If we were to ask you who or what you love, what pops into your head?
Out of any of the things you thought about, did you think ‘I love myself’? Loving yourself can seem so vain or even cheesy but is important to practice self-love to benefit your wellbeing and happiness.
Practising self-love is not about being narcissistic or thinking you are better than everyone else. Loving yourself can help you believe in yourself and push you to achieve your goals to become the best version of you, for you.
This can be challenging for some people, but there a few simple things you can start including in your daily or nightly routine that will help you fully express self-love.
Start each day with something positive
When you wake up start by telling yourself something positive. This could simply be reassuring yourself that today will be a good day. You could even create a mantra that you start the day with and can repeat throughout the day if things become overwhelming or stressful. Jameela Jamil, actress on ‘The Good Place’, shared her personal mantra with The Lantern: “Treat yourself like you’d treat your best friend … Be your own best friend.”
Celebrate small wins
It is not always easy to be happy with yourself when you do something big, like pass an exam or land a job interview. However, you should also find joy in the smaller wins in life. Even if that’s getting out of bed in the morning or organising a phone call you were terrified to make. What you consider to be a win is a personal thing, but you should ensure you celebrate big and small wins to welcome more positivity to your life.
Step away from toxic relationships
If a friend or partner is showing toxic traits try your best to confront them about it and if nothing changes, try and take a step back or leave that relationship. Toxic traits can include:
o Constantly putting you down
o Trying to take you away from other friends and family
o They don’t care about your feelings or needs
o They cross boundaries eve after you talk with them about it
o They compete with you
Embrace body positivity
Loving your own body can be hard. Some days maybe all you can focus on is ‘imperfections’ you think you have. However, everyone’s body is beautiful regardless of how it looks. Instead of looking at flaws, you should look at your body with love and accept it for how it is and what it does to keep you going.
Stop comparing yourself to others
Every single person is unique and individual. We all have different bodies, different personalities and different ways of dealing with things. If you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to people you see on social media, then maybe it’s time to take a break from social media or even unfollow people who make you feel bad about yourself.
Energise your body
Your body does so much for you, so you should give back by moving it and filling it with nutritious food. You should stay active, whether that’s going on a 20-minute walk with your dog or heading to the gym. However you choose to keep your body moving, make sure you are doing it to feel healthy and content, rather than putting pressure on yourself.
Taking time to unwind
At the end of each day you should take a few minutes to switch your mind off and do something you enjoy. You could take a bath, have a nice cup of tea, do a face mask, the possibilities are endless. Taking some time during the day to unwind and calm your mind can greatly benefit your wellbeing and sleep patterns.
There are countless ways you can work towards loving yourself and feeling happy in your own skin. We grow up being told we should treat people with love and respect, and the very same applies for how we should treat ourselves.
Words by Emily Clarke