Part of my recovery from depression is learning to appreciate myself better. It’s constant learning, and I’m already feeling an improvement.
But self love is not only important in recovery, it’s important for everyone. I have previously written about the importance of loving yourself. Now it’s time to follow up with the how.
When you want to do something as abstract as loving yourself, the direction you have to take might not be clear. But I have put together a list of small things you can do, that will get you on the right path. Self-love is not easy, and you should never feel bad for not being able to love yourself completely and unconditionally – you’re trying, and that’s what matters.
Not all of these are small steps and takes time to implement into your life – but give it a try, and along the way you will find the way that works for you.
11 ways to practice self-love
MAKE A SELF-LOVE JAR
Start out by writing 5 things you love about yourself. It’s okay to start out with small things, add more when you’re feeling good and read them when you feel down.
LISTEN TO MUSIC THAT MAKES YOU FEEL EMPOWERED
Something that makes you feel good, want to dance like nobody is watching, something that you can scream the lyrics along with. You’re allowed to think it’s completely ridiculous, as long as you’re smiling.
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOU LIFE AND YOURSELF
Know you are in charge of your life and yourself. You can’t control the negativity the world sends after you, but you determine how you react.
ACCEPT THAT YOU WILL HAVE BAD DAYS
Life is full of ups and downs. Having one bad day does not mean you have lost all your progress. Hold on, fighter.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE
There’s good everywhere. Challenge yourself to find the good in every situation, and to not speak poorly about yourself or anybody else. Like any habit, it takes time and practice but try at least to come up with two positive things whenever you catch yourself speaking negatively.
LEARN TO PUT YOURSELF FIRST
‘No’ can be a magic word. It can be scary to say no at first, but you are not selfish for putting yourself first once in a while – if you don’t, you’ll wear out too fast.
DON’T LET COMPARISON STEAL YOUR JOY
Everybody is different – even identical twins. We all have different opportunities, talents, achievements – and some are just lucky. You shouldn’t compare your own beginning to somebody else’s middle, and know that people always try to bring light to their best sides – but everybody has problems as well.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO SAY YES
Don’t miss out on fun events because you’re worried. Find a balance between alone time and social events that makes you feel good,
SHOW GRATITUDE DAILY
This is one of the important ones. Return appreciation and kindness, stop for a second and appreciate your surroundings – write it down and it will actually help you get healthier and happier .
ACCEPT YOU CAN’T CONTROL EVERYTHING
The future is uncertain, and shit happens. Don’t let thing’s you can’t control stress you out. Appreciate what you have now, and know you are capable of handling whatever problem crosses your path. This is where I personally struggle the most, and I often have to remind myself to stop worrying so much – and it has only made my life better, though it’s a hard habit to give up.
Not when you’re 10 lbs lighter, not when you’ve gained 10 lbs of muscles. Your body is not solid, and it will change in ways you can’t control no matter what.
Some of these might sound like clichés, but have you actually tried living by them? If they really can make you a happier person, isn’t it worth a try at least?
What do you do to feel better about yourself? Share your best tips in the comments below!