What Is Self-Love? 4 Ways You Can Start Practicing Today
Self-love. Wow. Sometimes that can feel like a strange concept, huh? It is an integral part of our wellness and how we show our light to the world each day. Without getting too sentimental right out of the gate (We want to keep you around, after all.), you are worth loving. So, let’s start this article off with something that may seem a little cheesy. Either say the following out loud or, if you are in public and don’t feel comfortable, write it in your notes.
“I love myself.”
It may feel a little strange coming out of your mouth or keyboard, but the more you say it, the more it makes sense and starts to feel authentic. But, what is this self-love stuff we see everywhere? Let’s get into that now.
What Is Self-Love?
Like self-acceptance, self-love is about looking inward, recognizing your flaws, and loving yourself through them. Think about someone or something you love unconditionally. It might be your child, partner, parent, pet, etc. We are going to use a dog as an example—because puppies. But, if we are honest, puppies can be pretty annoying. They bark at the very nice mail person, jump at other dogs on daily walks, have accidents in the house, and rip up their toys into little tiny bits only after you’ve just swept (just us?). But, even though they can frustrate you, you still go over and squeeze their cheeks, tell them you love them, and pet their bellies when they roll over and not-so-subtly request it. That is true love. And, that is how you should treat yourself too.
Learning self-love is difficult. You will mess up. You will have flaws. Probably many of them. You will get knocked down and feel absolutely defeated. When you practice self-love, though, you can show yourself compassion in those moments. Ask for help, forgive yourself, start over, eat for fuel, prioritize sleep, and give yourself what your body asks for.
How To Practice Self-Love
It’s not such a simple process, though. To practice self-love truly means you have to put in the time. Practice. Many of us make a mistake in ‘practicing’ meditation or ‘practicing’ yoga because we think trying it a few times when we are feeling good constitutes practice. But, when you are in sports as a child, you don’t just show up to the baseball game. You spend weeks and months fielding grounders, hitting the ball, running the bases, etc. to equip you for the game. Likewise, saying, “I love you” one time out loud might not prepare you to love yourself the next time you are down. But, practicing and repeating that daily, trying loving-kindness meditation, and the like will get you ready for game time—when maybe you don’t feel so lovable.
Simple Ways To Practice Self-Love Daily
1 | Establish your non-negotiables
One way to practice self-love is to establish your non-negotiables. We recommend getting out a sheet of paper and writing this down. Your non-negotiables are a list of things that you can say no or yes to in the name of self-care. An example list might be:
- I never work on Saturdays.
- I always put my phone on ‘Do not disturb’ when I sleep.
- I always make time for meditation when I wake up.
- A good cup of coffee is the only way to start my day.
- I never miss my Facetime dates with my grandpa.
By establishing these, you are giving yourself ground rules to love yourself in the way that you need it. And, writing them out helps to solidify these wants and needs.
2 | Pick Up A Gratitude Journal
One way to train your brain to think of positive outcomes and the goodness within you is to write in a daily gratitude journal. Each journal is different, but for the most part, they ask you a few essential questions to help you set intentions for your day and then reflect later on the ‘wins’ or positive things that happened. By reflecting and recounting your wins of the day, you start to see positivity in the good and challenging days. Even when things seem to be falling around you, your wins are still monumental. Some days your wins might look like running 8 miles, finishing a big project, and meeting up with friends, and others they might look like making your bed, washing your face, and allowing yourself to rest. Each win is beautiful.
3 | Allow Yourself To Rest
You know. We live in a world where we are always on. Not too long ago, work ended when we clocked out, and people could only contact us when we were at home near a phone. With the onset of smart devices and always-on emails and social media, it is even more important to prioritize rest. Just as you must rest to become physically stronger, it is important for mental health as well. So, pick a day or hour to rest. No phone, no email, just a pause in your busy life.
4 | Create A Self-Care Routine
We know that self-care looks different for everyone. That is why we create resources to help you figure out your perfect routine on our website. Whether you like to follow a pre-made one-hour self-care routine, see self-care ideas, or dive into self-care science to create your routine—we have advice for you.
We founded Chuze Fitness with the idea that kindness spreads, and that starts with being kind to yourself. Stop by any of our locations to see the Chuze difference. Or, check out our virtual wellness platform iChuze Fitness, which not only places importance on your physical health but has Heart and Mind sections to help you focus on self-care and showing kindness to others. Get started with a free 7-day trial here.
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