“The most important relationship you will ever have is the one with yourself.” Diane von Furstenberg
It all starts from there. The relationship you have with yourself will set the ground for any other relationship – with other people, with God, with life itself. We’ve heard the importance of loving yourself so many times and yet it can still be a struggle to put it into practice sometimes.
My definition of self-love is pretty simple: imagine how you would treat a loved-one, think of all of the things you would say and do for them to show your appreciation and love. Now do all that for yourself 🙂
So here are 7 uncomplicated but powerful daily habits for consciously building a strong self-love. Every day.
1. Give yourself time to rest
We are so used to making thorough to-do lists, setting goals and keeping ourselves busy with important tasks throughout the day. But how many times have you pushed yourself to the limit of tiredness, afraid to let someone down, telling yourself you’ll do just a little bit more before resting, only to find yourself completely exhausted and incapable of enjoying the well-deserved rest? I read once that when we plan our day, we should start with planning our time for rest, and only then fill in the gaps with duties and responsibilities. It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Life is to be enjoyed! How can we enjoy it and feel happy with ourselves when we forbid ourselves time to relax? Besides, it’s a powerful act of self-love to recognise when you’ve reached the limit of your energy resources and take a break. Maybe just for a short while, or maybe for the whole day.
2. Learn to say NO
It is not a sin to put yourself first sometimes. Quite the contrary, it can be very necessary and healing. Learn to say no to conversations or relationships with people that don’t contribute to your happiness and growth. Say no to jobs and tasks that you don’t have the energy for. And don’t feel guilty about it! We need to listen to ourselves to understand our needs and priorities and tend to them before sacrificing our own peace of mind or health to please others. Say no to things that cause you discomfort, that avert you from your path. Most importantly – say no without excuses. Start with small and insignificant things like ‘No, I won’t eat from this chipped plate’. Soon enough you’ll start to feel the liberating power of ‘no’.
3. Treat yourself
This one’s not only about treating yourself to a huge fat cake or a manicure every once in a while. It’s treating yourself to something big and fancy and probably expensive when you have the desire. ‘Expensive’ is very relative, but if you don’t allow yourself to splash out on you, how can you expect someone else to? How much we get in this world is directly related to how much we allow ourselves to receive 🙂
4. Give yourself a hug!
A hug is one of the most beautiful ways to express kind feelings and apparently, we need at least 8 of them a day. Why not make one of them a hug from you to you? Honestly, try it right now. Go on, do it! How does that feel? 🙂
5. Spend 20 min alone
In our busy lives, we sometimes struggle to find even a few moments to dedicate completely to ourselves. However, finding 20 minutes a day to reconnect with yourself is very doable and it can change your whole day, especially if you take this time out in the morning. Use this precious time for meditation, prayer, or just a calming bubble bath where you can shut yourself off from the world for a while, relax and be alone with your thoughts and feelings.
6. Shower yourself with compliments
Giving yourself compliments may sound weird. But remember my definition of self-love? What do we do when we want to express affection and admiration for someone we love? That’s right, we give them compliments. So why do we find it so strange to give ourselves that same appreciation? Tell yourself three compliments in your head as soon as you wake up, or better yet – start a compliment journal and write them down each morning. Not only will you remind yourself of why you’re special and get yourself in a loving mood for the day, you’ll have a written record to refer to when you’re feeling unworthy or pitiful. It’s really worth it!
7. Remove the words ‘I must’ from your vocabulary
Could you count how many times a day you use the phrase ‘I must…’, ‘I have to…’, ‘I really should…’ or anything along those lines? Well guess what? You don’t have to anything! Free will is one of our greatest gifts on this Earth – we always have the choice. Words like ‘I must’ take away our control, so the next time you notice the urge to say you are obliged to do something, say ‘I choose to’. Only by taking responsibility for our choices can we be responsible for our lives and ultimately our happiness.
At the end of the day, when it comes to self-love, it’s a conscious decision. No amount of external factors, actions nor people can plant the love inside us if we’ve decided not to feel it. And vice versa – once you’ve decided to love yourself truly and unconditionally, no situation or person is capable of breaking that love. So what do you say? Do you commit to loving yourself? 🙂