On Self-Love: How to Fall In Love With Yourself May 23 2017
Seven Steps to Self-Love
In theory, this whole “Self-Love” thing sounds like a simple concept. It sounds like giving yourself a hug, treating yourself to a mani/pedi combo at the mall, and maybe even a little somethin’ somethin’ from H&B’s Sparkle Collection. What it doesn’t sound like is work. Except it is.
Self-love is an infinite journey full of ups and downs. It requires hard work, dedication, and an openness to change, to looking oneself in the mirror, and to acceptance.
The following are 7 actionable steps you can take—like today—to fall head over heels in love with yourself tomorrow (and every day thereafter).
1. Take Care of Yourself
Self-care is always the first step to self-love. We’re so conditioned to give love to those around us (I’m looking at you, mamas) that we often forget to take care of ourselves.
Avoid the inevitable burnout by taking care of number one first — that’s you. What do you need to do to feel the way you want to feel, every single day? This can seem like a daunting question at first, but knowing the answer allows you to plan for love.
Everybody’s method of self-care will be unique to them. For me, it’s an hour of yoga a day, and undisturbed alone time with my book at night. For you, it might look totally different. That’s OKAY.
Spoiler alert: you can’t pour from an empty cup. Self-care enables you to give more (of your best self) to those you love.
2. Set (or Adjust) Your Priorities
Refer to Step #1. How do you want to feel every single day? What do you need to do to feel that way?
Adjust your priorities accordingly.
3. Create a Love List
Self-love is all about appreciating your own unique brand of beauty, recognizing your myriad gifts, and honouring yourself. This can be hard to do when you’re not sure where to start, or when you’re blinded by society’s definition of worthy.
So, start at square one. Put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) and write down everything you love about yourself. Save the modesty here.
Pro tip: be mindful of what you focus on. Self-love isn’t just about body image, or what’s on the outside. It’s also about taking notice of what’s on the inside, what your unique talents are, and the irreplaceable space you take up in this world.
Read your love list anytime you need a boost, and add to it often.
4. Schedule “You” Time
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the chaos of everyday life — the work, the errands, the familial obligations — that a week might go by and you realize you haven’t taken a single minute for yourself.
Make a habit of scheduling “you” time in your calendar at least once a week. I’m serious, schedule it in. If you’re anything like me, anything that’s not written in ink in my planner can easily get bumped or skipped for “more important things” like work, or groceries, or external relationships.
The truth is nothing is more important than those regular hours of quality time you spend with yourself. It might be confusing at first, like, what are you supposed to do in your “you” time?
Don’t worry, you’ll figure it out.
5. Recite Mantras
Okay, I know this may sound totally voodoo and maybe even a little silly, but hear me out: mantras work if you let them.
For me, it’s not so much about the mantra itself as it is about the words—the story you tell yourself over and over again.
That story can either be, “I’m not worthy,” or “I don’t deserve ________,” or “I’ll never be good enough.”
That story can be one of your own choosing, like “I am 100% worthy of this promotion,” or “I deserve every beautiful thing that has happened to me and has yet to happen to me,” or “I am exactly good enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, capable enough for anything this world throws at me.”
See what I mean? Mantras are all about re-writing the story in your head. And once you start believing that story, amazing things can happen.
My go-to self-love mantra is simple: “I am strong. I am beautiful. I am worthy. And I am more than capable.”
Be creative—your mantra can be anything you want it to be.
6. Remember, Comparison is The Thief of All Joy
Joy is like a super crucial ingredient in the self-love recipe book.
Quit comparing yourself to strangers on the internet.
Quit comparing your accomplishments to your BFFs, your spouse, or that girl who just friended you on LinkedIn.
Quit comparing your downward dog to the chick’s on the yoga mat next to yours.
Quit comparing your journey to anyone else’s in the entire world.
Your journey is just that — yours. It’s time to take joy in it.
7. Invest in Yourself
There are resources out there to help you along your journey. Courses like Love Bomb Bootcamp, books such as Mastering Your Inner Mean Girl, and websites like Positively Present all exist to help you find your way in this whole self-love thing.
Because back to that thing I was saying about some journeys being infinite—self-love is one of those journeys.
REANNE DERKSON IS A LITERISTA, SELF-LOVE ADVOCATE, AND CO-CREATOR OF LOVE BOMB BOOTCAMP. SHE IS CURRENTLY PENNING HER FIRST BOOK, LITTLEFOOLBOOK, A COLLECTION OF ESSAYS ABOUT GROWING UP GIRL IN A CULTURE WHERE BEAUTY REIGNS SUPREME. FOLLOW REANNE ON INSTAGRAM @LITTLEFOOLBOOK.