Loving yourself is probably one of the most important things you will do during your time here on earth. The way you love yourself shows up in every area of your life. If you’re lacking self-love, it’ll show in your words, actions, and the people you surround yourself with.
When self-love is present, it’ll radiate from you.
I’ve spent a large portion of my life not liking or loving myself. In fact, I had a deep hatred toward myself and it was reflected in every aspect of my life. My last relationship ending gave me the push I needed to work on myself and learn to love me. It hasn’t been easy and there are days I still struggle with the concept of self-love, but I can look at myself in the mirror now and say “I love you” without backing away or feeling disgusted.
Learning to love yourself will be challenging. If you’re starting from the bottom as I did, the journey might look intimidating or confusing. That being said, there are numerous steps you can take to practice self-love every day.
7 Ways to Practice Self-love Every Day
1. Mirror Work
Mirror work involves meeting yourself in the mirror and showering yourself with love and affirmations. When I’m doing mirror work, I like to have conversations with myself that go beyond reciting affirmations.
Mirror work is a great time to get to know yourself. Practicing mirror work regularly will increase your confidence and allow you to live a more peaceful life.
When I first started my practice, it was difficult to stare at my reflection. The deep hatred I had for myself wouldn’t allow me to truly believe the positivity I was speaking over myself.
It may feel uncomfortable for you at first especially if you’re not used to being kind to yourself. Over time, you will begin to fall in love with the process.
2. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
It’s common for us to compare ourselves to other people. With social media and having everything readily available to us at any moment, we’re constantly seeing snapshots of the best parts of people’s lives. We may start to wonder why we don’t look like them or have the lifestyle they do. This happens in real life too, not just online.
On this journey of loving ourselves, we have to stop the comparison game. Once you learn to stop comparing yourself to others, you will notice how much freer you feel.
3. Give Yourself Permission to Love Yourself
Sometimes we have to grant ourselves permission. Permission to love ourselves unconditionally, exactly as we are right now. Remind yourself that you are worthy and deserving of giving yourself love.
Treat yourself the same way you’d treat someone you love.
Self-care is a necessity. It can be anything that allows you to take care of your overall well-being. Making time for self-care doesn’t mean you’re selfish, it means you know you’re worthy of creating moments to do what’s needed for yourself.
For some people, self-care looks like taking a relaxing bath or getting their nails done. For others, self-care is making sure they’re getting enough sleep, releasing through journaling, or scheduling doctor’s appointments.
While self-care can make you feel good, it won’t always be pretty.
Carve out time daily or weekly to fill your cup.
For more ways to practice self-care, check out this blog post.
5. Give Yourself Permission to Experience Joy
There was a time when I was afraid of being happy. I’d been depressed for so long that happiness didn’t seem palpable. Any time I did experience joy, it was short-lived which led me to believe that something bad was bound to happen whenever I was happy.
All that changed when I gave myself permission to feel joy. Now, I allow myself to experience my feelings fully. I revel in my joy and I find something delightful in each day.
6. Practice Acceptance
Even if you don’t love yourself right now, you can still work on accepting yourself.
For me, this looks like learning to accept my body. While I don’t necessarily love the way my body looks, I’m learning to accept her exactly as she is while working to make healthy changes.
Sometimes the first step to learning how to love ourselves is practicing acceptance.
7. Take Steps Daily to Create the Life You Desire
We all have moments where we envision our dream life. The life we’d have if there were no obstacles in our way or no limitations on what could be ours.
I’ve learned the importance of doing something every day that brings me closer to the life I desire.
Imagine waking up every day excited and being completely in love with life. Imagine that everything you’ve ever wanted is yours. Believe that you’re worthy of living the life you desire and take small steps daily to make it your reality.
Practicing self-love is hard work. From a young age, I’ve received numerous messages that fed my inner critic. These messages led me to believe that I wasn’t worthy of love, whether it was giving myself love or receiving love from someone else. I spent so many years feeling unlovable because I was never shown love. No one ever taught me the importance of self-love or how valuable I am. I had to learn it all on my own.
The journey to loving yourself will bring up many different emotions. It will cause you to question what you see in the media and what you’ve been led to believe about yourself. If you’ve never known self-love, you will begin to unpack years of baggage and discover who you truly are.
It’ll take time but eventually, you will get to a place where you feel a sense of peace and where you can wholeheartedly say you love yourself.
Photo by lucas da miranda: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-black-spaghetti-strap-top-1967902/