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Self-love looks different for each person. But if you aren’t entirely sure where to start, this list of 20 ways to practice self-love can help you get started today. Something important to keep in mind is that there is no definitive way to practice self-love. For me, self-love might look like a cup of tea one day and throwing my headphones on to listen to my favorite tunes the next day.
There is no right or wrong way to practice self-love. You just need to make sure that:
- you are doing activities that serve you and make you feel good about yourself
- you are patient
- you try to keep negative emotions out during self-love practice (but if negative emotions creep in, which is bound to happen, refer to point 2)
Let’s dive straight into some of the ways to practice self-love!
- Read a book. Reading allows your mind to wander, grow and experience new things without having to leave your living room.
- Control the media you consume. I stopped following celebrity Instagram accounts that made me yearn for something I’d never be able to achieve and started following accounts that reflected who I was. We all have different bodies and we are all beautiful, but when we are surrounded by images that make us feel different or inadequate, those feelings begin to compound over time. Follow accounts that inspire you and make you feel good about yourself!
- Have a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy it in silence. No distractions, no TV and no phone!
- Practice mindful meditation. When I tell most people that they should try meditation they usually reply with, “I don’t think meditation would help” or “I’ve tried it in the past and it didn’t work”. I said those two things for years until one day, I spoke with a therapist who changed my view on meditation. She told me that 15 minutes was a good amount of meditation to start with, but that it didn’t need to be done all at once. Most people jump into meditation and struggle to sit for that long and so they give up. Which was exactly what I did! She told me to take three minutes out of my day, a few times a day, and that was all I needed to it. Give it a try! Close your eyes, and breathe in and out slowly. She also told me to repeat a mantra that I needed to hear at that point in time (for me, it was “I am doing my best and I am worthy.”) After several weeks of doing that, I actually found myself yearning for more meditation and was happy to try and be still for 15 minutes. YouTube is a goldmine for guided meditation videos. Try searching for “5-minute meditation” or “20-minute mediation” — whichever you prefer! Meditation brings us back to a calm state. It’s a great way to wind yourself down if you feel incredibly anxious or stressed out. However, when you practice meditation enough, you’ll notice that you don’t get as stressed out or anxious in the first place. Science backs up meditation as a way to reduce anxiety and stress, and it’s a wonderful practice to take part in!
- Make a list of everything you a grateful for! Nothing is too big or too small to incorporate on your list.
- Make plans with a loved one. Spending time with people who elevate us and lift us up is so good for the soul.
- Do something you love every day. It doesn’t need to be extravagant. If you love to paint, pick up some cheap paints and paper and allow yourself to paint. Find a small activity that lifts your mood and do it.
- Appreciate the little things in life. Sometimes we get so caught up in the big picture that we miss the little things.
- Forgive yourself. That thing you said five years ago that you are still dwelling on? Nobody remembers it and neither should you. Let go of those things and allow yourself to move forward.
- Give yourself “no-screen time”. Put away your phone, turn off the TV, close your laptop and find something to do that doesn’t involve screens.
- Journal! Journaling doesn’t need to be a scary and intimidating task. There are no rules to journaling. You can doodle, you can write a poem, you can write about your day…use some of these journaling prompts to help get you started if you don’t know what to write about!
- Grab some power thought cards and start your day with some positive thinking.
- Take a bubble bath. Bring in a glass of wine or a cup of tea and focus on enjoying your time without any distractions.
- Go for a walk in nature.
- Clean your living space. A clean home can make us feel so relieved and at peace.
- Go for a workout. Working out releases feel-good endorphins that will leave you feeling elevated and happy.
- Learn how to say “no”. If you don’t want to do something, you do not have to. Don’t stretch yourself too thin. Learning to prioritize what things we want to do and what thing we don’t want to do is an important skill to acquire!
- Buy yourself flowers.
- Write a to-do list and cross off the easy things first. Break up larger tasks so they are easier to accomplish!
- Speak with a therapist. We all need help once in a while and there’s nothing to be ashamed of if you need some more guidance.
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