5 Ways to Define & Practice Self-Love Each Day
Each day when you look in the mirror, what do you see? Take a second and look at yourself right now! (no mirror? Your phone’s selfie cam will do the trick). Now, take a good long look - look passed your appearance. Glaze into your eyes and ask yourself, “what do I love about me?” Don’t be shy, you’re talking to your biggest cheerleader - YOU!
If this isn’t a question you ask yourself often, it might take a little while to conjure up a mental list (better yet a handwritten list - we’ll talk about this more below). Practicing self-love is vital to personal development. Times are changing. Generations are evolving. Gone are the days that we define our personal success by how many hours we work in a week. The beautiful notion of self-love is that it’s not a cookie cutter model or one-size fits all ideology. Self-love is a personal journey handcrafted by you and you only.
Why is it important to practice self-love? Because doing so will make you more mindful and present in your everyday life. Sometimes it’s easy to be consumed by responsibilities and stress that you can lose track of your personal well being. Practicing self-love will make you more compassionate towards the people around you and give you the ability to venture through life with the confidence you need to make those tough decisions.
Here are 5 simple ways you can practice self-love every day.
1. Build A Why I Love Me List
To truly practice self-love you have to start somewhere. Though this practice is an internal and external process, you must start within to begin to reflect outward. Building a list of the things you love about yourself is a great foundation for practicing self-love. Try it now, what are five things you love about yourself? This list will be individual to everyone but here are a few ideas to get the ball (of your pen) rolling. I love my ….
Drive for adventure
Curiosity to learn
Relationships with my friends
Yes, it is okay to include the physical attributes but just make sure your list isn’t all about your appearance. Remember that this list grows and changes with you. Keep reminding yourself of what you love about you as often as possible.
2. Join A Community
What are you good at? Or what do you love doing? Whatever the answer is, do you make enough time for this activity? Whether this is playing tennis or practicing yoga - doing something you love with like-minded people creates an inspirational and motivational environment that will help boost your self-esteem (which in turn feeds your self-love practice).
3. Stop Comparing
This is a tough one - especially thanks to social media. Comparing yourself to others is a step backward in your journey of self-development and self-love. Since day one on this fine earth, you have been one thing that is irreplaceable and unreplicable to any other person - that is YOU! Be yourself. Show yourself off to the world. Other people’s successes are no means to diminish your own progress and self-worth. You're on your own path and trying to wear someone else’s shoes will only make for an uncomfortable journey.
4. Be Grateful
Sometimes when life’s stress piles up it’s easy to be consumed by negative energies and forget all that you could be grateful for. Possessing an attitude of gratitude will keep you grounded when life may seem overwhelming. Creating a gratitude journal is a great way to be able to remind yourself and look back on things that you're grateful for. Reminding yourself what you’re grateful for will put a pause on complaining about the small stuff and help put things into perspective.
5. Practice Letting Go
What are you holding on to? No, we’re not talking about your cell phone. Emotionally, what are you carrying around from your past that has no purpose in your present? You need to let this go. Whether it’s creeping your ex-partner on Instagram or not forgiving yourself for a mistake you made years ago - it’s time to move forward. This invisible baggage is heavy and it’s holding you back from personal growth. Next time you have a flash from your past, grab on to it, address it and forgive yourself or the moment and let it go. Say so long for good.