For the month of February, I’m sharing daily tips on how you can show yourself love! This page will be updated everyday as tips are revealed on my Facebook page via livestream. You can also follow the collaboration on this theme with my friend Julie Jordan Scott on her page and with our hashtag #WordLoveYourself
Some of these tips are ways to love yourself physically, and some are tips for your best emotional and spiritual well-being. I feel it’s so important for each of us to love ourselves as much as we love others! So please follow along this month and learn some ways you can love on yourself – ways to “fill your own cup” so you can give love to others ❤
1. Drink water: Water is life. We come from water; it is our source. Staying hydrated throughout the day makes your body happy, keeps your kidneys functioning well, balances your mood, and so much more! A good guideline is to take your weight, divide that number in half – that number is the number of ounces you should drink each day (i.e., 180 pounds/2 = 90 ounces daily)
2. Eat well and eat balanced: Eat foods that nourish your body. Choose foods rich in fiber, vitamins, protein, and nutrients to boost your health and mood. Avoid sugar and processed food. But conversely, allow yourself a treat now and then. Eating too rigidly or from a very limited diet is unhealthy and creates an imbalanced relationship with food. Food should bring you pleasure as well as health, so don’t be afraid to allow some indulgence.
3. Move your body: Dance, walk, stretch, and play! It doesn’t have to be traditional exercise to be good for your heart and spirit! Moving your body feels good, raises your mood, and clears stale energy from your surroundings.
4. Set boundaries: set clear boundaries for your time and energy. This is something many people struggle with, because we don’t want to be seen as rude, unkind, or unhelpful. But it is so important to say no sometimes; it’s important that you step back from people and situations that make you feel drained, uncomfortable, or used. It takes practice, but does wonders for your emotional health.
5. Soak your troubles away: Keep it simple or spoil yourself! It doesn’t take much to create an oasis for yourself – light some candles (I buy mine at the dollar store), add some essential oil, flower petals, epsom salt, or bath bomb to your bath water. I like to use my time in the tub as a sort of meditation. As I said about drinking water, it is our source – it is extremely restorative for the body and spirit. Envision the water washing your worry from you, and when you pull the plug, all the negativity swirls down the drain.
6. Spend time with Nature: Get outside and breathe in the fresh air. Spend time near a river or lake, among trees, or surrounded by flowers. If it’s warm where you live, take off your shoes and socks and walk barefoot though the grass. If you can’t get outside, bring nature indoors. Either open a window for a few minutes to let in fresh air, or bring elements of nature into your home. I collect feathers, rocks, pine cones, acorns, etc. and keep them as treasures throughout my home. Not only do I benefit from being surrounded by nature, but these pieces serve as a visual reminder of being outside, where I feel most at peace.
7. Spend time with people who inspire you: Friends are like mirrors who reflect our best qualities and remind us of who we truly are. When you consistently surround yourself with those who encourage you, uplift you, and cheer you on toward doing your best will be in the mindset of always striving toward the best version of yourself.
8. Nourish your mind: Play word games, read good books (a variety of genres), watch documentaries, and listen to podcasts. Strive to keep your mind sharp and your worldview broad. Think critically.
9. Develop a spiritual practice: Be careful not to confuse religion with spirituality. Spirituality is any practice that acknowledges your soul, the core of who you are – your Source. For some people, that may be prayer, meditation, or ritual. For me, spiritual practice is spending time next to the river or in the woods.
10. Create something: I have a sign in my room that reads (in bold pink glitter text!) “Do something creative everyday.” I believe that creation is essential to our human experience AND to our spiritual experience! When we create, we utilize the same power as God, the Universe. Creating raises our vibration in the world and brings others joy. So paint! Draw! Sculpt! Craft! Make something with your hands today.
11. Pamper yourself: Do what makes your body feel good: get a manicure/pedicure, get your hair cut/styled, get a massage, treat yourself to your favorite goodies or a movie that makes you belly laugh! Love yourself by treating your body to something special.
12. Speak kindly to yourself: Watch the words you use when speaking to and about yourself. How many times have you said something like “Oh, I messed up – I’m so stupid!” or “I’m no good at that…” Your heart hears the words you say; the language you use about yourself becomes your narrative.
13. Practice mindfulness: So many people spend so much of their time tied to a device (ie, phone in their face) – even when driving our spending time with loved ones! We as a collective struggle with being present in our lives, present in each moment. When we practice mindfulness, we are learning to slow down, breathe in the moment, and practice being fully aware of ourselves and our bodies, aware of our surroundings.
