Self Care

10 Powerful Habits For Self-Love & Total Self-Acceptance

Because the relationship with yourself is the most important one you have.

By: Dominique Michelle Astorino

We focus a lot on our external relationships — our significant other (or the person we want to be our significant other), our friendships, colleagues and bosses, neighbors, and even strangers on social media. It can be easy to prioritize these relationships and give them your time, energy, and attention. That’s not to say prioritizing healthy relationships — like a loving and supportive friendship — is bad, so long as you’re prioritizing the relationship with yourself, too. Yep, we’re here to turn your attention inward and remind you: your relationship with yourself is the MOST important relationship you have. 

In the midst of caring about others, we often neglect our relationship with ourselves. Think about how incredible you are, and how much you do for yourself. Working out and taking care of your body, stocking the fridge with your favorite foods (and because you’re the best, maybe your kid’s and spouse’s favorite foods), cleaning up the house so you have a beautiful place to live, putting on your favorite movie to watch. You really are a great “partner” to yourself, you know?

Yes, we get it… this sounds sappy. But it’s actually really important to build this foundation of self-love. Not only do you generally feel better in life, but building your self-esteem correlates to better health outcomes

Ahead, we’re sharing 10 powerful self-love habits to adopt to uplevel your self-love and self-care routine even more.

10 Powerful Self-Love Habits to Adopt 

#1 Disconnect to Reconnect

One of the nicest things you can do for yourself is disconnect from the electronic world to connect inward, which includes setting a harder boundary around work, obligations, and expectations. Try designating one day of the week as a tech-free day (no phone or computer!), or at the very least, signing off for a consistent one to two hours per day and giving yourself time to unplug. You’ll allow your brain and nervous system to recalibrate a bit, and start to create some sacred space for yourself. You and your health ARE worth the discomfort of turning off all the devices for a bit.

#2 Treat Yourself

We’ve (hopefully) drilled this in by now, but here’s another reminder: self-care isn’t selfish! Follow the advice you would tell a tired friend, an overworked spouse, or a stressed coworker: take some time to treat yourself! One of the most overlooked parts of our wellness practice is self-care — think: massages, facials, acupuncture, cupping, etc. We tend to view these as superfluous indulgences, when in reality, they help us maintain good physical health, promote recovery, and support good posture, skin health, etc.

If you can’t get yourself in for a treatment, try an at-home massage — with a foam roller, massage ball, or devices like a TheraGun or Hypervolt. You can do a facial massage with a jade roller or gua sha stone, or even just your hands and some facial oil. A little moderate-pressure massaging gets your body to turn on the parasympathetic nervous system (aka, activates “chill mode”).

RELATED: 9 Zero-Cost Ways to Practice Daily Self-Care

#3 Try This Journal Prompt

Envision you are your own “valentine” (or whatever substitute word works for you, even just your name!). Write down all the reasons you appreciate your valentine — all the wonderful things “they” do for you. For instance: 

[Name] takes me to get a massage once a month because they know my muscles need the TLC, [Name] does all the grocery shopping to make sure the house is always full of healthy and tasty foods (and my favorite wine — so considerate!), [Name] puts money in my savings account to set me up for long-term success, [Name] makes me the best coffee every single morning.

Yes, we get it — complimenting yourself and recognizing your achievements can be hard!! But try to open up to it — because, at the end of this list, you’ll realize all the incredible things you do for yourself. These things you do for yourself are wonderful — and if someone else did them for you, you’d be elated. Reflect a little of that back to yourself! This love letter to yourself is a massive practice of gratitude and will reinforce that positive relationship with yourself.

RELATED: 6 Morning Rituals Mental Health Experts Swear By 

#4 Nourish Your Body

And we don’t just mean with vegetables! We’ve said this a couple of times now, but packing your fridge and pantry with your favorite healthy foods (and favorite soul foods!) is a way to show your body some love (and it’s a LOT more affordable than ordering delivery). Remember those times as a kid, grocery shopping with your mom or dad, when you’d get so excited about all the fun foods (but your parent would never let you take it all home)? Get into that mindset: get excited about your favorites — the foods that make you feel good — and put that grocery list together.

