What is self love? We certainly hear a lot about it. Mostly it sounds like facials and massages (trust us, we’re fans) but considering the longest relationship of your life is with yourself, we think it runs a little deeper than that. We know that love is a verb, so what actions promote self love? You’d think we’d be experts by now since we’ve had time to practice, but just in case this is a new concept we thought we’d throw together some practical tips.
10 Ways to Love You Like You Mean It
- Stop the Inner Critic– Wooo we’re coming in hot! This is first because it’s the most important, and very likely the one most of us need to hear. The inner critic – we recommending naming them – Nancy? Sharon? – is constantly berating, comparing, name calling, etc. She usually makes you feel less than or deficient in some way. News flash: you can’t nurture yourself if you are simultaneously beating yourself up.
- Set Boundaries-Be assertive in all aspects of your life, especially where it feels difficult. You define your self worth and teach people how to treat you. We usually get the behavior we tolerate.
- Be Open to Receive-This usually means getting quiet enough to listen. Meditation, mindfulness, prayer, breath work, sound healing: all of them are paths to the same place.
- Listen to your Intuition- Developing your intuition is a topic in its own right, but usually it’s what feels good, easy and right to you. Before making a choice: sit with it. How does it feel? What part of you is running the show at the moment? Some people get an immediate “gut reaction” – seriously, the body doesn’t lie! A gut punch, throat closing, nausea, etc. For others, “sleeping on it” is the ticket. Half of this is realizing that we can pause, and there’s no urgency to make a decision. Recognizing your intuition’s “language” gets easier and louder with practice.
- Remember to Play– This looks different for everyone but you generally know what’s for you. Dance, LAUGH, be creative, spontaneous, watch comedies, read trashy fiction. Watch TV and movies but only if it lights you up, not if it’s just a default. Make fun a daily priority.
- Practice Gratitude –we wrote a whole blog on that!
- Prioritize Sleep & Rest – Especially this time of year, when we’re supposed to be slowed down and hibernating, sleep is so important. Sleep is restorative physically and mentally. For tips on sleeping better, check this out. For more on the importance of “the pause” our Holistic Health Strategist friend Aleka wrote this.
- Drop the Scripts- Challenge ALL the stories (all the meaning you give to things – your beliefs, your reactions, your “but I always do it this way” habits) Do they serve you any longer? Or did you develop them at another point in life and they just became a habit? Where did they come from? Are they even yours? This usually stirs up a bit of “stuff” :). Stop and do the work, even if it’s messy. If we don’t, we usually repeat the lesson ad nauseam.
- Embrace Uncertainty- even when it feels like fear. We are wired to seek out security and certainty, and do all kinds of mental backflips to ensure it (this looks a lot like planning everything to a T, rituals like affirmations and vision boards, etc). The sooner we learn to accept uncertainty and change as a constant in life, the sooner we feel less like a salmon swimming upstream.
- And YES, Take Care of the Physical You – Every time I get bodywork, I marvel at people who don’t. They must feel terrible! This looks like massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, therapy, good nutrition and exercise. Yes, all the things. They’re synergistic and sometimes there’s just one piece that’s missing.
Did we miss one? Let us know! We’re always here for you.