Self-love lies at the heart of every healthy relationship; with yourself, family, friends and partners. Learn how to practice self-love and you’ll notice how its power can influence every aspect of your life.
It’s not easy if you’re completely new to it, but over time, you can learn to cultivate an inner acceptance which will radically alter your relationship with the world.
We all carry baggage and trauma from past romantic experiences and family circumstances, and often our wider societal values don’t support self-acceptance and gratitude for our individual needs.
We can easily get drawn into comparing ourselves to others, chasing a perfect lifestyle which only exists on social media or striving for physical and material conformity.
But, if we can learn to sow the seeds of self-acceptance, we can address these emotional blockages which no longer serve us.
Self-love is not just feeling good about yourself in the moment. It’s a state of appreciation for yourself which grows from the actions you take that support your physical and emotional growth.
Here we take a look at some of the building blocks of self-love and also cover some self-love rituals which you might like to welcome into your life…
Do the inner work
Through my spiritual journey, I have often come across the phrase, ‘your relationships act as a mirror’.
This means that the quality of your close relationships, especially romantic ones and close friends, is a reflection of the quality of the relationship you have with yourself.
If you find there is a tendency to attract unhealthy, toxic relationships that seem to suck the life out of you, then chances are you have emotional blockages which need to be brought to the surface.
So many times, women come to me seeking validation: they want to know if they are the ‘broken one’ or if their partner is to blame.
Truth is, regardless of who we are, we all have emotional baggage we’ve been living with over the years.
But it’s important to know we have a choice…
We can choose to drain our time and energy in a never-ending blame game of ‘whodunnit’
We can invest our time and energy in a safe space that allows us to identify those blockages and address them.
Give yourself permission
A common theme I have found with my clients is that many women subconsciously equate self-love to being selfish.
So, when they attempt to practice self-love and self-care, little voices in their heads go on the attack.
‘This is silly’, ‘this is lavish’, ‘don’t you have better things to do than give yourself a pedicure?’
‘Hello, there are dirty dishes in the sink waiting for you!’
Embracing self-love is to give yourself permission to practice self-love. To tell yourself you are worthy of the love, effort and energy you desire, and to begin receiving that love you start by first giving it to yourself.
Start small when learning how to practice self-love
We have gone years with preconceived notions of love that may have been doing more damage than good.
Rome was not built in a day and healing the damage won’t take a day either.
Understand that practicing self-love is a journey. And, as with any journey, you can start small. Here’s how you can start to cultivate self-love, little by little…
Be kind and stay consistent
Think of your self-love practice as a new skill you’re learning. Know that with any new habit you are bound to slip up and forget things.
Show yourself kindness and nurture this new skill by slowly incorporating your favourite self-love activities into your life until they become rituals.
Completely new to self-love rituals? Here are 12 self-love suggestions to get you started:
- Make a list of all the things you like/love about yourself
- Compliment yourself when you look or feel good
- Give a colleague or friend a genuine compliment
- Prioritise getting a good night sleep
- Turn on some music and dance like no one is watching
- Get some quite time (meditate, read a book, self-reflect)
- Plan a solo trip (If local lockdown restrictions allow you that is!)
- Cook yourself a fancy meal
- Eat mindfully (focus fully on your meal without distractions)
- Get physical (yoga, exercise)
- Welcome some indoor plants into your space
- Create a little sacred space/sanctuary for yourself in your home
This list is intended to provide some ideas on self-care tips. Feel free to get creative and come up with your own suggestions – and let me know what works for you!
Lastly, learn to forgive yourself and you will learn how to practice self-love
We can all be so hard on ourselves. The downside for taking responsibility for our actions is to punish ourselves for mistakes and missed opportunities. These regrets can fester in our subconscious or hit us every day as we live our lives.
The first step in breaking this cycle is to accept your humanness – you are not perfect and no one else is either.
Practice being less hard on yourself and remember there are no failures. Just experiences, positive and negative, which we can all learn from.
Use these to grow and evolve, and self-love will begin to manifest itself naturally.
Need some support?
If you are completely new to self-love or are struggling with some of the issues raised in this post, you may want to think about seeking some support.
Transformational coaching is an intuitive practice encouraging self-discovery and inner peace, which puts you in the driving seat of your emotional growth.
Want to learn more?
I’m a trained psychologist and accredited transformational coach. I give bespoke one-on-one sessions, online masterclasses and exploratory exercises you can do at home.
I incorporate both psychology and spirituality into my coaching, relating to my psychology qualification and training as a yoga teacher.
Right now, I’m offering a free breakthrough session for anyone looking to find out more about transformational coaching.
Book your session here.