When I was younger I was too skinny, too flat, too awkward, too shy, too frumpy and way too unfashionable. No matter what I tried to do, it was never enough. I was never enough. At least, that is what my inner dialog too often told me.
I now understand that much of the negative inner dialog I suffered from was because I bought into lies. We are all being bombarded constantly with lies or false ideals about who we should be and what we should look like. And if we aren’t careful, it is easy to start believing these lies.
Truly loving ourselves is more than just thinking nice things about ourselves. It is about action. When we love ourselves, we take care of ourselves and we nurture ourselves, while at the same time nurturing truths about ourselves.
Need some inspiration on how to love yourself, especially when you don’t feel lovable? Check out these 25 ways you can love yourself this year, and see if there is something that resonates with you.
Even for just 5 minutes.
This is a major part of meditation, grounding and daily shielding. When life gets you down, PRAY.
3. Read holy scripture
Nothing like the Word of God to nourish the soul. Personally, I LOVE Psalms, Proverbs and the Gospels.
4. Choose to not give in to ANY negative dialog
Words have power. Make sure you are watching both your internal dialog and the words you vocalize.
5. Say positive affirmations out loud
This helps you retrain your mind by reaffirming truth.
6. Drink water
Even better is a tall soothing glass of water with fresh lemon in it.
7. Read a book
Books not only improve your intellect but also increase your creativity, empathy and imagination. For those who aren’t big readers, try listening to an audio book.
8. Take a rejuvenating shower or bath
If you choose to go with a bath, try adding bubbles, Epsom salts or essential oils.
9. Eat something healthy
You know that carrot or apple hiding in your fridge? Yeah, go eat that. Trust me: your body will thank you for it.
10. Give in to a nice, hearty laugh
There are a ton of studies on how laughing does amazing things for your health.
11. Create a vision
Create a vision board, write down/record your ideal life vision or set inspiring goals. This will give you clarity and purpose for your life.
12. Tell your loved ones you love them
Bonus points if you can do so in their love languages so they really get the message. But if all else fails, use those 3 simple words at least. We all need to hear them on occasion.
13. Go for a relaxing walk
Fresh air, nature and exercise … a killer combo for relaxation.
My father always said no look is complete without a smile.
15. Enjoy a friends’ night out
We all need time to get away and relax with friends.
16. Go on a real date with your special someone
This is especially important after you are married and have kids.
17. Serve someone else
Service helps you forget yourself and produces a high that cannot be obtained any other way.
Engage in an intense cardio workout or weight training, even if only for 20 min. Working out slows your aging, improves your standard of living and releases endorphins that help you be happy. (Way better than any drug.)
19. Indulge in a personal hobby
Cooking, writing, crafting and looking through Pinterest are just a few of my personal hobbies I find joy in.
We all need to get in touch with our inner child regularly to stay young.
21. Forgive someone who as wronged or hurt you
When we refuse to forgive others, we really just hurt ourselves. When we forgive and let go, it’s amazing the peace, confidence and joy we allow into our lives.
22. Pamper yourself
Try a new hairdo, or indulge in a facial, pedicure or manicure. Try out a new scent. Explore new looks for fun. (Men, you can pamper yourselves too.)
23. Contact a friend you have lost touch with
I would encourage calling on the phone for that personal connection; but text, email and instant messaging work as well. The key is reaching out to nourish old friendships.
24. Create a bucket list and start checking off items
We all have a bucket list of things we want to do while still alive. It is time to stop dreaming and start living.
25. Listen to your favorite music
Music has the power to bring peace, joy, energy, courage, inspiration and more.
“It’s NOT selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make happiness a priority. It’s necessary” —Unknown
Once you start down the road of taking the time this year to care for, nurture and truly start loving yourself, make sure you don’t listen to those lies that would tell you that you are being selfish or vain. You are not. You are being wise. You are learning to love so you can give love to others.
As women, we are called on to love and nurture others on a daily basis. However, the truth is we can only give what we have. As we love ourselves, our ability to love others increases. So if loving yourself for your own sake isn’t motivation enough for you, then try loving yourself for the sake of others.
Did I leave anything off my list you think should be there? What do you do to love your AMAZING self?
This article was originally published on TheQuietGrove.com. It has been republished here with permission.