Love yourself. It’s a simple enough concept, and one you’ll hear often throughout your life. You might see the phrase on a trendy inspirational T-shirt, or in a greeting card given to you by your best friend. How many of us can say we actually do, though? If you’re wondering how to love yourself, you aren’t alone. But this isn’t one of those things we can shrug off (like changing your A/C filters). Loving yourself is important — it’s not enough to just jot the words as a positive affirmation on your mirror. We’ve gotta do the work.
Think of your life as a biopic, the movie of your life. Every scene, every supporting role, every line centers around you. To say you have intrinsic worth would be an understatement. You’re the star of your own story and even some of the stories tangential to yours.
However, if you don’t love and take care of yourself, your story can’t reach its full potential. Here’s the rub: Loving yourself isn’t always easy. We all have certain hang-ups we have to overcome, and some of us have serious hurdles embedded in our psyches. The good news is you can learn to love yourself more, and the following tips should help.
Fill your cup first
Let’s start with one of the hardest self-love tips to master, especially for natural martyrs like mamas. You have to fill your cup first. You give so much to everyone, right? You’re constantly pouring yourself into people: your partner, your kids, your co-workers, your family, your friends. But you can’t pour from an empty cup, sis. If you don’t take the time and effort to fill your cup, you simply won’t have anything left to give. What does filling your cup look like? Doing the things that restore you.
Get to know you
Maybe you need to hear this today: You’re amazing, and it’s fun as hell to hang out with you. In fact, you should remind yourself of that as often as possible by being your own BFF. Take yourself out to the movies. Send yourself a bouquet of flowers. Learn to enjoy your own company again.
Cut yourself some slack
Spoiler alert? You aren’t perfect. None of us are! So, give up the ghost. There’s no use beating yourself up over your imperfections because we all have them. When you make a mistake (and you will), give yourself the grace you would afford to anyone else.
Say “no” more
You don’t have to say “yes” to every little thing asked of you, Mama. Seriously. You don’t want to disappoint anyone, and we get that (and are right there with you). But remember, you’ll never have enough in your cup if you never stop pouring from it. It’s perfectly okay — in fact, it’s super-healthy — to set boundaries and stick to them.
Give yourself props
It is not arrogant to recognize your accomplishments. You worked hard to achieve them, right? Loving yourself means getting comfortable with the idea that you deserve credit, too. Got a big promotion? Girl, pop the bubbly! Finally mastered that yoga move that’s been eluding you? Treat yourself to a spa day. You’re worthy of recognition and rewards.
Have an attitude of gratitude
In the immortal words of Elle Woods, “Endorphins make you happy.” And thinking positive just so happens to release feel-good things like endorphins and serotonin. Isn’t that remarkable? Something as simple as reminding yourself of the things you have to be grateful for can be an act of self-love.
Be good to your body
This is about as basic as it gets in the realm of self-love: taking care of the temple that is your amazing bod. You only get one, so one of the best things you can do for yourself is to nourish it. Fuel it with good food. Rest it. Ahem, pleasure it.
We’re not saying you shouldn’t issue the occasional well-warranted “I’m sorry.” But if you counted how many times per day you say “I’m sorry” for trivial reasons, you’d probably be shocked. Work on owning your actions so you’ll know when an apology is truly in order and when it’s gratuitous.
Do the heavy lifting
Admittedly, this one can be rough. But it’s nearly impossible to love yourself fully if you don’t accept yourself fully. This means addressing things like deep-seated insecurities, past traumas, and anything keeping you from fully accessing your self-worth. We absolutely recommend working with a mental health professional to do this. You don’t have to go this leg alone.
I was once on a flight with a lovely little woman who confided in me she had never been on an airplane before. Almost immediately upon take-off, we hit terrible turbulence — to the point that I, a seasoned traveler, was starting to panic. It occurred to me that maybe I should offer a reassuring word to my first-time-flier friend, only to discover she was totally relaxed. When I asked her how she wasn’t melting down, she cooly replied, “Well, it’s out of my hands now.” The moral of this story? There’s no use stressing over things that are outside of your control.
Become an editor
Don’t worry — no one expects you to go out and learn a new vocational hobby. You should learn to edit, though. And by that, we mean edit the things in your life that are weighing you down. Tighten your circle. De-clutter your home. Streamline your life and you’ll streamline your mind, which will make it easier for you to see you. And that, friend, will also make it easier to appreciate those who invest as much into you as you do into them.
Step away from social media
Those tiny squares we all scroll through have some merit, sure. They allow you to keep up with friends and family from afar. Sometimes they give you a good laugh. However, they can also tempt you to size yourself up unfairly. Repeat after us: Comparison is the thief of joy.
This is especially true for moms and the research proves it. A 2019 study by Edison Research returned some alarming statistics, including:
— 81 percent of U.S. moms use Facebook compared to 61 percent of the total U.S. population
— 53 percent of moms say there is too much negativity online — 23 percent of moms say social media has a negative impact on their emotional well-being — 49 percent of moms on social media don’t post, share, or comment because they’re worried they will be judged
Give yourself special treatment
Solo trips are a thing for a reason and can be a great way to reconnect and pamper yourself. Vacations are a chance to get away, sure. But sometimes when we go with others, we’re tied to a schedule. By taking yourself on a trip alone, you’re allowing yourself to move at your own pace and enjoy things for just as long or little as you like. This lets you relax and show a level of self-care that you may not always experience when you take a trip with friends or family. Taking yourself out on a date achieves the same level of self-care. The goal is to take your time with yourself but also remind and show your body and psyche that you are worthy of special treatment — even when it’s gifted to you by you.
Quotes About Loving Yourself
The tips above will hopefully help put you on the path to daily self-love. But if you need a bit more inspiration, keep reading for quotes about loving yourself.
“Love yourself first, and everything falls into line.” — Lucille Ball
“You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.” — Diane Von Furstenberg
“Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.” — Louise L. Hay
“Loving yourself isn’t vanity. It’s sanity.” — Katrina Mayer
“Love yourself. Enough to take the actions required for your happiness. Enough to cut yourself loose from the drama-filled past. Enough to set a high standard for relationships. Enough to feed your mind and body in a healthy manner. Enough to forgive yourself. Enough to move on.” — Steve Maraboli
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