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. But — and yes, we’re about to get cheesy! — we often neglect our relationship with ourselves and aren’t always the best at practicing self-love each day and we are often too hard on ourselves. This month, we challenge you to take a step towards self-love and self-acceptance.
So, right here, right now, stop and 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, 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
One of the nicest things you can do for yourself is to give yourself more unplugged time, and a harder boundary around work, obligations, and expectations. Try giving yourself a fully unplugged day (no phone or computer!), or a consistent one to two hours per day this week of no-tech. 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 Schedule a Body Treatment
This one might be a little tougher depending on where you live, but there are ways to modify it. One of the most overlooked parts of our wellness practice is body 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”).
#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, this can feel kinda cringe. 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. From the minutiae of daily coffee to the extravagances of spa treatments. 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 to yourself.
#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.
#5 Work Out
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.
If you haven’t joined our community yet, sign up for free and try a FitOn feel-good yoga flow 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.
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.
#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.
#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.
- I Am Enough with DeAndre Sinette
- Self Compassion with DeAndre Sinette
- Self Kindness with Amanda Gilbert
- Anxiety Release with Amanda Gilbert
#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.
RELATED: JVN on Personal Affirmations
Happy Self Love Month!
We hope you take time this month, 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.