Finding easy and effective ways to practice self love will make the days easier. You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of you!
Learn To Love Yourself
This time is difficult. There is a lot going on and even when things get back to normal, we need to get in the habit of practicing self-love.
In order to take care of anyone else, you need to take care of yourself first. You have to be a priority in your life. For so many of us who care for children, spouses, parents, and friends, you are willing to run yourself ragged just to make sure everyone else is okay. Make sure that they have everything they need long before you would even think to consider how you are doing. But that has to stop.
Particularly now, you have to find a way to practice self-care. You have to find a way to give yourself a little bit of healing and love so that you can continue taking care of those you love in the healthiest way possible. Here are some things to try.
1. Light Some Candles
There is something about a candle – particularly a scented candle – that will change the ambiance and energy in the room. It is a great way to change the mood on bad days. There is a peacefulness about candles and with all of the challenges surrounding us every day, peace is just what we need.
While cooking dinner for the family, taking a bubble bath, reading a good book, or just looking out the window, light some candles. Dim the lights a bit and take some deep breaths.
If anyone enters your space, point to the candle. Tell them that while the candle is lit, everyone has to relax. Speak in softer voices and calm their energy. It is an act of self-love that every family member can benefit from and a lesson about how even simple things can affect your emotional state.
2. Dress In Something Nice
If you spend your everyday life wearing yoga pants or sweatpants (like many of us), it’s time to change things up. Pick a day each week where you gussy yourself up. Whether this means wearing a cocktail dress, a suit, your favorite outfit, or the thing you keep in the closet for special occasions, this is the time to break it out.
Coif yourself in whatever way you would have on the more normal days (do your hair, shave whatever you shave, moisturize, face masks, put on some makeup, etc.), grab some nice shoes and wear a fragrance if you like. Get dressed up.
Have fun with this. You are an important person and it is okay to exhibit that on the outside as a reminder. Good self-care is a great way to help us be our best selves.
3. Make Sleep A Priority
Nothing drags us down more than lack of sleep. Do your best to make your sleep routine a priority. I know, easier said than done, particularly when you are dealing with the level of stress that many of us are managing right now, but it is incredibly important.
Research shows that lack of sleep is linked to increased depression, increased anxiety, mood changes, memory issues, and lower levels of productivity, so you need to equate sleep management with self care.
We all know what it is like to lay in bed with the day (or the week or the year) circling round and round in your head, unable to actually relax into sleep. Our job as adults is to find ways to help ourselves through that. Come up with a routine for yourself where the goal is to calm your mind when you can’t sleep. It is a huge piece of self-love that you can’t let fall by the wayside.
Many of us have a bad habit or two that gets in the way of falling asleep. We spend time on social media, hang out with toxic people, or work until moments before bedtime. Try to come up with a short daily routine that is better for your emotional health before bedtime.
4. Hang Out With Positive Friends
Let’s be honest, we all have friends who we love fiercely, but aren’t the best for our mental health. It is time to try to focus your energy on those who make you feel good.
When you hang up the phone or drive away from a friend, it is important that the “Whew!” you are expressing is one of happiness and not one of “Oy, that was a lot.”
In many growth situations, we talk about wanting to try new things and new ways of being, but part of self-love can also be staying within your comfort zone. Talk to your best friend, partner, or someone else you have a loving relationship with. Think about who you feel like you can be your best self with.
And those friends with whom you don’t have healthy relationships or leave you with negative feelings after spending time together? It’s time to distance yourself. Set boundaries that you are comfortable with (text instead of call, etc.). We are all human beings and we have flaws, but there are different ways to love people. A major first step when you practice self-love is looking out for your own needs.
5. Do Something You Enjoy
One of the most simple ways to give yourself a little self-love is to do something you enjoy. If you love to cook, get all of the ingredients you need for a new healthy recipe (or a favorite that you don’t make often) and get into the kitchen. If you love watching movies, carve out a bit of time so that you can watch one new movie per week.
Pick up some fresh flowers, use some essential oils, do some little things that take you to a happy place. Go to your place of worship for some spiritual growth, do a workout for your physical health, or put together a list of fun activities that you can do with the family.
Doing something that you enjoy is an easy and productive way that you can practice self-love. Give yourself the gift of something you like to do at least once per week and more often if it’s possible.
6. Time To Write
A great way to get through tough times is to get the negative thoughts out of your body and put them down in writing. The most important relationship you have is the one with yourself, so an excellent self-love practice is to make writing a regular exercise.
Whether you have a gratitude journal, are deep in therapeutic writing with shadow work, or want to work on past mistakes, writing is one of those healthy habits that you will fall in love with.
Have a little fun with it. Write yourself a love letter and remind yourself of all of the good things about you. Put together a gratitude list of the ten best things about yourself (and then of your best friend, and your home, and your job, etc.). Your inner self will be grateful to not have to live in the muck of your worries and negativities on a daily basis, so this will help you begin or end each day on a positive note.
7. Positive Affirmations
This is one of the easiest ways that you can practice self-love at any time and during any season. Write out some sticky notes with quotes, positive self-talk, or something meaningful to you written on them. Place them all over the house and in places that you find yourself visiting often (the bathroom mirror, the wall in front of the kitchen sink, on the table you leave your car keys, etc.)
Even though you will know that you’ve written them yourself, they will take on an individual feeling at some point. “I love this note that reminds me that I’m loved.” “My favorite note is the one with the quote by Maya Angelou.” Surrounding yourself with positivity is an easy way for little bits of self-love to get through and help you take a deep breath.
You need to take care of yourself. It is super important, particularly right now, when taking care of our mental health and well-being feels like it is more challenging by the day. Practice self-love. You are worth the energy and you will be better for it.