You can’t do the work you were meant to do in the world without loving yourself. As much as it’s a cliche, you can’t pour from an empty cup, and that idiom rings true when it comes to self-confidence and self-love. You can’t fully love other people and put your passion into your work when you don’t feel worthy.
Even though we all know the importance of self-love, it can be hard to practice it on the daily without going to a therapy appointment and crying a couple of times (good tears!). Instead of trying to completely overhaul your self-image immediately, there are tons of small ways to practice self-love every day. Here are 16 ideas to get you started:
1. Talk to a friend about what you love about yourself
Instead of just thinking about how much you love your sense of humor or your gorgeous green eyes, talk about it! It doesn’t have to be conceited to talk about the things you love about you.
2. Try a new healthy recipe
Spend a night in the kitchen concocting a new recipe with whatever healthy ingredients you have in your kitchen. It could be a flop, or it could become a new go-to. Click here for 100+ ideas!
3. Create a habit tracker
Developing healthy habits can take time, but get a head start by creating a way to track how often you’re completing them. Put it in a bullet journal, your day planner, or keep track in the notes app of your phone.
4. Declutter your friendships
This requires a little more thinking. Go through your friendships and decide which are worthwhile. Do they uplift you? Do you feel happy and inspired around them? Are they supportive? You shouldn’t spend your time with people who don’t make you better.
5. Celebrate the tiny wins
Celebrate when something good happens! You don’t have to throw a party or buy something expensive. You can pop a bottle of champagne any day, any time — well, pretty much any time. Call up a friend for a movie night, or take yourself to dinner (McDonald’s counts!).
6. Say no to things that don’t serve you
There’s the quote that says you “disrespect yourself” every time you say yes to something when you want to no. Stop trying to please other people by saying yes to things that you don’t want to do or can’t because of your own schedule. It’s OK to say no — actually, it’s recommended!
7. Do a brain dump
Have a lot of things taking up space in your head? Get them all out on paper. Spend 20 minutes just getting a pen to paper on everything that keeps popping up in your head. Call the cable company, pay credit card bill, tell your boss about a new idea you had, ask your BFF to lunch next week — whatever it is, get it on paper once and for all.
8. Practice mindful eating
Mindful eating is when you focus on the food you’re eating while you’re eating it. Instead of watching Netflix on your laptop or FaceTiming your friend, pay attention to your food. Focus on how it tastes, what you like about it, how many times it takes you to chew, and more. While it might seem awkward or weird at first, it helps you to appreciate what you’re eating instead of overeating mindlessly.
9. Wear your favorite outfit
Stop saving your favorite outfits for a special occasion! Wear them on the days you feel the worst about yourself. A cute outfit can completely turn your day around. Feeling in a rut with your style? Give these tricks a try.
10. Take a nap
Sometimes, all we need is a little extra sleep.
11. Give yourself a massage
Grab your favorite oils, a gua sha or jade roller, and massage yourself! You can do a facial massage, or you can even give yourself a neck massage. There are tons of tutorials on self-massage on YouTube too!
12. Turn off work email notifications
Getting work email notifications when you’re clocked out or on the weekend only stresses you out. Turn off those notifications so you can keep work where it’s supposed to be.
13. Create a self-love mantra
When you’re feeling down, having a mantra you say to yourself over and over can help you come back up. A few ideas:
- I am enough.
- I am worthy of love.
- I am good at the things I do.
- I am unstoppable when I set my mind to something.
I swear, it’ll change your life.
15. Seek out help from a professional
This could be in the form of a therapist or doctor, or it could be talking to a life, career, or motivational coach. It isn’t weird or “weak” to ask for help – it actually shows a ton of strength!
16. Show compassion with yourself
On the worst days, it can be easy to beat ourselves up for not immediately bouncing back and being the confident selves we want to be. No one is going to be totally confident 100 percent of the time. When you’re not feeling well, show compassion and allow yourself to take a day off to heal.