** DISCLAIMER: This content is not provided by a nutritionist, physical trainer, or fitness nor mental health professional of any kind. All thoughts expressed in this content come from personal opinions and experiences only. **
Self-care has recently gained traction online. Just Google “self-care” and you’ll come across dozens of articles, social media posts, and even websites that discuss how to love yourself. While the subject may seem oversaturated to some people, the truth is that loving yourself is important and something that benefits everyone.
Self-love and self-care are essentially one and the same, in my opinion. Certainly, it would be difficult to have one without the other. Being kind to yourself and doing things that make you feel alive is always beneficial.
Below is a list of 7 little things you can do, right now, to show yourself the love you deserve.
7 Tips to help you love yourself more
1. Spend time with yourself
Blocking off time for yourself helps you discover what brings you joy. It’s a way to give yourself permission to invest in you.
Even if it’s just 30 minutes a day (or less!), any time spent by yourself is time well spent. Spending time alone to show yourself love has proven health benefits, and you’ll likely learn something about yourself that you didn’t know before. You are always with yourself, so why not make the most of it?
2. Connect with friends
In addition to spending time with yourself, connecting with friends can help you love yourself more, too. Spending time with people who care about you always feels good and reminds you that you are loved, which can help you love yourself more, too.
Thanks to technology, we have plenty of ways of connecting with people: email, Skype, Zoom, text messages and phone calls, social media — the list is endless. Physically distanced meetings can work as well while we still navigate the pandemic.
3. Buy yourself something nice
If you indulge in gifts for your loved ones, why not do the same with yourself?
Get yourself something small that brings you joy. It could be food, a book you’ve had on your to-read list, a board game, or anything! Any money spent on investing in yourself is money well-spent.
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4. Eat your favorite foods
Eating healthy is important, but so is eating in moderation. Food does not have a value judgment, and judging yourself for what you eat will only leave you feeling terrible about yourself.
Restricting your diet negatively affects your mental health and takes a general toll on your well-being.
Practice loving yourself by giving yourself permission to eat your favorite foods every now and then.
5. Exercise for pleasure
Exercise is good for you physically, but it’s also good for you emotionally.
Not only does your body release endorphins but, when you exercise in a way that excites you, it invigorates you.
Try walking around the neighborhood, practicing yoga at home, dancing in your living room —whatever it is, exercise in a way that not only makes your body feel great, but your mind, as well.
Volunteering often makes people feel good about themselves. Giving truly is better than receiving in so many instances in life.
Volunteering can also distract you from yourself, which means you have less time to criticize yourself. You become so focused on the cause you’re helping out — helping a person, an organization, or something else — that you become a part of something bigger than just yourself.
The sense of meaning volunteering gives you often allows you to feel more self-love, as you’re able to focus on using your skills to truly make the world a better place.
7. Write in a gratitude journal
Knowing what you have and being grateful for it can do wonders for your mental health.
Focusing on the positive things in your life can automatically lift your spirits. Even if you just focus on one thing that you’re thankful for, that one thing will likely make you pause and reflect on your own blessings.
Gratitude is a wonderful feeling to have, and experiencing it just highlights one of your personal strengths as a person.
When you can find something every day that makes you grateful, it becomes harder to find the negatives in life — which is almost guaranteed to silence your inner critic for even just a moment, and help you love yourself more.
Learn how to love yourself more each day
Self-love looks different for everyone, but the outcome is the same: loving yourself through your actions.
Each of us can explore what makes us feel happy and loved and apply it to our daily lives.
Like any new habit, it takes everyday practice, but, like every new habit, it becomes easier the more you do it. Best of all, it’s never too late to start loving yourself.