Dipping your toes in some self love resources improve the relationship you have with yourself.
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Your most important relationship is the one you have with yourself.
Sometimes we devote almost all of our time and energy caring for others, leaving nothing but crumbs for ourselves.
If you can relate to this, know that it’s not too late to change. You can learn how to make yourself your top priority.
But you may be wondering: What does self-love even look like? What does it feel like?
What Is Self-Love?
Self-love is about embracing yourself unconditionally and giving yourself the respect you deserve.
Self-love is knowing your worth. It’s being content and secure in who you are, enabling you to walk away from situations that won’t do you any good.
It’s seeing yourself as a work-in-progress, instead of pressuring yourself to be perfect just to be worthy of your own love.
Note that self-love must not be confused with narcissism (which is an entirely different story). Because self-love isn’t just about loving and accepting who you are but also recognizing your mistakes and shortcomings.
Self-love is saying, “I made mistakes and that’s okay. I forgive myself and I’m going to do better next time.”
It’s giving yourself room to grow and a million second chances because you know you’re capable of doing so much good despite all the wrong turns you’ve made.
In this easy-to-read article, you’ll discover the best ways to cultivate self-love without leaving your doorstep!
Why Is Self-Love Important?
If you’ve spent your entire life hating yourself, self-love may feel like an uphill battle. It may seem like you’ll never win against constant feelings of unworthiness.
But no matter how hard it gets, keep going. Continue investing time and energy in self-love activities because the payoffs are worth it. ?
Developing a more intimate relationship with yourself allows you to experience what it’s like to celebrate your innate gifts, feel secure in who you are, know exactly what you want, and fight for what you deserve.
You are able to build boundaries. You know how and when to say “no” without feeling guilty.
You prioritize yourself over other people, but not in a selfish way. You simply stop putting yourself last and discounting your feelings, needs, and dreams.
If you haven’t started your journey toward self-love, why not start taking baby steps today?
Read on to find out how.
How Do You Develop and Strengthen Self-Love?
Whoever you are and no matter what you’ve done and have been through, you deserve and are capable of self-love.
But here’s the million-dollar question: How do you cultivate self-worth and self-love?
By creating self-love habits.
What Are Self-Love Habits?
These are activities and techniques that, if done repeatedly, encourage self-care and self-kindness and boost your confidence.
Doing them not only increases your confidence but they are also affirmations and reminders of your worth and value as a person.
These habits help you heal from constant feelings of inadequacy. They help you develop a more positive relationship with yourself, which weakens your yearning for other people’s approval.
But which self-love habit should you do first?
You can start by simply analyzing your current routine. Are there activities that make you feel good about yourself? Those activities can be part of your self-care habit.
You can also check out self-love resources and go over activities they recommend. Pick one habit that you like or an activity that you feel will make the biggest difference in your life. These activities can range from exercising daily to attending regular therapy sessions–anything that brings you bliss, healing, and peace.
Don’t just adapt a habit because someone else is doing it. We have different ways of taking care of ourselves, and what may be an amazing habit for one person may be a soul-crushing practice for another.
Also, make sure that the activity you choose is truly helpful for you. Going on a shopping spree, for instance, can be fun and exciting. But this impulsive behavior only provides a temporary happiness boost, whereas true self-love provides a deeper, more sustained sense of satisfaction.
To avoid overwhelm, we recommend that you start with one self-care habit. Once it becomes part of your routine, pick another habit to add to your day.
As these habits become permanent parts of your life, self-love will become easier and more natural to you.
There’s a LOT of things you can do to nurture self-love. We have listed some of these activities and techniques in the next section.
But before we jump to that list, here are a few tips you need to keep in mind as you make self-care a habit:
- Be patient with yourself.
Learning how to love yourself isn’t going to be a walk in the park, especially if you’ve spent most of your life hating yourself or making everyone else your priority
So the first, and maybe the most important thing you must do is be patient with yourself. Otherwise, your journey to achieving self-love’s going to be an endless cycle of frustrations–and that’s the entire opposite of this goal.
Your path toward self-love will have countless ups and downs. It will be filled with wins, big and small, but also failures.
Some days you may be so disappointed with yourself for slipping back to people-pleasing or self-sabotaging patterns. But know that slip-ups and setbacks are completely normal and are part of the process.
- Make self-love a priority.
For this to work, you need to make self-love a priority. Let nothing get in your way of loving yourself. This will require you to identify your boundaries, communicate them, and stand firm when other people disrespect your limits.
- Replace distorted beliefs on self-care.
Another thing to keep in mind is that putting yourself first is NOT selfish.