14. Love others: Love is a call to action. We love others and ourselves by meeting people where they are, loving without conditions, loving someone for exactly who they are. Love isn’t warm, fuzzy feelings; love is meeting needs in practical ways, reaching out, and being transparent.
15. Word love (Poetry): How is poetry self love? Well, poetry helps us see the world through different eyes; it gives fresh language to the way we experience life. When we see the world around us in new ways, we see ourselves in new ways too!
16. Spend time with animals: It’s scientifically proven that time spent with pets decreases blood pressure and anxiety and boosts the immune system. Listening to bird songs has been proven to calm anxious nerves and lower blood pressure as well. Animals are great for our health! But to me, the best part is that they see us with eyes of unconditional love; they see the best in us, no matter what (as long as the food dish is full, lol)!
17. Keep a journal: Keeping a journal will help your sort out your thoughts and feelings, sometimes when you’re not even sure what you’re feeling to begin with! Writing down thoughts and feelings gives you the ability to go back later and point out ways you’ve grown or areas that still need improvement. Keep at as simple (Dollar Store notebook) or as fancy (leather-bound diary) as you’d like — you can even use an app! (I like Daylio)
18. LET GO: This is one of life’s hardest lessons – and one I’m still working on. The three areas I struggle most to let go of are people, situations, and stuff. It’s so important to your well-being to let go of toxic people, physical stuff/clutter, and worry over situations that you can’t control.
19. Give yourself grace: This is a big one – most of us are so hard on ourselves. We are much more gracious with someone else’s mistakes and shortcomings; we beat ourselves up for our own and hold ourselves hostages for our humanness. Practice accepting yourself where you are today, in this moment, exactly as you are. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else – not even an ideal of yourself – love and accept yourself in all your beauty and mess.
20. Laugh (even at yourself!): Life can get so serious – between the news, our personal struggles, etc., we can easily get weighed down. Make time in each day for laughter and silliness. One of my favorite ways to laugh is watching stupid, silly cartoon shows like Ren & Stimpy or The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack
21. DO it anyway! All month long, we’ve been discussing tips that are on the pleasant side of things…but what about the not-so-pleasant? What about tough love for ourselves? Sometimes, we have tasks to do, things to face, that aren’t pleasant but we must do them anyway (for our own good). Maybe it’s having an uncomfortable conversation, or making an important phone call, or dealing with an overdue bill. Whatever it may be, we will feel so much better when it’s completed! And sometimes the best love we can show ourselves is in doing what needs to be done, for our own good – even if we don’t enjoy it at the time.
22. Take pride in your accomplishments: Be proud of the things you do, whether big or small! Whether it’s that uncomfortable conversation (see yesterday) or simply crossing off points on a daily to-do list – celebrate your successes! Praise yourself; it’s positive self reinforcement! The more you accomplish, the more confident you will be in your ability to do more.
23. Take responsibility for your health: Be your own advocate. Don’t be afraid to question your doctors, if something is confusing or doesn’t seem right. Only you live inside your own body; you know what is normal for you or not. Know yourself and assert yourself when needed. Doctors are great, but they don’t always have all the answers. Do your research; use your voice!
24. Trust your gut: We all have that “little voice” that encourages us to do things: compliment someone, call a friend we haven’t spoken to for awhile, checking the stove, etc. Sometimes heeding that voice amounts to nothing; but sometimes, it leads to something much bigger. That little voice is within us to keep us walking our true path and to make a difference in the world. The more you practice following it, the louder/stronger it will get.
25. Sacred space: Create or honor sacred space. If you can, dedicate an area in your home (a corner, a small table, an altar, etc) that is devoted to your spiritual connection with your Source. This could be filled with candles, crystals, etc; it may be where you meditate or pray. If you can’t make space in your home, utilize natural spaces like a wooded area or near the river – any place that allows you to connect with your core self and your higher power for a period of time in peace and stillness.
26. Rest: Know your limits – physically and emotionally. We live in a culture of busyness – we praise being busy and constantly being on the go, but the truth is our bodies need rest. We need periods of quiet to recharge our bodies and minds. Set boundaries around your time and space when you need a nap or a break from certain people or situations.
27. Disconnect: from devices! Excessive screen time has been proven to cause health problems (eye strain, metabolic effects, sleep interference) and keeps us disconnected from the people and world around us. Try to cut back on how much time you spend on electronic devices – read a book, get outside, do something with your hands! – engage in the Real World.
28. Be YOU: In the words of the great Dr. Suess:
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” There really is only one YOU on this planet, and you are here for a reason. Light your light shine in the way only you can!