putting our hands over a hot stove, but not enough to live a life that truly makes us happy.
You are powerful. You are beautiful. You are worthy of the greatest form of love.
I want to help you see that clearly; trust me, many a time, I need that same reminder.
Try these 5 Practical Ways To Love Yourself Better
1. Reconnect with who you are
Vague, much? Let me explain.
As a child, you were fearless. You had a strong sense of self. You climbed chairs and trees, and you were willing to do all that by yourself. You were curious. As we’ve grown up, we’ve let superficial things get in the way. We’ve played dress-up, but forgotten to take off the garments.
It’s time to shed layers and reconnect with your core.
Describe your child self with five “I WAS” statements.
Write down your answers.
Change your “I WAS” statements to “I AM” statements.
Question: Do the statements still ring true?
If they don’t, ask yourself why. Are you happy with the changes that have occurred between your child and adult self?
Now, write five new “I AM” statements and five “I value” statements. Dig deep. No superficial descriptors.
We’re all a mixture of positive qualities and not-so-positive qualities. If there are some statements on there that make you feel down on yourself, put a positive spin on them.
For example: “I am impatient” could be turned into “I am working on my patience”.
Speak highly of yourself. The more you repeat your positive “I AM” statements, the more you’ll start to believe them.
Now, let’s take a look at your “I value” statements.
Match your values with concrete actions.
For example: I value friendship. Action: I see my friends once a week.
Determine whether or not your actions back up your values.
If they don’t yet, that’s okay. Look at your “I value” statements every day. Be mindful of them. This way, more and more, your actions will start to line up with your core beliefs.
2. Figure out what you love about yourself
In a relationship, you get to know another person intimately. How? By going on dates. Get to know yourself in the same way. Schedule non-negotiable alone time with yourself. How are you going to like yourself if you’re never around yourself?
Set the mood. Surround yourself with things that stimulate your senses: scented candles, incense, flowers, etc. Run yourself a hot bath. Put in some essential oils, like lavender oil or frankincense. Take a moment to picture every ounce of doubt or hatred being released from your pores.
Break in your brand-new journal and start writing the answer to these questions.
Question 1: What do I love about myself?
Answer: I love that I…
Question 2: What does my love feel like? How do the people around me feel being loved by me?
Answer: My love feels like…
Question: Who is my ideal lover?
Answer: My ideal lover is… He/She does … It makes me feel…
After you’ve figured out what your ideal lover does, do all those things for yourself and feel those feelings. Buy yourself flowers. Cook yourself dinner. Massage your toes.
Be your ideal lover.
If your ideal lover is kind, be kind to yourself. You have to be good enough for yourself.
If your ideal lover is knowledgeable, learn something new every day.
If your ideal lover surprises you, purchase a surprise from Surprise Industries (for only $3), and they’ll send it to you… at some point.
2. Be yourself
Reconcile the disconnect between who you are with the curtains closed and who you are with an audience.
If you’re a funny person, why doesn’t that come out when you’re with a certain person? I get it. I’m introverted. If someone is really talkative, I let them direct the conversation. If they aren’t talkative, I do it. However, I don’t bite my tongue. Bloody tongues are passé.
A lot of the time, we don’t say what we want to say for fear that we will be judged. Let go of the hold you think others have on your life. Their opinion cannot buy you a trip to Bali. It cannot buy you more time with your loved ones.
What you think of you is more important. That’s why we need to get your self-perception back on track.
3. Evaluate your daily actions
Write down a list of the things you do every day.
For example: I wake up. I go to work. I eat a muffin for breakfast. I skip lunch. I watch Game of Thrones, etc.
Now, check whether or not these actions are acts of love.
I’m sure some of your actions aren’t acts of love. I know some of mine aren’t. Love is an action word. To feel your own love, you have to treat yourself well. Take baby steps. Eat a little better. Integrate a fun activity into your daily schedule. Smoke one less cigarette today. Skip the fast-food restaurant.
Tell yourself that you love yourself. Yes, despite the nose you think is too thin or too wide, or the hair you think is too straight or too curly.
This love has to be unconditional. Self-love is a daily practice. Love yourself better each day.
4. Acquire a new skill
Part of the reason children are so happy is because learning is a daily practice for them. We’ve been fooled by our diplomas, y’all: Learning never ends. We have to stay stimulated.
Learning fills you with a sense of pride.
You can choose to learn anything—maybe you’re interested in photography, or writing, or social media. You can find a cheap class on Groupon, and learn.
When we breathe, all the cells in our body take in oxygen and then release carbon dioxide. Every breath is like a gentle “I love you” to your body. Be mindful of it. Breathe in through the nose, deeply. Make sure to fill your stomach with air. And release. You’re taking in energy as you breathe. You’re taking in life.
What greater gift is there for someone you love?
You could do specific breathing activities and integrate yoga into your weekly routine. Or just go outside and close your eyes as you enjoy the feeling of the hot sun on your skin. Think of everything you’re grateful for.
If you implement these five steps, I’m sure you’ll be that much closer to loving yourself better. This renewed love for self will enable you to eliminate the things that don’t feed you joy, and add in more of what does.
I know you can do it.
What are your practical ways to love yourself on a daily basis? Comment below.