Simple ways to love yourself more
By Natalie, Mama with a Mocktail
During the month of February I like to focus on the word love. It’s probably because of Valentine’s Day, but it should just be the month of love - love for others and love for yourself!
“Love yourself first, because that’s who you will be spending the rest of your life with.”
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not always nice to myself. I don’t always say the right things, I don’t always “feed” my inner self what I should, and I can be pretty rough on myself. But, I’ve slowly learned to love myself, my body and my soul more. I’m still in the learning process. :)
I’m trying to love myself more everyday. For so long, I put all my love in to others and didn’t take the time to love myself. I was also torn down by actions and words that hurt me. I believed ugly words that someone said to me. I became someone I didn’t want to be. I stopped believing in myself and loving who I was. Last year, I took a huge step back and realized that I needed to start living and loving me.
Here’s some ways to love yourself more, even when days aren’t so bright! My approach is all about small, simply steps. I’m all about keeping things simple. Small steps along the way lead you towards big accomplishments.
I’ve put together some simple ideas towards helping you love yourself more!
P.S. Don’t feel like you have to do all of them. Simple also means starting small and accomplishing what you are comfortable with. Go at it at your own pace.
Here are some simple ways to love yourself more:
Be nice to yourself
Positive self talk is important to your growth. Don’t say things about yourself or to yourself if you wouldn’t say them to a close friend. Be your best friend, to yourself, and be kind and uplifting with your words.
If those negative thoughts come up, try to stop them or turn those negatives into a positive.
For example, the thought of, “I don’t look good in those jeans” should be changed to, “These pants just aren’t for me today. I’m going to find a pair I love/ look good in today.”
Other way to be nicer to yourself would be telling yourself one thing you loved about yourself each day. I actually try to do this exercise with my daughter each week. We said what we loved in ourselves and then what we loved about the other person.
Be selfish, do what you love
Loving yourself more means it’s ok to be a little selfish. Take time for the things that you enjoy. What sparks joy in you?
For so long, I spend time taking care of others. I neglected myself and stopped doing the things that I loved to do. Once I started to have the time for me, I began to do the things I used to enjoy. Again, it’s the little things. The other day, I finished reading a book. Sounds funny…but one of my favorite things to do was to read. It had been 3 years that I picked up a book and finished it. When I finished the last page I felt good. I felt happy.
I heart me <3
Remember when you first dated someone and you asked them what they liked about you? It would always make you light up with a smile. How about you do the same thing with yourself?
So, what do you like about yourself? Make a list and keep it close by. Focus on the positive and focus on what you are good at.
If you’ve gotten so far away from remembering what you like about yourself think back on that person you used to be. What are things you liked about that person? Work on getting back to that person that you liked.
Be around those who love you for you
Surround yourself with people who treat you with kindness and respect. If you are with people who lift you up and make you feel good, that will elevate your spirits.
It’s also contagious! When you are with people who are positive, happy and joyous, you can’t help but be that way too. Don’t you notice when you are around positive people your mood changes?
There is this quote I love: “Your soul is attracted to people the same way flowers are attracted to the sun, surround yourself only with those who want to see you grow.”
Treat yourself well on the inside
Love yourself on the inside and it will show on the outside.
One way to treat yourself well on the inside is to eat well. If you love yourself, you will treat it well by adding the proper nutrients to your body and eating better. I feel better and have more energy when I eat better. Some simple ways to eat better would be: making sure to eat 3 meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), adding in snacks, adding in fruits and veggies, cooking more, switching from white bread to brown bread, or not eating fast food as much.
When I don’t feel great about myself, I don’t eat. It’s normally dinner that I skip or I just eat crackers and call that dinner. Recently, I’ve enjoyed cooking more. It’s something that makes me happy and I enjoy it.
Another way to treat yourself well on the inside is to get a restful sleep. I’m not a happy person when I don’t get sleep! I don’t feel good about myself when I’m dragging during the day and feel exhausted at 2 pm. Not getting sleep is tough on your body and your brain. Get the right amount of sleep so you feel like a better you. Health.gov says that getting the sleep that you need helps to: reduce stress, improve your mood, think more clearly, and to get along better with people.
Here are some ways to get a more restful night’s sleep:
One other way to take care of yourself in the inside is to exercise. Exercise makes you feel happy! When you are happy, you will probably love yourself more. So, get up and get moving. There are many other ways exercise makes us happier. Here’s some things that exercise does to us: lowers stress levels, reduces feelings of loneliness and isolation, and relieves anxiety and depression.
When you exercise, it increases endorphins, dopamine, and adrenaline -- these brain chemicals make you feel happy, feel confident, feel capable, feel less anxiety and stress.
The simplest way to get moving and exercise is to walk. It’s free and easy.
Treat yourself well on the outside
You deserve to do nice things for yourself. Here’s a few ways that you can make yourself feel good on the outside.
Have a mini make over!
Ok, this one is fun. When I look good I feel good about myself. Mamas, you with me on this one?!? Think What Not to Wear and channel Stacey and Clinton’s style wisdom - clean out your closet, get a hair cut, color your hair, put on some make up and buy a few new outfits!
Take a few extra minutes
When I take the time to get dressed, put on some earrings, and a little make up. I feel much better about myself than rolling out of bed, slipping on frumpy joggers and an old t-shirt.
Take the time for you - when you look good you feel good. Look in the mirror, tell yourself you look good, see that reflection of your better self.
Be gentle, be kind, and be patient with yourself
Remember that change takes time. It would be nice if you just woke up one day feeling better and loving yourself. But, it’s going to take time. Little changes will start adding up and you will love yourself more. If it’s been a while since you’ve focus on yourself, this routine may seem strange. But, know that the more time and energy you focus on loving yourself, the better you will start to feel.
“When things change inside you, things change around you.” You will slowly start to notice that once you love yourself, other things will start to change around you. You are enough and keep telling yourself that.
Remember to love yourself. It takes time to refocus your energy on you. But, I know these small steps will help you to love yourself more.
Wanting to jump start your self love routine? Read about how Lisa loved herself more and started with changes first thing in the morning.
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