10 Ways to Love Yourself More
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I've been on a path of self development and self love for a few years now. When I first dove in I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I heard for years "love yourself first," but I never fully grasped the concept. It sounds simple enough, but it can be hard to learn and practice If you’re not familiar with it.
At first it sounded selfish or conceded to me. I invested time and energy into others for many many years. Constantly worrying about how others were doing, or what they thought or how they felt, but never reflecting on myself in these areas. While I liked myself enough to enjoy my own company, self-love was not something that I had ever practiced. In the past years I sought love from everyone in my life except for myself.
So what does "self-love" really mean? It means that you know your worth, that you stand up for yourself, and you take responsibility for your own well being and happiness.
Self-love means loving and truly honoring everything that makes us who we are!
You’ve probably heard phrases like, “You can’t love anyone else until you love yourself” and “You can’t take care of anyone else until you’ve taken care of yourself.” These phrases are grounded in truth—it all starts with you! If you are not in a good place, you are likely in no position to do your best work or be your best self.
Here are 10 ways that have helped me to love myself more and I hope they will help you too!
I started journaling in 2014 and wow did it make a difference. I was actually able to identify what I was 'feeling' instead of stuffing the emotions down or brushing them off. I was able to recognize the emotions and then process them and transform them during that moment. I love going back and reading my journal entries to see how far I've come. Journaling has so many great benefits and one of them in particular is reducing stress. Psychology Today featured an article about how journaling can reduce stress, improve your mood, and boost your immune system.
2.) Pray / Meditate
Blocking off time in my schedule to pray and meditate helps me tremendously. Having quality time to connect with God and remembering that I was created from that divine source brings me peace. It also is a great reminder that we all have a reason to be here on earth if we're breathing and alive. Taking time to quiet your mind, and connect with your heart can really bring you closer to yourself.
At first I thought affirmations were kind of silly. When you're use to negative self talk for so many years, telling yourself that you are "worthy, lovable, abundant, healthy, beautiful, smart" sounds off at first. Once I made positive affirmations a daily habit it became second nature and I started to resinate with the new thoughts and beliefs. It all starts with the powerful words "I am."
This one was also awkward for me at first. I first heard of this concept listening to a youtube video of Louise Hay. If you're not familiar with Louise Hay, I recommend researching her. She has an incredible life story - from child abuse to battling cancer she changed her entire life and healed herself by changing her thoughts and beliefs. Her work encourages people to use a mirror to practice self affirmations and learn to love themselves.
Nourish & Move Your Body
I would say in the past 5 years I've taken my health and fitness more seriously. Longevity is something I strive for so I'm putting more time and effort into researching about healthy foods, supplements, and finding ways to enjoy moving my body. Taking time each day to do something great for your body is a way of loving yourself.
Self Care Days
Make sure to take a self care day every now and then! It will definitely recharge you and help you to feel more grounded in yourself. For me, I love getting massages or going to get my nails done. I just feel so pampered and refreshed afterwards. Sometimes a self care day can just be reading a good book, trying out a new face mask or taking a nap.
Set Healthy Boundaries
Setting boundaries can be tough at first if you're not use to it. However, it will be an important factor for caring for yourself and loving yourself. When we set healthy boundaries with others it helps us live in-tune with our desires, needs, and feelings. We can say no to the things that we don’t want to do and yes to the things that we want to do.
Notice your Thoughts
When I first sought out professional help on my healing journey, the first thing I learned was mindfulness. I didn't realize how much my thoughts and emotions were running the show and how much I 'wasn't' aware of them. Once I started practicing mindfulness, I was much more aware of my thought patterns and was able to start choosing better thoughts.
No matter how challenging things may seem, there are always things to be grateful for. When you make appreciation a regular practice, you will train yourself to focus on what’s good, rather than what’s not right. I keep a journal next to my bed so I can practice gratitude daily. It helps to keep things in perspective.
Do more things that excite you and bring you joy
When you do more of what brings your heart and soul joy, you will feel so much happiness and peace. This space is where ideas can come flushing in and everything seems possible! It's also a way to fulfill your own needs without turning to others. For me it's blogging, playing with makeup, writing, drawing, really anything that sparks creativity.
My journey isn’t complete and never will be (self-love is a process, not a destination), but I have come a long way in my practice, and hope to help you with yours! Remember, it is never too late to improve yourself which also includes loving yourself more.
"To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness." - Robert Morley
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