Self Love is a journey. It takes time, conscious cultivation, and patience with ourselves. Self love isn’t a milestone that we simply achieve and then have for the rest of our lives. Even those who can say that they truly love themselves have to regularly practice this. We can feel the truth of ‘love as a practice’ in the relationships we share with others outside of ourselves.
We know that it is not enough to be told ‘I love you,’ instead, we desire regular actions that show that love in action.
It is the same with our own self love journeys. It is not enough to use our affirmations and repeat ‘I love myself’ until we feel that it is true. We must do more. We must discover the kinds of practices and actions that truly help us feel connected to ourselves and nourished with a sense of love and compassion.
So, how can we begin practicing self love? The first step is to identify actions and practices that help us to feel loved and cared for. The second step is to commit to practicing self love at least once a day.
If you are new to practicing self love, that is okay- read on to discover 3 of my favorite ways we can practice self love on a daily basis:
- Embodied Affirmations. This is different from passively repeating our affirmations. This practice refers to repeating our affirmations while actively embodying the truth of them. My favorite way to do this is in the mirror (though, if that is too intense for you at first, skip the mirror and do this practice without it). While looking in the mirror, begin saying to yourself all of the things that you love about yourself. You can practice touching and caressing different parts of your body, face, and hair while saying “I love you.” You can also practice incorporating other affirmations that feel more personal to you such as “i am safe in my body, I am powerful, I am beautiful, I am unique.” I encourage you to choose whatever affirmations resonate with you most on your self love journey, and spend 5 minutes openly repeating them and spending intimate time with yourself and your body. This takes practice, so don’t give up if you feel uncomfortable or nervous the first few times.
- Write yourself a short love letter. This is a wonderful and fun way to show ourselves daily love. Take 5 minutes to simply write yourself the love note that you need most in this moment. What do you need to hear, acknowledge, or find support with in order to feel loved today? Write it in the letter. Carry this letter with you throughout the day and read it whenever you need a reminder of your worth.
- Find what feels good and DO IT! What is a self care activity that lights you up inside? Maybe it is something relaxing like taking a mindful walk in nature, or taking a bath while reading an uplifting book. Whatever self care activity feels nourishing and uplifting to you, commit to doing it today. One self care activity a day is a powerful way to practice daily self love. Bonus points for creating a self care activity list to choose from day to day!
Practicing self love will not always be easy, but it is so worthwhile. You deserve to feel loved, cared for, and supported by yourself and by the people who surround you. Start showing yourself the love you deserve today. It is never too late to begin!