16 First Steps To Love Yourself

Have you ever felt like there was nothing you could do right… and even if there was something nobody would notice anyway?  I’ve been there.

There have been times that I have felt like I’ve made so many mistakes that I am suffocating under their burden.  I used to (and sometimes still catch myself) try to hustle for my worthiness. If I do this amazing shiny thing then somebody will love me.

The problem with hustling is that you have to keep it up.  Keep performing for the applause of everyone else.  Outside applause only fills you up for a little while before you have to seek out more.

This is why I am choosing to practice loving myself.

I say practice because loving yourself is a skill.  It requires exercise and training.

Like any relationship, the one you have with yourself needs you to put in effort.  Here’s the lazy genius part of loving yourself though; as you develop your self love muscles, loving others becomes easier.

Here are some small first steps that have worked for me to start and strengthen my practice of loving myself:

Note: I am not a mental health professional so if you are having symptoms of depression or thoughts of self harm please seek out the help of a professional  Crisis Centre of B.C. Canadian Association For Suicide Prevention 

So Simple You Don't Even Have To Get Outta Bed
  1. Whisper “I love you (insert your name here)
  2. Take a deep nourishing breath.  Then take another.
  3. Smile for 20 seconds.
  4. Hold your own hand.
  5. Close your eyes for 1 minute and ask yourself what do I need right now to feel happy?

A Little More Effort... But You Don't have to Leave the House
  1. Drink a glass of water
  2. Floss and brush your teeth
  3. Get dressed
  4. Look in the mirror and give yourself a little wink and a smile
  5. Stretch your arms as high as you can and be grateful for your reach

Upping Your Game With A Little More Oompf
  1. Meditate for 10 minutes ( May I recommend the smile meditation by Tara Brach?)
  2. Write yourself a love note
  3. Put on a feel good song and just sit and listen (My go to is Best Day Ever by Sly and the Family Stallone)
  4. Go outside and find something beautiful to look at
  5. Spend some time doing something that brings you joy. (If you only have 20 minutes, pick up a favorite book and read for 20 minutes, or crochet a row of a project, sketch…)

Kick Some Self Love Ass
  1. Take your eyes off yourself and do something to help someone else

Pick one or two of these things.  Do it once… and then repeat. Again and again and again. Build up your self love muscles.  Train your brain to release feel good chemicals when you are kind to yourself.

When you love yourself that love spills out of you onto the people around you.  It helps you be kinder, more generous, and more compassionate.

The whole thing snowballs until it is too big for you to ever stop, and goodness why would you want to?  A self love world kindness avalanche!  And it all starts with one tiny first step.

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