When we love ourselves, it helps us feel our best, and when we feel our best, we can give more to the world. Treating yourself well, and with love, is more than eating healthy and exercising.
What exactly is self-love, though? In Psychology Today, Deborah Khoshaba, Psy.D. writes, “Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature us.”
She explains the profound effects of self-love, stating, “When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our short-comings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through our own efforts.”
I’m on a mission to empower people to spend their lives focused on their purpose, priorities, and passions, and to get rid of the junk that gets in the way of living the life of their dreams. Part of living the life you dream of is practicing self-love. Self-love is incredibly important in many areas of your life. It influences how high you set your goals, how you let others treat you, and how you react to difficult situations. Self-love affects how you treat your body, how you manage stress, and your ability to live consistently with your values.
Here are 50 small things you can do every day to practice self-love. I divided them into categories of the 7 Dimensions of Wellness, so you can practice self-love in all areas of wellbeing.
Social wellness is the ability to connect with others and develop positive relationships. To practice self-love in your social life, do the following:
1. Connect today with someone who is positive, inspiring, and encouraging.
2. Visit with your neighbor.
3. Send a note in the mail to a family member or friend.
4. Plan a fun night out with friends.
5. Snuggle with your love.
Emotional wellness is the ability to cope with life’s challenges. The University of California states,”The ability to acknowledge and share feelings of anger, fear, sadness or stress, hope, love, joy and happiness in a productive manner” contributes to increased emotional wellness. To practice self-love in this area, work on the following:
6. If you’re not satisfied with your life, admit it to yourself, and write out your action plan to make changes.
7. Spend 10 minutes today being quiet.
8. Forgive yourself. You must accept that you are not perfect before you can love yourself.
9. Seek the help you need — set up an appointment for counselling or therapy if you’re struggling emotionally. You are worth it.
10. Spend 10 minutes working on a favorite stress-management technique.
11. Write down your schedule for the day. This will help you set aside time each day to spend time on your priorities and minimize wasted time.
12. Practice an optimistic attitude.
13. Be mindful of your inner dialogue. The messages you tell yourself can greatly influence your life.
14. Set boundaries on how you’ll spend your time. Steer clear of time-sucking activities that don’t add meaning to your life.
16. Turn away from behaviors that tend to get you into trouble.
17. Say no to toxic people and activities.
18. Say yes to adventure.
19. Have fun. Laugh every day.
20. Compliment yourself.
The University of California describes spiritual wellness as “the ability to establish peace and harmony in our lives.” To practice self-love in your spiritual life, take these actions:
21. Explore your faith.
22. Spend time in prayer or meditation.
23. Seek an opportunity to grow in one of the challenges in your life.
24. Get outside in nature.
25. Do something altruistic.
Being environmentally well means recognizing your responsibility to make a positive impact on the earth. To practice self-love and environmental wellness, try these tips:
26. Practice not buying what you don’t need.
27. Donate items you don’t need. Practice getting rid of 1 item per day.
Occupational wellness involves getting fulfillment from your work. To practice self-love in your work life, take these steps:
28. Learn about your strengths.
29. Discover your passion. This workbook is a great start.
30. Write down your big career goals.
31. Take one small step each day toward your dream career.
32. Connect with a coworker.
When you are intellectually well, you continually expand your knowledge as a lifelong learner. To practice self-love intellectually, try these actions:
33. Read 1 page of a book that interests you today.
35. Book an adventure to a new place.
36. Sign up for a new class through community education or a local college.
37. Take a small step out of your comfort zone every day.
Optimal physical wellness is achieved when you have a healthy quality of life. To practice self-love and increase physical wellness, try these actions:
38. Appreciate the amazing things your body can do rather than focusing on what you consider to be your “flaws.”
39. Schedule your routine physical with your doctor.
40. Pick a new vegetable to eat.
41. Choose one new healthy recipe to make this week.
42. While you eat, focus on your meal.
43. Make a specific game plan to quit a destructive habit.
44. Nourish your body with healthy choices.
45. Establish a nighttime routine for a healthy dose of sleep.
A few bonuses
46. Set aside time each day to work toward making a big dream of yours a reality. Guard this time furiously.
47. Do something you love every day.
48. Buy yourself fresh flowers someday soon, just for fun.
49. Schedule a massage.
50. Start a gratitude journal and list something you are thankful for every day.
When you start working on these small actions, you’ll begin to accept and appreciate yourself more. When you genuinely love yourself and love life, it causes amazing effects in your life and in the lives of those around you.
Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Feel free to email me at kerry@and tell me one step you’ll take today to practice self-love. Always remember, you are enough and you are worth it.