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  • Practicing Self-Love

    Whether you are single, coupled, or partnered, the month of February is a perfect time to slow down and think about how to practice self-love.  But, what exactly is self-love and how can it fit within your the framework of our lives?

    Many of us are challenged with the task of managing myriad responsibilities.  We need to show up physically, mentally and emotionally for our families, kids, coworkers, friends, lovers and even our pets. In my role as a helping professional, I too have fallen into the trap of making sure everyone else is okay and equipped to take care of themselves while leaving myself last on what can be a very long line.  

    Sure, sometimes we might realize we need to show up for ourselves and that’s when we may give ourselves a brief moment to to look after our needs, but the truth is that self love is not a one-time only practice. Showing up for yourself requires as much forethought, time and energy as we often put into other aspects of life. Unless we learn to show up for ourselves consistently and compassionately, we run the risk of becoming physically and emotionally depleted.

    Why Self-Love?

    You are at the center of your story. Your physical and emotional wellness impacts the wellness of those that you care and provide for. Your wellness matters to your work and those that rely on you to get things done. Your wellness needs to be YOUR priority because as much as those around you will love and value you, only you can make decisions on a daily basis that are uniquely designed to give you exactly what you need. Recognizing those needs and making consistent, intentional, and dedicated efforts to honor those needs: that is the practice of self-love.

    Self-Love as Habit

    How can you fit that practice into the framework of your life?  Start by asking yourself the following questions routinely during your week:

    • What do you need to do for yourself to feel whole today?
    • What do you need to do this morning and this evening to honor yourself?
    • What do you need to forgive yourself for today so that compassion can live through you?
    • What has your body and your mind done for you today and how can you thank them?
    • What can you do to cultivate your own well-being?

    The answers to these questions may change over time but the act of asking, reflecting and responding to these questions will allow the practice of self-love to become habitual.  Self-love is that important because you are that important.

    Get Started Today  

    When was the last time you thought about doing something just for you?  Something to congratulate yourself on just being you?  Below are 30 things you can do today to put your on the pathway of showing yourself gratitude, care, compassion and kindness.

    1. Write a love letter to yourself
    2. Leave a chocolate on your pillow
    3. Post your favorite picture on your wall
    4. Eat your favorite meal
    5. Take yourself to a movie
    6. Send a card to yourself
    7. Tell your reflection how you feel about yourself
    8. Treat yourself to a date night
    9. Ask a friend to list your most positive qualities
    10. Smile at your own reflection
    11. Sing your favorite song (out loud!)
    12. Make yourself laugh
    13. Get a massage
    14. Schedule a counseling session for yourself
    15. Cozy up with your favorite book
    16. Get intimate with yourself
    17. Buy a new journal
    18. Treat yourself to something off your “wish list”
    19. Make a list of things you love about yourself
    20. Pamper yourself
    21. Take a day off
    22. Take a bubble bath
    23. Cook your favorite meal
    24. Plan a trip
    25. Call the people that love you
    26. Buy yourself flowers
    27. Put something up in your home that makes you feel good
    28. Forgive yourself for something in the past
    29. Let yourself sleep in
    30. Do something that lets your body know that you appreciate all that it does for you


    © Copyright 2017 All rights reserved.  Contributed by Deanna Richards, LMHC