Artwork by Rita Loyd
Love yourself first and everything falls into line. –Lucille Ball
In the last few years, I came to realise the power of self-love, how good it makes you feel, and how important it is to be gentle with yourself. Recently, I sort of forgot about it and I came to practice it again after hearing a few times from my friends ‘You are so harsh on yourself’.
First of all, I need to clear something up. Self-love does NOT mean being arrogant, egocentric, narcissistic or conceited. Self-love means the love of oneself. Giving yourself self-love means that you are caring towards yourself, you do not judge yourself too harshly, you give yourself what you need and you respect yourself.
Remember that you are the person you have to live with for the rest of your life, so you’d better start loving yourself now. You also need to love yourself before you can develop a meaningful relationship with and love another person.
Self-love and self-esteem (or self-confidence) are issues that often relate. If you have little self-esteem, it is most likely that you will have little self-love. If you suffer from low self-esteem, always fear the judgement of others, or are extremely harsh with yourself, offering yourself some unconditional love can feel unnatural. It can appear to be difficult as your brain has always been programmed to self-sabotage. However, when you give yourself self-love, you are making a statement to the Universe saying: ‘I am worthy of love and positive outcomes in my life’. By setting the intention of love and happiness, you will attract it! You will feel alive, happy and you will shine!
Here are 20 ideas to cherish yourself:
in all possible ways. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Are you pretty exhausted at the moment? Are you doing things to please others and not yourself? Well, if you do not feel like getting up today, stay in bed! Go back to sleep for a bit, then make yourself a delicious breakfast, and spend time at home. Dedicate this day to your own needs and desires. Today, you only do things for yourself, things that make you happy. I did that a few days ago and it recharged my batteries straight away. It felt so good to devote a whole day to myself.
We get enough criticism from others, we do not need to add our own on top of it. Do not listen to the little voice in your head saying that you are not good enough. Listen to the one that says that you are perfect the way you are. You are exactly where you need to be.
Be positive and kind
especially to yourself. You will notice that as your self-love grows, so does your love for others.
Spend time with yourself and listen to your inner voice telling you what it needs.
Use yoga as a tool to cultivate self-esteem and self-love
I have designed a yoga sequence specifically to activate your solar plexus chakra here.
every day. Try to do your best and acknowledge that you have actually given your best. Even though you have not reached your goal today, it does not matter. What matters is the intention that you set. It is all about the journey, not the end result.
Have faith in your own abilities, trust your vibes, listen to your heart and follow it. Visualisations can also help you attract what you desire.
Use positive and loving affirmations
Check out the Affirmation Room and select affirmations that resonate with you.
“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” — Epictetus. Focus on what you can change instead. Energy flows where the attention goes. You can also release your worries to Guatemalan worry dolls. They are great for kids but can be helpful for us too. Guatemalan worry dolls are handcrafted tiny dolls. When worried, tell the dolls about it and place them under your pillow. During the night, the dolls take over your worries so that you can sleep peacefully. A similar exercise is to write your worries on a piece of paper and ask for guidance over night. Leave the piece of paper in a drawer, out of sight, forget about it, and you will likely have an answer to your worries in the morning.
Release and let go of old emotions like resentment, jealousy, anger, or frustration. Let go of bad habits. Let go of comparing yourself to others. These are not serving you and are damaging to your physical and mental wellbeing. Read 10 things to let go to be happy and to grow self-love.
With every act of self-care, your authentic self gets stronger and the critical fearful mind gets weaker. Every act of self-love is a powerful declaration to the Universe, I am on my side, I am on my side, each day I am more and more on my side. – Susan Weiss Berry
Be thankful for the qualities or abilities that you have. Make time to nurture them; it will boost your self-esteem and confidence. See the post on gratitude here to read about the benefits of practising it.
If your past mistakes have made you feel unworthy, it is time to let go off them and to forgive yourself. You cannot travel back in time to fix your mistakes, but you can learn from them and forgive yourself for not knowing better. It is okay; we all make mistakes. As you forgive yourself, healing will take place and you will unburden yourself. It will allow you to move on freely, with a sensation of lightness, and feeling ready to conquer the world!
Your mistakes and all your experiences have made you the person you are today. You are perfect the way you are.
Speak your mind, write, paint… Express your ideas, your opinions, your feelings. Do not keep them inside, they are useless in there. They need to be out there in the world. Sharing them will attract them!
Learn to say ‘no’
Acknowledging your boundaries and stating them is healthy. You’re feeling overwhelmed and uninspired by requests or obligations others are putting onto you? Say ‘no’ to them. If you need inspiration to gather the courage to say ‘no’ and how to say it nicely, read this post on the art of saying ‘no’.
As you enable your mind to grow spiritually, you will feel more connected, kinder, peaceful, compassionate and loving. It will become natural to love yourself and to be truthful to yourself. Meditation is a good way to help you focus on the present moment and it will help you bring into your life the qualities mentioned above. Check out this post on meditation to get you started.
Take care of your body
Get enough sleep, exercise (even if you only take a walk around the block), and eat nourishing foods, organic if possible. Your diet will impact on your mood and on your energy levels. What you eat becomes you so make sure to treat your body respectfully. Your body is your temple. Taking an Epsom salt bath does wonders too. If you are having trouble falling asleep, here are 13 tips to help you sleep and to create a soothing night time routine.
If you learn how to see beauty in your outside world, you will also see beauty within yourself. Smell the flowers; enjoy the warmth of the sun; walk barefoot in the grass; go to an art gallery; notice the smile of a child or a stranger.
Do not forget to play!
Playfulness is not childish. Finding time in your schedule to play and connect with your inner-child will bring lightness and joy in your life. The world is your playground!
It feels so good to treat and reward ourselves. Is there something you have been thinking about doing for yourself lately? Getting a massage, a one-day retreat, a new hair cut? Whatever makes your heart sing, do that. You DESERVE it.
“In a society that profits from your self doubt,loving yourself is a rebellious act.” – Rachel Brathen
You are definitely the person the most worthy of your love so make sure you treasure, cherish and love yourself.
What are your favourite things to do to cherish yourself? Let us know how you practise self-love in the comments below.
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