If you grew up believing that self-love is egocentric, toss that limiting thought into the trash. It’s disempowering and it will only derail you from fully embracing who you are.
Eliminating self-doubt and replacing deeply rooted limiting beliefs take time, which is exactly why you need to be patient with yourself. Again, this is a self-love journey, and giving yourself a hard time would bring more harm than good.
- Be perfectly imperfect.
Striving for excellence is a good thing. But aiming for perfection? Not so much.
Many times, we place this gargantuan pressure on ourselves and demand that we live up to impossible standards. But that’s too much pressure for anyone to bear.
Cut yourself some slack.
Allow yourself to make mistakes. Avoid beating yourself up when you fail. Nobody’s flawless or perfect. Making mistakes is a part of life. It’s actually a sign that you’re taking risks and growing in the process. You wouldn’t be who you are today if it weren’t for all the trials you’ve survived and errors you’ve made along the way.
Plus, life won’t “fire” you if you make a mistake (can you even fire yourself?), so relax!
And even if you get fired from your job or make an epic slip-up, your worth as a person remains intact. You owe it to yourself to try again. And again. And again.
So love yourself through every misfortune and every wrong turn. The mistakes and hurdles you encounter will actually give you some pretty solid life lessons and coping skills!
When you take two steps back, this doesn’t mean that all of your progress has gone to waste and it’s time to throw in the towel
Each time you fall down, get back up.
Appreciate the progress you’ve made, all that you’ve accomplished, and how much you’ve changed. You just might be impressed with how far you’ve already come.
Instead of seeing failure as proof that you won’t amount to anything and you don’t deserve love, take it as an opportunity to better yourself.
Be your own champion and continue investing in yourself–physically, emotionally, and mentally. Strengthening your capabilities today can have a huge positive impact on your future, helping you fulfill your goals and live your life to the fullest.
Self-love involves recognizing that you are your greatest investment. It’s about learning never to abandon yourself or give up on yourself. It involves becoming your own cheerleader and best friend.
- Avoid the comparison trap.
When you catch yourself comparing your life with the Joneses’, remember this: Comparison is an enemy of joy and fulfillment.
The more you appreciate and focus on yourself, the more you’ll notice the things that make you special. You’ll uncover capabilities and skills you were too oblivious to notice before.
Aim to become the best version of yourself, and not just somebody’s 2.0 replica.
This isn’t to say that comparisons are always bad. It’s perfectly normal to like some good, healthy competition, and to use that to motivate you to get even better.
But comparing yourself to others too often can worsen your insecurities and be counterproductive. This pattern of thinking is a trap and you need to unlearn it.
In a world where many put too much value on their social image, sometimes spending only a few minutes infinitely scrolling through on Facebook or Instagram is enough to make you feel bad about your life.
Remember, many people only post about the good things in their lives. You only get a glimpse of a much bigger picture. Just like you, these people with fun social media updates have their own problems and insecurities.
If going online often leaves you discouraged and dissatisfied with your life, a social media detox may just be what your mind and soul needs.
Start replacing thoughts of comparison with self-love and self-compassion. Also, look within and find out what’s hindering you from appreciating yourself and feeling that you are enough just as you are.
There are many examples of self-love resources that you can take inspiration from (which we’ll list here so, keep scrolling!), and forming habits out of these can boost your productivity as well.
6. Stop worrying about other people’s opinion of you.
Do you stress over what people think about you? Here’s a food for thought:
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
No matter what you do, you won’t be able to please everyone. So just keep living your life and don’t give a Sugar-Honey-Iced-Tea about what they think.
Society has standards on what we’re supposed to do and become. So if you’re one of the outliers, you’re bound to get some disapproving looks.
Craving others’ validation may lead you to spend your entire life catering to others’ wants and needs. Sadly, that will only open you up to abuse, burnout, and rob you of self-fulfillment.
Remember that you never have to sacrifice yourself to prove your worth or get crumbs of appreciation. The most important validation is the one that you give yourself.
In addition, most people are actually too focused on themselves. So overthinking what other people might think or say about you is a waste of your time.
Devote that time to something more productive.
This isn’t to say that you must dismiss EVERYONE’s opinion. Some people have pure intentions and truly helpful insights.
Pick the inputs that support your values and would actually benefit you in the long run.
7. Cut yourself off from toxic people.
It’s hard but worth it.
Not everyone in your life is good for you. If someone is toxic for you and they refuse to change, limit your interactions or cut ties with them.
Yes, nobody’s perfect and everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes, people are not even aware that their behavior is already hurting others and it’s good to call them out.