To reignite your motivation in the kitchen, try picking out one new recipe per week. Maybe you choose something you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t gotten around to, or maybe you find a healthier version of your favorite not-so-healthy indulgences. While you’re at it, choose a handful of simple morning meals that can be easily meal prepped in 5 minutes or less. 

RELATED: 4 Easy Prep Breakfast Ideas That Will Save You Time During The Morning Rush

#5 Get Moving

Just like better self-esteem leads to better health, physical activity also leads to better self-esteem. Whether it’s a heart-opening yoga session to activate that chakra or a blast of butt-kicking cardio, you’ll be doing wonders for your body, brain, and self-love levels.

And, it doesn’t have to be an hour gym sesh or a heart-throbbing HIIT class (but if that’s your jam, get to it). All movement makes a difference! If life is busy and it feels like there’s no time, showing yourself some love could be as simple as setting 10 minute breaks to get up and walk around the office every hour or two. 

Trust us, there are lots of ways to be mindful about your movements! Need some ideas? If you haven’t joined our FitOn community yet, sign up for free and try a feel-good workout to practice self-love this month and beyond.

#6 Get Yourself a Gift

OK, so this might seem materialistic … and to a degree, it is. But when was the last time you got yourself a present? Maybe you’re the ultimate guest who remembers a host/ess gift every time there’s a get-together, or you’re on top of baby shower and wedding registries, and you get your partner the best gifts every anniversary. But at the risk of sounding clichéd, have you taken time to treat yourself lately? Think of something special that would mean a lot to you — something that maybe no one else knows you want — and go for it. You deserve it.

And it doesn’t have to be an extravagant splurge, either. Treating yourself could be gifting yourself a morning latte at your favorite coffee shop, taking a day off of work to *literally do nothing* other than just have a day of peace (amen), or buying those workout leggings you’ve had your eyes on for no other reason than you’ve worked hard and want to treat yourself!

#7 Sleep!

Another super overlooked, underrated, insanely easy form of self-love: sleep. Did you know that seventy million Americans are chronically sleep-deprived? That’s almost a quarter of the population. If you’re one of those one in four people, consider this a PSA from the universe: you need some more sleep. 

Try implementing a bedtime routine this month: take a warm shower, do your personal care routine, stretch, meditate, journal, read, make hot tea — whatever floats your boat (and helps you nod off). Keep to it for a few weeks, and see if it helps you get some more shut-eye. In addition, start scaling back your bedtime a little. Start with 15 minutes, then another 15… aim for an extra hour.

RELATED: 20 Life-Changing Sleep Hacks For When You’re Tired of Being Tired 

#8 Get a Therapist

Whether it’s free group therapy, a digital therapy subscription, a clinical psychologist through your insurance, or someone you connected with and can pay out of pocket (if you have the means), therapy is the ULTIMATE form of self-care and self-love. Few things come close to the power of good therapy sessions — a mental health professional can crack the code to so many underlying thought patterns, experiences, and feelings that might be holding you back from a deeper sense of self-love and joy. 

And if this isn’t in the cards right now, at the very least, consider journaling. Try a “brain dump”, which just as it sounds, is dumping all those never-ending thoughts out onto a page. It’s like a cathartic purge, where you’re able to write it down, get it all out, then close the page and make space for new, positive thoughts! 

#9 Turn Your Brain Off

If you’re stressed, anxious, or just need a breather, meditation is one of the best things you can do for yourself, both clinically and spiritually. You hear it a lot, we say it a lot — and that’s because it’s important. Meditation is simple, free, powerful, and healing. Just like with therapy, there’s nothing quite like it. So turn your brain off with a FitOn meditation then go back to tip #1 and turn your phone off for a while. It’ll feel soooo good.  

Here are some amazing guided FitOn meditations to get you started. And if you’re intimidated to start because you feel like you just can’t quiet your mind, try these tips!

#10 Try Daily Affirmations

Words have power. And by affirming yourself with positive “I am” statements, you can train your brain in a way that shifts your outlook (and can help you be more resilient in the face of “threats” to your self-esteem). If you have a goal of letting things roll off your shoulder more easily, this can help. 

Cheers to Self Love! 

We hope you take time, in at least one of these ways, to show yourself a little more love. At the end of the day, this relationship is the most important one you have — so give it the extra attention it deserves.