6 Tips to Help You Practice More Self Love
It makes sense that the day before Valentine’s Day is National Self Love Day — because in order to love others, you really have to learn to love yourself first. Here, some ways to help you take care of number one.
If you’ve been in a Target, Walmart, or any sort of drugstore recently, it’s hard to miss that a certain holiday about love is coming up. There are teddy bears, chocolate hearts, gushy cards about love, all of the red and pink decor — all reminders that being in a loving partnership is one of the most important parts of life.
But I’m here to celebrate a different holiday, one that is actually more important (to me!) than Valentine’s Day. It’s February 13, National Self Love Day. There are so many ways and holidays to show love for the special people in our lives, but on February 13, I encourage you to take the time to show up and love yourself. How? Read my step-by-step guide.
1. Move in a way that feels good to you
Loving yourself is about honoring the body that you are in. One of the best ways to express self-love is to move your body in a way that feels good to you. If you don’t like running, don’t run! If you’ve always wanted to start yoga, there are plenty of YouTube videos available — Yoga with Adriene is my favorite. For me, I love to take long walks outside, lift weights, and ride my Peloton.
2. Fuel your body with healthy food
Eating healthy, nutritious food is one of the easiest ways we can love ourselves. And let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with eating fast or junk food, and there’s no such thing as a “guilty” pleasure, but I know I always feel my best when I eat lots of veggies, drink water, and get enough protein. If you struggle with incorporating more fresh foods into your diet, start small! Add a handful of spinach to a morning protein smoothie, or instead of fries with your burger, opt for a side salad.
3. Get enough sleep with the help of a sleepytime routine
As someone who has struggled in recent years with anxiety-induced insomnia, I can’t tell you how good it feels to get a good night’s sleep. One of the things that helped me wind down for the evening was to stick to a nighttime sleep ritual. I set my alarms and put my phone away. Then, I wash my face, and while I’m doing my sheet mask, I heat up water in my electric kettle for my sleepytime tea. Once I’m finished with my skincare routine, I sit on the couch and read and drink tea — and within 20 minutes I’m so tired I can’t keep my eyes open. Having a simple routine like this helps my body know “OK, time for bed!” instead of aimlessly scrolling through social media for hours.
4. Practice gratitude daily
With all the news that’s happening recently, as well as stress from work, family, and friends, it’s so easy to forget the good things that are happening. Expressing gratitude on a daily basis helps keep you grounded in reality, in the things that are really important in your life — trust me, not everything is bad!
Every night before I go to bed, I write down five things that made me happy or that I’m grateful for. Some of the things I’ve written:
* A glass of sparkling water with dinner
* Cuddles with my puppy
* Reading an amazing sentence in a good book
* An unexpected phone call from a friend
* The hot shower I took after my workout
5. Less screen time
I know the cool thing now is to spend less time on your phone, but it really is one of the best things I’ve done. I started to notice that whenever I had a long scrolling session, I felt awful. Awful for multiple reasons — I’d wasted time doing something that doesn’t help me in any way, I’d been comparing myself to others for hours (wow, I wish I had those shoes, ugh, I feel lazy for not doing a workout like THAT), and I have a headache and dry eyes from staring at a screen and not blinking. So, now I have a social media timer on my phone, and once I’ve used up that time, that’s it! I move on to do things that fuel me in other ways — I read, I exercise, I try out a new recipe, or I connect with friends.
6. Take yourself out on regular dates
I have been in a relationship for 14 years, so sometimes it’s hard for me to imagine doing things by myself. But I made a commitment to myself towards the end of last year to spend more time with myself, by myself. I take myself out on dates to read at coffee shops, I go to nice restaurants by myself, I go to the movies by myself. It’s been a revelation!
Spending time with yourself helps to connect you with what you love about yourself and is one of the best forms of self-compassion. Honestly, I now love being alone in my own company. Give me a bucket of popcorn and a silly rom-com day at the movies, and I’m set!
Do you do anything to practice self love? Which of these tips sounds like something you can incorporate into your own life? Let me know in the comments!