The process of learning to love yourself is a roller coaster, if you are at the beginning of your journey, know that it will get easier with practice. I am here to give you a self-love plan. Remember that self-love is a decision you have to make every day, some days it will be easier than others, but creating your own self-love routine can shorten the amount of time we spend dwelling in our thoughts and emotions and will help us take care of our mental health.
Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.- Brene Brown
1. DON’T FEEL GUILTY FOR YOUR EMOTIONS
This is an underrated step that not too many take into consideration. I am making the assumption that today might not be one of your best days, I want to make sure you know that there is nothing wrong with that. You might have spent too much time giving to others and not enough to yourself, maybe you’re dealing with conflicts with your loved ones, or life is just obliterating you right now.
Regardless of what the source of your negative feelings might be, know that they are real, and I am proud of you for addressing them instead of ignoring them. No shaming here.
2. UNDERSTAND THE PARTS OF YOU THAT NEED LOVE
This might be one of the most delicate steps, and the step that will allow you to easily know how to take action next time you are in need of self-love.
We are very used to receiving external validation, whether it has been positive or negative, the opinions and love languages of other people in our lives have impacted the way we receive, expect, and receive love. All these external factors affect us within, so try asking yourself this question: what is my body and soul craving right now?
This is the time to dig within, dig past your thoughts and feelings, and deeper down you will find the true root of your negative thoughts.
3. JOURNAL ABOUT QUALITIES YOU FEEL GRATEFUL FOR
I used to think having a gratitude journal would be useless. Every time someone told me “you need to be grateful”, I used to answer in my head “you don’t know what I’m going through”. The truth is, forcing your mind to think and write down little things that you feel grateful for forces your mind to feel joy. Your brain recalls the little moments where you felt happy and grateful helping you feel hopeful and more encouraged in the present moment when you are struggling.
Grab your journal, and make a list of experiences and people you feel grateful for. Most importantly, make a list of qualities you love about yourself, and how they have benefited you in your life.
4. REACH OUT TO YOUR LOVED ONES
Yes. This will require some vulnerability and pushing your pride aside. It’s important to create a safe space for yourself. If these people make you feel bad or guilty about your feelings and don’t know how to listen, forget them during your self-love process because they won’t help. During this time, you need people who encourage you to do something for yourself, people who root for you and give you the space to practice empathy with yourself.
Although this step might not apply to some people, I want to make sure to include it because I don’t want you to think you need to go through stuff alone. Hyper-independence will hurt in the long run, practicing vulnerability with your loved ones and people around you will provide you with the support you need to give yourself the love you need.
5. DISCONNECT FROM TECHNOLOGY
Plain and simple. Put your phone away. If you want to have a dance party while playing music on your phone do it, but after that’s over, hide your phone in a drawer and forget about it for a bit. You don’t need outside distractions while you are focusing on yourself. I promise you the world won’t fall apart if you are away from your phone for a couple of hours.
6. SPEND TIME DOING AT LEAST ONE THING YOU LOVE
Baby steps will take you a long way when you are consistent. It only takes one habit to ignite the rest, and you will be on your way. On a day where you need a little extra love, fulfill your needs by doing one thing that makes you excited, that brings you joy, and makes you feel like yourself!
Allow yourself to feel excited, go get your nails done, get your hair done, pick up a paintbrush again, grab your camera and get creative, work out, read a book, do anything that fulfills your soul. Treat yourself, you deserve it!
7. PRACTICE SELF LOVE AFFIRMATIONS
The way you speak to yourself will dictate the way you feel about yourself. There might be days where you might not see your worth, where you might not feel lovable or capable of achieving your dreams. This is where affirmations come in, and as weird as it might seem at first, try talking to yourself and saying some of the following:
- I am worthy of love and abundance
- I am healing and becoming the best version of myself
- My past does not define me
- I am capable of creating the future of my dreams
8. SPEND TIME OUTDOORS
Last, but not least, this is my favorite way to recharge. We are not meant to be trapped indoors. I recommend spending time outside breathing fresh air and changing our views for part of the day. Enjoying the sun and nature changes your energy, and gives you a refreshed mind. Get your body moving, enjoy your surroundings and appreciate mother nature. Spending time outside has been proven to boost your energy, enhance your creativity, and give you your daily dose of vitamin D.
Not all days are sunshine and rainbows, but every day we have the power to chose how we handle our thoughts and emotions. If you are curious how I handle my tough days sometimes, you can read that here (link to diary entry)