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November 15, 2021 — 21:05 PM
I’ve long believed that self-love is a magical energy that can positively transform someone’s life. Changing your patterns, like increasing your self-love, doesn’t always have to be complex or time-consuming. Working with daily micro-shifts is powerful and can be a nice way to balance even deeper, more challenging work you might be doing with a counselor or other expert.
Try the following suggestions any time you want a greater dose of self-love in your day:
1. Get to know your inner critic.
We all have a little voice in our head that loves to point out our mistakes and shortcomings, judge us, and even shame us. Just being aware of this voice and recognizing when it’s active helps a lot. Your inner critic might remind you of someone, like a very critical guardian from your childhood or a hypercritical teacher or manager. Remember that your inner critic might just be trying to keep you safe through perfectionism. Instead of listening to your inner critic, dialogue with it. Ask your inner critic if it can give you helpful information in a more loving, balanced way. Or even poke fun at your inner critic by giving it a ridiculous name!
2. Pause throughout the day to support your physical body in meaningful ways.
Any time you take a few minutes during the day to pause and care for your body, you are reminding yourself how important you are, and that’s a very loving act! Whether it’s pausing to take your medication or supplements, make yourself a healthy snack, or step away from the screen to stretch, taking better care of yourself physically will actually make you value yourself more and encourage more healthy action steps. This is the opposite of a vicious circle…we could call it a self-care circle!
3. Let a loving mindset inspire your actions.
Set yourself up for success with a good night’s sleep.*
Working with first-person mantras, in the style of self-help legend Louise Hay, can help to reprogram your subconscious mind. That’s the inspiration for my annual page-a-day calendar, A Year of Self-Love, which offers a loving affirmation for each day and a quick action step to implement the affirmation in your life in a practical way.
Work with affirmations that are inspiring but also feel authentic. Sometimes the most powerful affirmations are the simplest, like, “I create loving relationships in my life,” or “I’m learning to be my own mother and nurture myself.”
4. Don’t minimize yourself for others.
It’s healthy to tease yourself or acknowledge your flawsome-ness in front of others—that’s self-acceptance, and it’s very loving. But don’t minimize your gifts and talents or beat yourself up in front of others just to make someone else feel more comfortable, validated, or inflated. You can love yourself, advocate for yourself, and have pride for all you’ve done and overcome while still meeting others with grace and humility. Modeling self-love for others is a wonderful gift to offer the world.
5. Teach other people how to treat you in a loving way.
We’re always teaching other people how to treat us by how we treat ourselves, which other people might subconsciously mirror. We also teach others how to treat us by the boundaries we set in our relationships. This might look like gently and lovingly calling out a good friend or partner when they are rude to you or dumping on you. Have great boundaries with yourself, as well. An affirmation for this might be, “I treat myself the same way I would treat a dear, treasured friend.”
6. Create space in your life.
Space helps you connect to your own energy and your own emotional experience. From this grounded, empowered place, you’ll make decisions—even small ones like whether you should stay in and rest or socialize—that are more loving, balanced, and authentic. Creating space might look like setting aside a little time, even 15 minutes each day, to journal, meditate, or pull an oracle card for yourself.