Self-care is the foundation for self-love but we’ve all had those days where the biggest goal is to just make it through in one piece. Stress, obligations, limiting beliefs, fear and lack of passion can all keep us from connecting to our true self. When it comes to feeling better the first thing we can do is practice a solid self-care routine.
A lot of people think self-love is selfish or egotistical. I used to believe that I was unworthy of my desires and I didn’t matter. I spent a lot of time taking care of others and even more time trying to fit in and be seen, but the truth? I wasn’t taking care of myself.
For almost three decades, I was at war with myself. I heard the term "self-love," but it felt like a buzzword, a "wouldn’t it be nice," but that clearly was not for me. The idea of loving myself was foreign because I was too consumed with self-hate.
I decided to go on my own personal journey to be more kind, compassionate, and loving toward myself. What I discovered in my own experiment is that self-care is the foundation for self-love. At first, saying I love myself felt hard, so I replaced the word love with care. I would say, "I am practicing self-care," and this led to a beautiful lifestyle where I was able to learn that I am worthy, beautiful, and enough as I am.
If you struggle with low self-esteem or lack confidence, you can turn your self-doubt into self-love by practicing self-care. To make it more fun, and totally doable, here are my go to self-care ideas to help you ramp up your self-love routine.
1. Get a Good News Buddy
Spend some time celebrating how far you’ve already come. The little moments along the way are special, and when you can appreciate them, you will feel more grateful. Call or text a friend and share the things you are proud of in your life. Celebrate each other and support your goals.
2. Forgive Yourself
Are you holding on to anger? Maybe you feel like you should be further along or more on track. Place your hand on your heart, close your eyes, and say, "I am sorry I am so hard on you. I know you are doing the best you can. I forgive you and will be more kind and compassionate to you."
3. Dedicate Yourself to Learning and Growing
Is there a course or book you’ve wanting to read? Keeping your mind fresh by educating yourself and learning more will help you feel more compassionate toward yourself and others.
4. Make a List of Things You Love About Yourself
When was the last time you said something nice about yourself to yourself? Most of us have a running dialogue of not being good enough and wanting to change things we dislike about ourselves. Instead of letting your insecurities get the best of you, start to be kind to yourself by listing things you love: whether it's a body part, intellect, ability, or something else. Do this as often as you can, and soon enough you will feel more free and loved.
5. Give Yourself Permission to Do Something You've Always Wanted to Do
Book that one-way ticket to Europe. Start penning that book or leave the job you hate. These are all things you might have in your heart but are afraid to act on. Following through on the dreams and desires are important for building self-trust and respect. Go for it; your future self will thank you. In my Fall in Love with Yourself and Life retreat we create a plan of action for you to step into the life you know you were made for.
6. Be Who You Needed to Be When You Were Younger
Get in touch with your inner child—you know, the one who loved skipping down the street, jumping up and down, or twisting and shouting and didn’t care what people thought. Dance and sing like no one is watching! Connect with yourself with joy.
7. Set Up Me Matters Time
Schedule special you time by asking yourself, "When do I feel like my best self? What am I doing and who am I with?" Schedule time each day to tap into that part of you that feels alive, joyful, and happy.
8. Write a Love Letter to Yourself
Write a letter to the part of you that is struggling—the part you would like to change—and allow yourself to free write and address what is causing you pain. This will give you more self-compassion and understanding, which can help you heal.
9. Read a Good Self-Love Book
There are some of my favorite self-love reads. Pick a book you’ve always wanted to read and curl up with, even if it's not self-help, as long as it's uplifting and leaves you feeling better. Curl up with your favorite furry friend and tea, coffee, or green juice.
10. Invest in Yourself and Your Dreams
Following your heart and investing in your dreams is essential to a fulfilling life. One of the activities we do in our wellness retreat is create your ideal life vision. One way to do this is to create a vision board for your future.
Use Pinterest, vision board apps, or cutup images from magazines to create a vision board, a creative way to dream about the life you want. Vision boards are great for manifesting and attracting whatever you desire because they invite you to actually visualize your lifestyle, focus on what you want, and think about what it takes to get there.
This topic was inspired by Shannon Kaiser’s #1 bestselling book The Self-Love Experiment and her Lake Louise wellness retreat Fall in Love with Yourself and Life.