Recently I got a question on Instagram asking, “How do you think people can learn to love themselves?”
You asked so I answered!
Over the past year living in quarantine my self-love has grown tremendously and I know that right now some of you are on that same journey to loving yourself in the best way possible. And I want to help you get there.
Let me first start off by saying that I am not a self-love expert but I do believe that self-love is not something we are necessarily taught but rather it’s manifested inside of us.
We just have to be willing to get past the social conditioning that was constructed to make us criticize and judge ourselves to get to a state of self-love and higher being.
But before we can discuss ways to practice self-love we must understand what self-love truly means.
According to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation definition for self-love it is defined as “a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth.”
I would agree with this definition and add that what started my focus on self-love was practicing mindfulness.
Being mindful of your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional well-being is all apart of self-love and self-care.
Here is a breakdown of what I mean by that.
FIVE WAYS TO PRACTICE SELF-LOVE
1.Understand Your Love Language
Love languages are broken down into five categories and they are used to describe how we feel loved and appreciated.
There are five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.
You may have heard the expression “You have to love yourself first before you can love anyone else” before?
When you think about love languages I want you to not only focus on romantic relationships but all relationships.
This can relate to family bonds, friendships, work leadership and the relationship you have with yourself.
Self-love is about understanding your love language and what kind of person you are and being mindful of not just what you want but what you need.
It is important to note that your love language can grow and change as you do overtime.
Buy yourself some flowers!
Appreciate the little things life has to offer. Give as much as you can.
My love language is most definitely kind words of affirmation.
I remember once in high school our teacher gave us a list of our classmates names and instructed us to write down three positive words for each person.
When everyone was finished, she used a digital cloud generator to compile the most used words to describe each individual student and gave them to us.
No one knew who wrote what but I remember reading words to describe me like “compassionate, wise, and thoughtful” which made me feel so good inside!
2. Use Positive Affirmations
As I mentioned above you should show yourself as much compassion as you show other people.
Positive affirmations can be used to build your confidence and promote self-love.
Using affirmations like “I am clever, I am beautiful, I am a Queen” allows you to channel positive energy. Try saying these affirmations aloud in the mirror in the morning or writing them down in a journal a few times and make up your own if you’d like!
Keeping an open mind is key. Protect your energy and forgive yourself for past mistakes.
I like to listen to positive affirmations on YouTube as I meditate in the morning and focus on my breath.
When practiced on a daily basis positive affirmations can be a powerful way to build self-esteem and boost self-love.
3. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
If you haven’t already tried this social media detox challenge, let me tell you it’s a game changer.
Put down your phone and take a break from social media.
Well after you finish reading and sharing this post haha!
Do something creative with your time and give yourself a chance to make time for play.
This can look like learning a new dance, language, how to play an instrument, coloring or other acts of self-care.
When I stopped staring at my phone and really looked at my life I found that I had so many resources around me to achieve my goals.
There is no one way to be successful or be happy. Everyone is following their own timeline.
So stop letting others set the standards for your life.
If you want a healthy and happy lifestyle than define your own and put in the work.
You have to appreciate the place where you are at in your life and put your well being first.
4. Take Time To Care For Yourself
Taking the time to practice self-care is more than mani-pedi’s, face masks and retail therapy. Although those are fun too! Self-care looks different for everyone but ultimately it’s about putting your self first and setting clear and healthy boundaries.
I had to learn that it’s okay to say no.
You do not have to compromise your morals and values for people to like and agree with you.
By doing so, you do not give people the opportunity to love your true self.
Make sure you are surrounding yourself with people who encourage your growth and keep it real with you.
Be intentional about what you’re doing and why you are doing it.
It can be as simple as taking a nature walk or decluttering your home to purify your mind and your soul.
Self-Care can also be taking a break from work to grab a snack or nap in moderation.
And of course eating healthy and keeping your body moving is always recommended.
Just go at your own pace. I promise you’ll thank yourself later.
5. Be True To Yourself
This one always sounds cliche but being the most authentic version of yourself takes practice.
Being authentic is not a temporary state of being but a way of life.
You have to know when to walk away from things and relationships that no longer serve you.
You have to practice being assertive and setting healthy boundaries.
Draw yourself a hot bath, light some incense, and go to bed early.
Know when to detach from people and things that often control your mood.
Understand that you can only control your own reaction and response to the situations around you.
Figure out what truly brings you peace and run with it.
Value your self-worth more than anything else and fix your crown sis.