But some people refuse to be accountable for their actions. They refuse to grow or change, even if their actions are already hurting those around them. Others may even believe they’re not doing anything wrong.
Your instinct may be to wait, argue, and hope that they change. But how long should you have to wait and put up with hurtful treatment?
It’s painful to end a relationship or distance yourself, especially if you’ve known the person for a long time or care deeply about them. You may feel guilty for cutting ties or minimizing contact.
But you can’t force people to become someone else.
You’re not responsible for other people’s growth.
Stop acting like Fix-it Felix. Stressing over changing another person is detrimental to your wellbeing.
Look out for yourself instead. Focus on the things you can control and prioritize your own growth.
Self-Love Resources, Techniques, and Activities
Below is a list of self-love techniques and exercises you can follow.
Note that this is not an exhaustive list. We have different ways of expressing self-love, so what might work for others may not work for you.
For this to work, don’t try to do all these activities at once. Focus on one that suits your personality, lifestyle, or preference. Once you’ve built them into your habits, add another self-love technique to your arsenal.
These self-love examples are so simple and can be done in the comforts of your home. Don’t be afraid to try these out!
Practicing these simple exercises can really boost your self-love and confidence. Some of these techniques have been around for hundreds of years and have proven their effectiveness time and time again.
Meditation is one of the best expressions of self-love.
Meditating allows you to discover more about yourself and reaffirm your own worth.It leaves you feeling recharged, much stronger, and ready to take on the world.
Appreciation–for yourself and life in general–is another gift meditation can bring into your life. It helps you feel good about yourself for all that you’ve survived. It also gives you space to recognize the abundance of blessings flowing into your life.
Especially when life gets extremely busy, our first reaction may be to push ourselves harder, not to pause. When things go wrong, we can get too caught up worrying about our future!
Meditation enables you to take a step back and remember to appreciate yourself and all that you have right now. It helps you relax even if things aren’t going your way. It invites you to live in this moment, not in the past, not in the future.
Being alone with your thoughts can be uncomfortable or even scary. So take baby steps. Start doing it for a few minutes each day, and gradually build toward a 30-minute or 60-minute meditation habit. You can also use a meditation guide to help you reap the benefits of this practice.
If you’re not ready for meditation or any structured activities, you can start your self-love journey with an effortless yet powerful practice: controlled breathing.
Controlled breathing allows you to get in touch with your core.
Engaging in breathwork also helps you manage and soothe your anxieties. This practice may also reduce symptoms of stress and trauma.
- Self-Love Therapy
If you need a professional to help you process your thoughts and feelings, you can opt for self-love therapy.
We’re lucky to live in an era when technology allows us to book and have therapy sessions without having to step outside our homes!
Find reliable organizations and professionals that provide therapy sessions online. Once the pandemic passes, you may also consider visiting their office for traditional face-to-face therapy sessions.
- Reading self-love books
Reading books can be a relaxing pastime and a form of self-care.
Reading is an amazing stress reliever. Picking books that nourish your mind and soul allows you to obtain knowledge that you can use to make better decisions and improve your life
Wondering what book to read first? Check out this post on our book recommendations for anyone on the self-love journey.
- Using other self-love resources and courses
Lucky for you, this blog has tons of self-love resources. Think of these as how-to guides to help you find, embrace, and empower yourself.
If you need additional inspiration and want to know more about self-love, then this ultimate self-love guide will be extremely helpful to you. It’s a comprehensive explanation of the importance of self-love and aims to give readers a fresh perspective on this essential concept.
We also highly recommend taking a self-love masterclass. Apart from getting in-depth guidance, hearing someone say out loud what you’ve always known in your heart to be true can solidify your commitment to this journey. It’s like being reassured you’re not alone and you’re on the right track.
I know it sounds silly to be taking a class on how to love oneself, but don’t knock it till you try it!
- Creating self-love resolutions
Resolutions are not reserved for the start of the year. Anytime you set your mind to put yourself first, create self-love resolutions to bolster your commitment to this journey. It doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of the year or the last quarter. It’s never too early or too late to draw up self-love resolutions.
Skim through these resources, and pick habits and ideas to include in your resolutions.
Feel free to switch things up every once in a while to keep your schedule interesting. Find ways to make these feel less like a chore.
Be sure to schedule breaks too and to avoid pushing yourself too hard too soon. Remember that the point of these resolutions is to help you, not to pressure you or break your spirit.
Also, expect some internal resistance. Some days you won’t feel like meditating, waking up early, or doing another exercise. That’s okay! It’s totally normal to feel like you don’t want to do things even if they benefit your health.
