You are beautiful. You are magical. You have immense value.
All of the above statements are true, but do you not always feel that way? That’s okay! Self-love is always a work in progress but there ways that you can increase your love for yourself (and in turn increase the love that you send out to the world).
While I talk about how much I love gratitude journaling, you don’t have to journal to express gratitude. One way to express gratitude is to say thank you, to other people or to yourself. Thank a friend for how much they support you, thank your Uber driver for driving you somewhere, thank yourself for continuously improving.
Perform a Random Act of Kindness
Walk the mail over to your neighbor that was accidentally left in your box. Pay for someone’s coffee at Starbucks. Leave an extra tip when you dine out. The joy you give to others will come back to you.
Learn to Say No
Being able to say no and enforce your boundaries is key to showing yourself self-love. Think about the things that you are doing that you don’t really want to do. How are they benefiting you? If they’re not, what are some steps you can take to pull back?
Take a Walk in the Park
Being out in nature is a wonderful way to increase your self-love and reconnect to yourself. While you’re talking your walk, try sitting under a tree or in a grassy area. Feel the grass between your fingertips. Look up at the leaves in the trees.
Write Yourself a Love Letter
Think of yourself as you would think of a romantic partner and write yourself a love letter. Try and pinpoint different aspects of yourself that you love, mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Are you a busy woman but still want to make time for self-care? The Self-Care Toolkit Workbook may be for you! Click here to learn more.
Daily Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations have been so helpful to me in increasing my self-love, especially after a break-up. You can make your own affirmations or find online that resonate with how you want to love yourself more. Say your affirmations out loud to yourself every day or hang them up somewhere where you will see them every day.
Check in with Your Negative Thoughts
Is it true? Are you sure? How do you feel when you have this thought? Who would you be if you didn’t? What’s an opposite thought to replace the negative one?
Take a Nap
When you’re feeling tired, you’re not at your best and that can affect how you feel about yourself. I love taking naps in the middle of the day or when I’m feeling stressed or sad. I wake up with a clearer head and a more positive outlook.
When was the last time that you did something creative, like making music, writing poetry, or did some painting? Letting creative juices flow and making something that you can be proud of can increase your self-love.
Write Down What You’ve Learned from Past Mistakes
We’ve all made mistakes and we’ll all continue making them. That’s part of life. However, learning from your mistakes is what helps you move forward. Write down the mistakes that you feel that you’ve made AND what you’ve learned from that. See how much you’ve grown?
Listen to Music that Makes You Feel Powerful
I love listening to music when I’m feeling a bit down about myself. Music can be inspirational and help you to remember how much of an amazing person you are. Some of my favorite songs to listen to when I need to feel empowered are Conqueror by Estelle, Fight Song by Rachel Platten, and In My Dreams from the Anastasia soundtrack.
Related: Check out these amazing songs about self-acceptance!
Talk to Yourself Like You Would Talk to A Friend
If a friend made a mistake or was contemplating taking a new direction in their life, what would you say to them? Would you empower them and affirm that they can do anything that they set their minds to? Tell your “friend” that they are smart, capable, and going to smash their goals.
Make a List of Your Wins/Accomplishments
Even though it make not feel like it, you’ve already accomplished so much in your life. Write them all down. Nothing is too big or too small to include. Hang the list where you can see it to remind yourself of how much you’ve already done and give you motivation for what you can do in the future.
Do Something You’ve Never Done Before
One great way to increase your self-love and showing yourself that you can do something that you’ve never done before. It doesn’t have to be big or life changing, although it can be! One thing new thing that I did a few years ago was to go to the movies by myself. It showed me that I’m capable of enjoying a movie by myself and not feel like I’m weird for doing it. Now I go to the movies by myself all the time. It’s a great feeling!
Exercise (or move your body in a way that feels good)
Last one! While I’m not the biggest fan of exercise, I can absolutely testify that I feel better and like a boss after I’ve done some exercise. If you’re not a fan either, try mixing this with your playlist of empowering songs or do something else that helps you to move your body.
I hope these simple tips will help you increase your self-love. Try to practice one or two each day and then see how you feel in a week. If you’ve tried these out let me know how it went for you 🙂
Briana Hollis is a licensed social worker and self-care coach. She earned her Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 2014 and her Master of Education from Tiffin University in 2019. She has spent the last 5 years working in crisis intervention. Her passion for serving others is the heart of this site. She started Learning To Be Free to assist others in bringing freedom to their lives.
Briana is also the author of The Self-Care Journal for Young Adults.