You know how if you say a word, any word, enough times it starts to sound like nonsense? Give it a try with the word “polish”.
polish. polish. polish. polish. polish. polish. polish. polish. polish. polish. polish. polish. polish. polish. polish. polish. polish.
Even just reading it enough times makes the word start to feel like gibberish, no? Unfortunately, a similar phenomenon has happened with the phrase “self love” lately. It gets thrown around in conversation after conversation, magazine headlines, and popular Instagram accounts. But don’t get me wrong – talking about self love isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s a great thing that prioritizing ones self is becoming socially acceptable and even celebrated. So what is the problem? Self love is inherently a very vague term. It’s difficult for someone to read an article or screen shot something on Insta about self love and directly apply it to their own lives. So let’s rewind a few steps here, and simplify what it means to practice self love. Spoiler alert: it’s going to feel amazing.
Self Love Got Me Straight Flexin’
Think of self love as any other muscle in your phenomenal body. The more you work it, the stronger it gets. And of course we can’t forget muscle memory, meaning, the more you practice making self love a part of your daily routine, the more natural it will feel. In a minute I’m going to go through some different ways to flex your self lovin’ muscle, with what I like to call self love strategies, but first I want to stress just how important it is to make self love a regular thing. Unlike strength training or cardio, your body and your mind don’t need rest days or “days off” from self love. Quite the opposite actually. The more self love you can squeeze into a day, the better. Everyone is on his or her own self love journey, but once you’ve had some practice, self love should feel constant and effortless, like breathing. To get to that place, you’ll need some self love building strategies.
4 Self Love Strategies
Strategies, exercises, me-time, call it what you will. These seven activities are designed to help you fall a bit more in love with yourself each day. Pick one or mix and match all seven – and watch the way you feel and act towards yourself begin to shift into a positive direction.
1). Make “Enough” Your Aut0-Response
If you’ve ever sent me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, you’ve received the auto-response I have programmed in my mail settings to reply to each incoming message. Imagine you’re going into those hard-wired settings of your brain, and setting an auto-response message for each anxious incoming thought. That auto-response message will read: “Whatever, I do / did today, It is / was enough.” We are always our own worst critics and biggest sources of pressure. Whether or not you realize it, stress is one of the biggest factors that can detract from feeling self love. For just a day, every time you get anxious about deadlines, responsibilities, or relationships – refer to your auto-response. Whatever you accomplish, it is enough. By extending yourself that courtesy, you are re-learning a valuable lesson of self care. We need self care to feel self love. Start by celebrating what you do accomplish, and not insulting yourself for what you didn’t get to.
2). 2 Truths and 1 Lie
C’mon, we all played this game at some point during childhood. When you tell a friend three facts and they have to guess which two are true and which one is a lie. Well it’s time to do the same thing 1:1 with yourself. Start by facing the mirror. Look at yourself and say aloud two positive things about yourself. Example: “I am doing a great job adjusting to my new classes and I have a beautiful smile.” Next, think of one lie that you have been treating as the truth. Say it aloud, and be sure to label it as a lie. Example: “Sometimes I feel like I am not beautiful due to recent weight gain, but I know that’s not true.” To end on a positive note, repeat your two truths. All together the exercise looks like this:
I am doing a great job adjusting to my new classes and I have a beautiful smile. Sometimes I feel like I am not beautiful due to recent weight gain, but I know that’s not true. I am doing a great job adjusting to my new classes and I have a beautiful smile.
3). The Interrupting Game
You know how teachers and professors recommend study groups, because when you explain something to someone else you learn it that much more effectively? Turns out, the same is true for building up self love. Encouraging others to show themselves kindness and love has the effect of keeping you accountable for doing the same. This strategy focuses on another person, but trust me, it’s going to help you feel a stronger sense of self love afterwards. The next time a friend, family member, or even a stranger starts to get down on themselves in your presence – challenge it. Remind them how beautiful they are, what they’ve accomplished recently, and that they deserve to feel proud. Better yet, borrow a page from strategy #1 and remind them that what they’ve done and what they will do is enough. The next time you want to berate yourself for something, you’ll remember this encounter and respond with self love rather than self loathing.
4). Give Yourself Permission to do Nothing
We all need a little reboot and recharge from time to time. Part of committing to love yourself means allowing yourself to rest and relax when you need it. Remember, you’re only human. Downtime is not a privilege, it’s a necessity. Not to mention nobody can pour from an empty cup. Make sure you are mentally, emotionally, and physically your best by taking time outs. Not sure where to start? Check out my 9 Ways to do Nothing Better and pick any one of these activities for your next you-time.
Which self love strategy are you going to try first? Do you have any to add? And don’t forget to download your free printable to take your simplified self love strategies on the go!
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