Regardless of how you feel, keep doing them anyway.
- Positive self-talk
Another powerful expression of self-love is changing the way we talk to and about ourselves.
Many of us have grown up with a negative inner voice, a harsh internal critic. Many people feel uncomfortable recognizing the good in them. So they resort to making self-deprecating jokes when in front of others, and using negative self-talk when alone with their thoughts, not knowing how much this actually hurts their wellbeing.
This cycle may have been the norm for you, but it doesn’t have to be the case!
You can break free from negative self-talk and replace it with self-compassion.
- Affirmations and mirror work
Another daily ritual that shows self-kindness and boosts your confidence is reciting affirmations.
Saying what you like about yourself out loud may feel weird at first. But eventually, it comes easier and more natural to you, replacing your old patterns of self-hate and constant put-downs.
Daily affirmations help motivate you and encourage you to keep going. They help self-kindness become your new normal.
Reciting these affirmations in front of a mirror is called mirror work.
Mirror work is just like talking to someone, only this time, that “someone” is you.
You’re probably rolling your eyes over how cliche or woo-woo this sounds. But give it a chance and you’d be surprised how effective it truly is. There is a reason why people all over the world have adopted this self-love practice.
So how do you do mirror work?
First, sit or stand in front of the mirror and look yourself in the eye.Then compliment yourself as if you’re complimenting your best friend.
It’s normal to feel uncomfortable at first. Many of us are quick to praise others but find it difficult to do the same for ourselves.
But eventually, you will feel your inner resistance melting away, and mirror work will get easier each passing day.
Mirror work is an amazing practice to start if you’d like to become more comfortable in your own skin.
And the moment you can actually tell yourself, “I love you” in the mirror, you know you’ve reached a fundamental turning point in your self-love journey.
- Treating yourself
Treating yourself to some gifts every now and then is a great way to reward yourself for your achievements and hard work.
Remember: You need to be your own cheerleader and your biggest fan.
So find ways to celebrate your wins, big and small. Allow yourself to feel good about the things you’ve done, regardless of the results.
Of course, there needs to be a healthy balance between treating yourself and overindulging. But when you know you’ve earned it, why deprive yourself of the things you want?
Make it a habit to celebrate your wins and recognize the efforts you’ve poured into your goals. It will keep your love tank full and motivate you to keep going even after difficulties and failures.
- Self-love workout
Making time for a cardio workout is a healthy act of self-love.
You need to be sure though that you’re working out to feel good and not to punish yourself for eating six donuts in one sitting.
Working out is a great way to release stress. When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins. These chemicals help regulate your mood and trigger happy feelings.
If you’re not up for high-intensity training, you can opt for yoga instead.
Doing yoga helps keep your mind focused and allows you to discover gentle ways to love yourself and be comfortable in your own skin. With each stance and position you make, you prioritize self-love over pride.
You can do these amazing self-love workouts by yourself or with a friend! Having a companion or accountability partner may keep you from skipping your workouts or stopping them altogether.
11. Create a self-love spell jar to amplify your self-love routine.
How to practice or stick to your self-love exercises
Self-love exercises will give you a better understanding of who you are as a person and what you truly need in order to fully accept and embrace yourself.
These all look good on paper, right? So how do you accomplish the next step?
If you’re a busy person, you may find it difficult to squeeze in time and energy to do these self-love exercises.
We recommend that you start small. If you’re swamped with responsibilities, you can simply carve out as little as a five-minute me-time to do one of these exercises.
You can even reserve those five minutes before you go to bed. For example, meditating or journaling at night can help you clear and relax your mind and sleep more soundly.
You don’t need to do all these self-love exercises. Just pick one that brings you joy or piques your interest and won’t disrupt your daily schedule.
Once you get the ball rolling, gradually add more time for your self-love rituals. Maybe opt for 10 minutes this month, and add 30 next month? Or maybe you can find a way to carve out one hour for self-care?
Adding increments of time for self-love activities is a sustainable way for you to build self-love exercises into your day.
Self-love is essential to every human being. It’s important that we learn to value ourselves in order to have a fulfilling life.
Self-love isn’t in the same category as selfishness, remember that. Prioritizing yourself is not selfish. It’s about finally recognizing your worth, celebrating your gifts, and keeping your cup full so you can give without depleting yourself.
Everyone deserves to feel good about themselves and be happy.
True happiness comes from within. And you are the key to the blissful, meaningful life you’ve always dreamed of.
And the best thing about all this is that you don’t need an elaborate plan to achieve it. You only need to take one step each day.
So, which self-love practice are you starting today?