Be good to yourself: 5 ways to practice self-love
Susan M. Stokes, Chocolate Addict
11 February 2020
Practising self-love can be challenging, it’s so easy to put yourself last. But it’s true what they say “Before you can love others, you must love yourself first.” And a happier healthier you is a better lover, friend, parent and colleague.
“Self-love is an action, not a state of feeling good.” ~Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D.
But what is self-care exactly?
Well, it’s not about being self-absorbed or narcissistic, it’s about getting in touch with yourself, your well-being and happiness. You can practice self-love with acts of kindest to yourself.
Self-love is not simply a state of feeling good. It is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows through actions that mature us.
Whatever form that action takes, it could be taking a moment out of your day for rest and relaxation, allowing yourself that piece of chocolate (and savouring every minute of it) or at night before bed writing down all the things you are grateful that day.
So take a deep breath, give yourself a little hug and here are some immediate actions you can take to start practising self-love:
1. Happy up your home
Your home should be your sanctuary from the world, a place for you to relax and unwind. So make it a place you’re happy to spend time no more chaos that means:
(i) Eliminate eyesores. That ugly piece of furniture you can’t afford to replace? Paint it white it helps it blend into the background, or replace drab cabinet handles with a sleek designer pair and an ugly light-fixture cord can be upgraded by stringing it with beads.
So the next time you catch sight of them you’re not groaning to yourself, thinking you must fix/replace it, instead, you’re delighted with the new little touches.
(ii) Delight all your senses. Design isn’t just visual. Think of all 5 of your senses and how you can delight them. What about the feel of a beautifully soft, thick, deep-pile shaggy rug under your feet. Or the textured yet comfortable feel of french linen bed sheets on your skin, there’s a reason why sleeping on pure French linen is loved.
How about adding some relaxing sounds to your home and garden like wooden chimes by your back door or a water fountain. And let’s not forget scent, using aromatherapy you can transform a room and your mood with relaxing scents like lavender, or eucalyptus with an essential oils diffuser, or even a tropical coconut & lime scented candle.
(iii) Mind the details. The details really do matter and small touches can transform a space think of vase of freshly cut flowers in your living room or hall or nice pens on your office desk. A rule of thumb?
“Buy only things you want around forever,” says Abbey Hendrickson. “Buy only what you love.”
2. Pet…A Pet!
Yes, pets do make you feel good and it’s fun and easy to do. It’s not just us saying so, either. Research has found that pet owners often have greater self-esteem, are more physically fit and tend to be less preoccupied and anxious than their petless counterparts.
It’s good for your body, your mind, and your soul! Don’t worry if you’re petless, just hanging out with pets will also do the trick. So if it’s not the right time in your life to own a pet you could offer to walk a friends dog, volunteer at a local pet shelter.
Or even ask if it’s ok to pet the next dog you see out and about they love the attention. Warning you may get drooled on but that’s all part of the experience.
3. Be Surprised
An unexpected delight is the best kind of all. Here are three ways to spring something great on yourself.
(i) Join the club – Subscription clubs let you give a gift to yourself each month, Cocoa Box has you covered for dessert with the worlds finest artisanal chocolate delivered your door every month (From $37.50 per month). Or how about trying new beauty and self-care products, Bella Box surprises you with new products they’ve tested every month. Or Naked Wines means you always have a good bottle of wine in the house for a special celebration or a relaxing glass of wine after a hard days work.
(ii) Place yourself in the hands of a good chef – Eat rubbish feel rubbish. Your body is your temple so feeding it the right food is crucial. But you don’t need to have a personal chef at home to follow this step you can dine out or use a service like Hello Fresh, their recipes are chef-created and easy to cook offering the best food from the local suppliers.
(iii) Book a trip to who knows where – Virgin Australia offers Mystery Breaks a special holiday package where you fly to an unknown destination in Australia. Your Mystery destination will be revealed one day prior to travel and bookings can be made up to 2 weeks prior to departure. Book from 1 – 4 nights! Bon Voyage!
4. Do it yourself (DIY)
Knowing how to fix, make, grow(even weld) is empowering, even transcendent. Working with your hands is a big part of being human. A day in the garden or workshop lets you reconnect with your body (and take a break from staring at screens). And there’s something deeply satisfying about doing for yourself instead of hiring someone to do it for you.
Our culture rewards expertise and efficiency. So there’s a cost to growing or making your own (meaning it’ll be more expensive than what you buy in the supermarket or shop). But it will be yours, born of your hard work and care. And that’s an achievement nobody can take away from you!
5. Practice Gratitude
We all get caught up wanting the latest “trendy thing” getting sucked into the marketing hype that “You will be happier with X product”. But things don’t make you happy, that has to come from within first. Then “nice things” are icing on top of the cake.
We tend to focus so much on the negative and “what we don’t have” we miss out on what we “do have”. So to help you reframe your life and what you do have, use a journal to write down 3 things you’re grateful for today and it will dawn on you just how much you really have and start to appreciate it more. Here’s are some examples:
- Your Life
- Your Freinds
- Your Family
- Your Heart
- Your Mind
- Things you love
- Your belongings
- Your Life Lessons
- Your Mistakes (yes we learn more from these than our successes)
How will you practice self-love today?
There you have it we hope you enjoyed this article “Be good to yourself: 5 ways to practice self-love”. Let us know in the comments what immediate action you took to practise self-love and what was your favourite.
Remember “Action is the foundational key to all success.” so if you want to successfully practice self-love, start now and keep going. When you start to look after yourself better you won’t regret it.
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