Self-love is a major buzzword nowadays.
…But how do we actually put it into practice?
To me, it’s about turning towards ourselves – offering ourselves a lil’ kindness and compassion.
I won’t lie, this is hard.
Especially in a world which (let’s face it) profits from our insecurities.
The powers-that-be want us to not feel good enough… so that we’ll keep buying stuff to ‘fix’ what’s ‘wrong’ with us.
The way to fight back?
So if you’re feelin’ rebellious (like me, always), here are my top 7 most powerful – and tangible – ways to cultivate deep self-love.
1. Self-love ritual
My favourite ritual is one I offer in almost every group course or workshop, and I practice it every single day.
You can perform this ritual by journalling (my personal preference) but you can also do it through meditation.
Here’s the simple 3-step process:
- Clear – let go of anything which no longer serves you
- Celebrate – consciously turn your awareness to how awesome you are
- Call in – tap into your desires and decide what you’re ready to bring into fruition
Yes it’s simple, but it’s powerful. Feel free to make this your own in whatever way feels magical or beautiful to you.
2. Mirror work
When you catch sight of yourself in a mirror, what happens? Do you tend to focus on the flaws or what doesn’t look ‘right’? If so, you’re sure as hell not alone.
A beautiful way to practice self-love is to tell yourself (in your head or out loud) that you love yourself, every time you look in the mirror.
Especially if you’re naked.
This can feel super challenging at first; so stay kind to yourself.
Over time, it’ll become a habit – you’ll start sending love to yourself before launching into self-criticism.
3. Self-love meditation
Meditation – particularly yoga nidra (yogic sleep) – is a super powerful way to interact with your highest self. Who loves you, btw.
My favourite practice involves focusing on each area of the body and sending love to each part.
This is particularly healing when working with parts of the body we might have rejected (e.g. our belly, thighs, or stretch marks).
We make the whole of ourselves welcome by showering our body with love.
Just as it is.
If you prefer listening to guided meditations, check out my self-love yoga nidra meditation below!
4. Hype file
I have a ‘hype file’ I keep for business; a list of testimonials, reviews, and kind words I’ve received from students and clients.
One day I was reading through it and feelin’ soooo good about myself that I thought, ‘I need to make a hype file for my life!’.
- To do this, create a list of:
- Things you like about yourself
- What you’ve accomplished
- Anything you’re proud of
- Your unique gifts and abilities
- How awesome you are
Add to it whenever you’re feeling great – and review it whenever self-doubt creeps in.
5. Bye file
Equally as important as the ‘hype file’ is the ‘bye file’.
This is a list of what’s not working for you in your life, and what you’re committing to letting go of.
This is a radical act of self-love because you’re recognising that your happiness and well-being is a priority.
To do this, create a list of things which drain your energy.
Commit to systematically releasing them from your life (and take 1 small action towards making this happen!)
6. Self-love date
Take yourself on a date.
I’m serious. Why should date night treats be reserved for couples?
Whether you’re single or in a relationship, take yourself out or treat yourself to a night in, and do whatever you want to do.
I do this for myself at least once per week – for example this week I:
- Ordered my fave vegan sushi, kombucha, and dessert
- Took a long-ass bath with my fave bath salts
- Watched a movie I’d been dying to watch for ages BY MYSELF
(My options are limited, given that we’re currently in a global pandemic).
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – it just has to be for you.
7. Practice pleasure
Practicing pleasure tells your brain that you deserve to feel good.
Which you do!
This could be as simple as listening to your favourite music while you work, buying yourself flowers because you like the smell, or maybe even just taking a big, long, deep breath once every hour.
There’s no ‘right’ way to do pleasure.
All that’s required is to tune in to what would make you feel even 1% better, and giving yourself that gift.