We aren’t really taught how to love ourselves. If I’m honest, that is a pretty hard thing to teach because it is so emotionally driven. Instead, we focus on others. We spend our time and energy making sure people’s needs are met.
However, more often than not, we neglect ourselves in the process. We really don’t mean to, it’s just a lot easier to be intentional for others rather than ourselves.
But the truth is…
if you don’t take time for yourself, you will get burnt out.
By taking the time to care for ourselves physically, spiritually, and emotionally, we create more space to live big, bold, abundant lives! It’s not always an easy transition to make towards loving yourself, but like many things in life, the more you act, the easier the actions become.
Water is so vital for our bodies to function properly and yet it’s so easy to forget each day to consume enough, or any! I added this first because this is one of the easiest shifts to make.
- Order water when you eat out instead of soda and in addition to alcohol.
- Start your morning with a large glass of water. While you sleep your body becomes dehydrated. Start your day by renewing your hydration.
- Drink a large glass of water before bed. Along the same lines as the last, but hydrate yourself while you prepare for your evening.
- Drink water with your daily coffee. Coffee can be dehydrating, so pair it with a glass of water.
- Buy a good quality, glass water bottle, this one is my favorite, and sip on it throughout the day!
- Don’t like water? Add fruit to create a punch of flavor!
- Replace your coffee with caffeinated tea.
While this one isn’t always possible due to things like weather, getting outside has so many physical and emotional benefits. Plus, you can get more of this while doing other activities!
- Take a walk.
- Read on a park bench.
- Park further away from the store and leisurely walk inside.
- let the sunlight soak your face.
- Go to work 5 minutes early so you can spend a couple minutes outside before you go in.
- Go for a hike.
- Eat your lunch or drink your coffee outside.
Move your Body
So often people think that you have to get your exercise by going to the gym or standing on a treadmill, but the reality is you simply need to move your body enough to raise your heart rate. Especially if you aren’t used to being physically active.
- Take a yoga class or watch a yoga video on YouTube.
- Go for a walk or hike outside.
- Park at the back of a parking lot or a few blocks from your destination.
- Ride your bike.
- Get off the subway or bus a stop early and walk.
- Turn on your favorite music and dance your heart out.
Eat More Plants
Love your body by filling it with good food.
- Pair your dinner with steamed veggies.
- Bake potatoes instead of using premade fries.
- Drink a green smoothie. Spinach has a very mild taste and is perfect for this!
- Enjoy some banana “nice” cream instead of traditional ice cream.
Don’t feel like going out with a friend, but you don’t want to hurt their feelings? Do you find yourself agreeing to things even though your schedule is packed full? Do you simply not feel like doing something? It’s okay to say No. And not wanting to do something is a completely valid reason to say No. Feeling a little uneasy about this one? Try some of these ways to say No.
- “Tonight isn’t going to work for me, can we reschedule?” (Or leave out the reschedule part if you don’t want to!)
- “I will have availability to do that project on [specific date]”
- “Right now I don’t have the flexibility in my schedule to volunteer at that event, but I will let you know if that changes”
- “I know we made plans for tonight, but I need a night at home. What does your availability look like next week?”
A few notes about saying No. It’s okay to say no at any point. If you’re out with friends or on a date and feel like you need to leave, politely excuse yourself. Emphasize that you need to take care of yourself. Remember that even if there is pushback, this is about you. And you will feel WAY better out of a situation than to stay in it because you feel obligated. You don’t need to lie, simply find a way to explain your needs in a way that people will understand. You don’t need to tell people why you are saying no. And finally, minimize negative reactions by saying No before plans are even made (when possible).
This may seem simple, but sometimes we have to ask ourselves, “When was the last time I showered?”. If the answer is a few days, make time to take a good shower. If the answer is this morning, consider taking a longer shower or allowing time to take a bath, if you have a tub. Try adding a couple drops of essential oils on the wall of your shower to create a soothing aroma.
How often do we tell ourselves negative things throughout the day? We are constantly dissatisfied with our bodies or frustrated because we didn’t do something as well as we hoped. Use positive affirmations to turn those negative voices into positive ones. Create change by telling yourself new truths that apply to the life you want.
Need somewhere to start? You can use these as a starting point.
I am strong. My strength lies not only in my body, but also in my mind. I am worthy of using my strenghts to incite change in my life and the lives of those around me.
I am beautiful. My body allows me to interact with the beautiful world around me. I love myself and I show that love through caring for my body and feeding it foods that make it feel as vibrant as it is.
Give your mind and eyes a break by allowing time in your schedule to turn off the screens and read a real, physical book. Find somewhere that you are comfortable and get lost in a story. You can also use this time to read something that will inspire you to be the best version of yourself.
Create Intentional Spaces
An “Intentional Space” is an area of your house that makes you feel good. Maybe it is as simple as decorating your couch side table or place candles around. Or it may mean redesigning your workspace so that it makes you feel more inspired to work. Whatever it means for you, take the time to create intentional spaces within your home.
Start by looking at where you spend the most time throughout the day. For me, that is our living room. My living room also doubles as my workspace. I have invested time and a little money into things that bring me joy. Not only is this great for my productivity, but I also just feel positive being that space. Even if I am not at my desk, that space reminds me that I am important too.
Unfollow Negative People on Social Media
We all know those people on social media who are always posting negative things. They are either blowing up your newsfeed with political posts or sharing posts filled with “alternative facts”. Maybe they are simply always being negative or they just feel toxic within your life. Whatever the reason, they are adding stress to your life rather than positivity.
Take a few minutes and unfollow people that don’t help move your life forward. Then, follow people who post positive things to replace the negativity. An example of this would be Instagram. If you follow a bunch of celebrities and friends who only post selfies, consider following people who inspire you to be a better version of yourself, instead. I have been really intentional to build an Instagram feed that promotes creativity and inspiration in my life. Now, when I go on Instagram I know that I will only see things that will help me grow as an individual rather than stress me out.
*Bonus* Have Sex
Sex is pretty amazing. Not only does it feels good physically, but it also feels good emotionally, when done in the right environment. Don’t have sex because you feel obligated or because you think you should be doing it. Whether you have sex with a partner or alone. There is no need for guilt or insecurities. Have sex for yourself. Because you are worth it!
What are some of your favorite ways to take love yourself each day?