The topic of self-love has been buzzing for the last two year. In fact, even in the last week, I must have read about it more than twenty times! But despite hearing the words “self-love” everywhere, what does this statement even mean, and why is it so important?
To me, self-love means appreciating and accepting who we are. It’s something that grows from our actions overtime – from how we treat ourselves and how we talk to ourselves. And it’s an inner flame that needs to be nurtured, and that nurturing takes time. So when we think about it like that, self-love is actually a lifelong commitment to ourselves. It’s a pledge to listen to our own needs, to treat ourselves well, and to get to know who we really are.
Learning to love the unique individual we are means learning to give ourselves unconditional respect, kindness and understanding. This is an ongoing process that helps us to see that we’re worthy, valuable, and deserving of happiness just as we are. In fact, we don’t need anybody else to prove this to us. Everything we need is within us and when we develop daily self-love rituals, we strengthen this understanding.
5 Tips for Nurturing a Loving Relationship to Yourself
1. Create a Self-Love Mirror Ritual
This is this first thing I do in the morning when I look in the mirror. Pausing, I look into my eyes and say to myself, “I love you.” I say this a few times and really say it with meaning. This may be strange for you at first, but overtime I’ve found it to be a wonderful way to develop a positive relationship with myself. Try it out and see how it feels for you.
If you need more support with this, download my free self-love meditation, and I’ll talk you through the process, so you don’t need to feel alone.
2. Transform Negative Self-Talk
Sometimes we talk to ourselves in ways we’d never speak to another person. This leaves us feeling awful about ourselves, so policing our self-talk is important in nurturing self-love. How can you do it? Try to become aware of your inner voice.
If something happens and you catch yourself speaking badly to yourself, stop the pattern immediately. Say “stop!” Take a moment to breathe in and out, and then replace the negative self-talk by saying, “I love and accept myself as I am, now.” Again, this may sound weird but it’s honestly helped me a lot. Try it out for yourself.
3. Make “Me” Time
Make time for yourself at a specific time within a day that’s just for you, and use this time to treat yourself well. This is a date with yourself, so close your computer and put away your phone!
Find out it means to you to “treat yourself?” Maybe it’s cooking your favourite meal or listening to inspiring music. Maybe it’s having a bath with scented candles, giving yourself a 15-minute foot massage, or singing at the top of your lungs just for you. Whatever it is, block out this time for you. Get curious, be playful and see how much fun you can have with it!
4. Acknowledge your Achievements
This step comes directly from my e-Book The Morning Mindful Practice and is the fourth priming question in it. Recognizing and acknowledging ourselves for what we have done achieved is a great technique to help us feel good, be inspired and develop fresh motivation.
How can you do it? Find one thing in the last few days you did that was a challenge for you – however big or small – and say, “I acknowledge myself for having achieved (insert challenge).” And, most importantly, take a moment to feel how doing this feels for you. Drink it down all the way into your toes!
5. Develop Mindfulness
When we are more mindful of our needs, thoughts and feelings, we can better serve ourselves and others. We can make more informed decisions about what to do – and NOT do – in any given moment, and we understand when we need to say no. Like self-love, or yoga, mindfulness is something that needs to be developed overtime through patience and practice.