Self-love isn’t something that comes naturally to me. It’s a sad fact, but what’s sadder is I don’t think I’m in the minority here. In fact, I think most women (and a lot of men) struggle with self-love. And self-love is so important! If we don’t love ourselves, we can’t fully accept the love we receive from others. Worse, who’s going to teach our kids to love themselves?
I know I want my kids to love themselves, so in order to set an example for them, here are 5 habits I try to keep that help keep my self-love boosted:
1. Recite daily affirmations.
Affirmations are something I didn’t learn about until a little over a year ago, but boy have they been life-changing! I strongly believe in the power of words. Words have the power to change our thoughts, our actions, our beliefs, our reality. So I believe that if we repeat something to ourselves often and with power, we’ll one day live and believe it.
I have a double sided sheet of paper filled with my affirmations–things I want to believe, things I want to remember, and things I want to be real. And the mornings I read them to myself are my most powerful, confident, and self-aware days. If you don’t have a daily affirmation practice, I highly suggest you start one!
2. Silence my inner mean-girl.
Raise your hand if your inner voice can be a serious mean girl 🙋. Mine totally is. She’s way meaner to me than anyone else is. Once she starts talking, she can keep going for hours, listing all the things wrong with me. She’s brutal.
So when I hear her start in on one of her rants, I stop her. I distract myself with a podcast or a conversation with my husband. I don’t let her say those things to me because they aren’t helpful. They don’t serve me and I don’t need to listen to them. And neither do you.
3. Compliment myself–especially when I don’t feel like it.
This one can be tough! But when I look in the mirror and think a negative thought about myself, I try to replace it with a compliment. When I say something unkind or unloving, I then say something uplifting and positive. When I’m feeling down or low or unconfident, I tell myself something good about me.
When we receive a compliment, something magical happens. A part of us shifts. We stand just a little taller, hold our heads just a little higher. The same goes for self-gvien compliments. Even though the shift might be small, the more we compliment ourselves, the more confident we feel.
4. Surround myself with people that don’t make a habit of talking badly about themselves.
Have you ever talked to someone who constantly put herself down? How did it make you feel? Not good, I’m guessing. It’s exhausting to be around people who talk badly about themselves. And when you do, it’s hard not to talk badly about yourself as well. Their habits and words start to rub off on you and it’s an all around bad experience.
So, if possible, I try to surround myself with those that don’t do this often. If I have to spend time with someone like this, I try to limit that time or do my best to change the tone of our conversations.
5. Honor my feelings.
Throughout my life, I’ve learned the importance of acknowledging and honoring my feelings. If I’m sad or angry or tired or jealous or hurt, I try to acknowledge those feelings. I let them out. I let myself feel them instead of pushing them away and pretending like they aren’t there.
It can be hard to admit that we’re feeling these things–both because they’re hard to feel and also because it can feel shameful. But I try to remind myself that I’m only human and everyone feels these things. That’s part of life. And the only way I’m able to fully move on from them is by letting them out. Only then can I move on to more positive emotions.
What do you do to promote self-love?