You were likely taught at a young age to love others and treat them with respect. Even if you weren’t, you’ve likely realized the wisdom of it along the way. However, what about love for yourself? Do you treat yourself with as much compassion and consideration as you do others?
Far too many people in modern society are looking for someone to love them without first learning to love themselves. Instead of waiting around for someone to show you the love you desire, learn to start cultivating self-love today.
6 Habits for Establishing Self-Love
Practice Compassion for Others
Cultivating self-love doesn’t mean turning off your compassion for others. In fact, that’s the best place to start. When you start outwardly showing compassion for others, you will begin to reveal the way you should also be treating yourself. Think about the things you do for others. Do you do these same things for yourself? Oftentimes, we show love to others in ways that we would want to be loved ourselves. For example, if you show compassion for a friend by encouraging them with kind words, try speaking those same encouraging words to yourself. It may feel weird or unnatural at first, but by showing compassion to yourself, you are starting to cultivate self-love.
Set Healthy Boundaries
Setting boundaries is not easy for everyone. It is important to not only have boundaries in your relationships with others but also with yourself. Creating boundaries means being able to say no to the things that negatively impact your happiness. Sometimes setting boundaries means saying “no” to taking on a project that will cause you unnecessary stress, or cutting out the people in your life that only spread negativity and bring you down. When you set boundaries and learn to say no to the things that aren’t building you up as a person, you are showing yourself love and making room for more positivity and growth.
Create a Self-Love Routine
Practicing effective self-love can be as simple as creating a to-do list. You could even call it a ‘to-do-for-you’ list. Psychology Today has specific suggestions you can incorporate into a lifestyle of self-love:
- Physical Fitness – Try to get active 3-4 times per week. This can be as simple as taking a 30-minute walk around your neighborhood.
- Get Adequate Sleep – Aim for 7-9 hours a night.
- Focus on Proper Nutrition – When you fuel your body with good nutrients, you start to notice a shift in yourself both physically and mentally.
- Self Intimacy – This simply means being aware of your own feelings and caring about those feelings.
- Healthy Social Interactions – Spend time with people that bring you joy and build you up.
Get to Know Yourself
When we build connections with others, we take the time to get to know them. We spend every waking hour of the day with ourselves, but how often do we really devote time to getting to know ourselves? One way to build your relationship with yourself is to keep a journal. Start by making a simple list of five things that make you happy. Make it a goal to incorporate at least two to three things from your list into each week. If fresh flowers make you happy, head to the market one day and buy yourself a bouquet. Then, at the end of the week, you can reflect back on the list and take note of the little ways you have shown yourself love.
Show Self-Love Through Forgiveness
We are often our biggest critics. We keep ourselves up late at night dwelling on mistakes we’ve made or the things that we could have done differently. It becomes so easy for us to fixate on the small details about ourselves and find flaws that others probably wouldn’t even notice. Think about how easy it is to forgive your closest friend when they slip up. Are you showing yourself that same type of forgiveness? The truth is, we are all human and we make mistakes from time to time. Instead of dwelling on a scenario that you wish could’ve gone differently, use it as an opportunity to show yourself forgiveness. Pause, remind yourself that the situation is now in the past, and although you cannot change the way it happened, you can learn from it and you can choose to do things differently in the future. Showing yourself forgiveness can help bring you peace and increase your self-love.
Know That You Are Worthy
Regardless of your belief system, everyone was put on this Earth for a reason. Everyone is deserving of love. You possess your own strengths and special talents. The key is to get to know yourself and identify your strengths and understand your self-worth. Know that you are worthy just the way you are, you do not have to prove yourself to anyone else. You are whole on your own and do not need anyone else to tell you that you are worthy or loved. Focus on doing what makes YOU happy and show yourself love even when others don’t. Once you establish your own standard of love, others will start to love you in the same way.
No matter how hard we try, nobody is perfect. However, that doesn’t mean you are not downright awesome! Others love you for who you are. Practice loving yourself in the same way. Set healthy boundaries in your relationships with others and with yourself, and stick to them. Create a fun, practical self-care routine and spend quality time with yourself doing things that make you happy. Self-love is one of the many healthy habits that can transform your life. Once you learn to love yourself the way you want to be loved, you’ll begin to notice how others will rise to that standard as well.