It is often that women find themselves reminded of the notion that love from another is key in helping them feel fulfilled or validated. How much of the fashion and beauty industries put millions of dollars into marketing campaigns aimed at women with the goal of looking good to gain someone’s affection? Even when there are plenty of reminders out there that love comes from non-romantic relationships like friends, parents or siblings, there’s one person we sometimes don’t look to for that same feeling of admiration and acceptance: ourselves.
Robert Morley said, “To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.” There is so much to be said for practicing self-love! When we take time to remind ourselves how unique we are and the things we like about ourselves, it’s empowering. Showing yourself, kindness, grace and appreciation can make you an even better friend, partner, teammate, and spouse.
What if you challenged yourself to fall in love with you?! I’m not talking about sending yourself a Hallmark card or one of those heart-shaped boxes of assorted chocolates, but spending a little time reminding yourself how awesome and one-of-a-kind you are.
Here are a few fun ways you can practice a little self-love.
#1 Check in and take note of where you are
Life has a way of moving so fast that we can’t remember the last time we took a breath and took inventory of where we were in the grand scheme of things. Take some time to check in with yourself to see how you’re doing and what your current needs are. Maybe you’ve been running around with the kids non-stop the last few weeks and could use some alone time? Push yourself to ask for help from your spouse or parent to watch the little ones for a few hours so you can get that time in. Perhaps your job has you committed to some extra late nights lately and you’re missing the outdoors? Make time to eat lunch outside and give yourself that sunshine you’re craving.
#2 Take yourself on a date
Who says you have to wait for Mr. Right to check out that new spot downtown you’ve been wanting to try? That’s right – no one.A delicious meal and a glass of wine may be calling your name or maybe a sweet treat from your favorite local bakery and a good book? Think of the kind of date you’re in the mood for and treat yourself to it. Sometimes having a little “you” time is just as important as sharing a date for two. Make it a priority and set some time aside to take yourself out. You deserve it!
#3 Host a girls’ night
Part of loving ourselves is surrounding ourselves with people that make us feel supported. Having your favorite women around you is a great way to remind yourself how lucky you are to be you. Get some friends together for a Girls’ night and celebrate one other. You can indulge in some of your favorite foods and even do a fun empowerment activity. (It may sound cheesy but remember, sometimes cheesy is just what you need!) A fun idea is to have everyone bring a favorite photo of themselves, tape it to a piece of paper and pass it around for everyone to write words that describe that person. At the end, everyone gets their paper back and gets to read all the wonderful things friends wrote.
#4 Treat yourself to something special
While shopping may be a popular pastime among many women, it’s rare that a purchase is made for the sheer purpose of bringing joy to yourself without any guilt involved. Head to your favorite shop and look around for something special. A month-long vacation to Bali may sound like exactly what you deserve, but just make sure you choose something within your budget! (You will love yourself a whole lot more later.)
#5 Write yourself a love letter
OK, so you’re not William Shakespeare or Emily Dickinson. It doesn’t mean you don’t have something to say and maybe there’s something you need to hear that only you can put into words. Put aside a moment or two to write yourself a letter with reminders of the things you like about yourself and are proud of. Take time to reflect on challenges you’ve overcome, growth you’ve experienced, goals you’re looking forward to working toward and things that make you, you! Read it right away or save it for a rainy day where those words might mean even more.