7 Ways To Practice Self-Care And Fall Crazy In Love With Yourself

“Falling in love” usually involves another person. Someone to snuggle with, shower with affection, and treat with serious respect. The idea of falling in love with ourselves–that’s usually hard to wrap our heads around. We think, “why the heck would I want to fall in love with me?”

The truth is, your relationship with yourself is the most important. Not in a selfish way, but in a healthy way. Too often, we look at who we are and pick ourselves apart.

“My waist isn’t thin enough.”
“I’m a failure for not making 6 figures.”
“Being single means I’m 100% undesirable.”

Holy inner mean girl!

It’s time to change all of this and start recognizing why you are awesome and worthy of your own approval and love. Developing a practice around this will not only make you feel amazing, but empower you to recover from low points in life with clarity and ease.

I’ve found that when I feel like crap, when my body has been the most sick and when I am bombarded with the most self-deprecating thoughts, the only thing to pull me up and out is drenching myself in self-love.

If you still feel confused or lost on where to start with your own self-love conversation, don’t worry; I’ve put together a list to help you get started.

1. Create a self-love ritual.

Turn off the TV and unplug from social media for 15 minutes to get centered while self-pampering. My favorite way to do this is to moisturize my skin with intention. As I massage my feet I thank them for getting me to where I need to go; as I moisturize my hands I love them for all the transactions and introductions they’ve helped me with throughout my life.

2. Build a precious community.

As much as we would like to think we can, we can’t do everything ourselves. You need the support and love from people around you to stay motivated and on track–something I like to call a Love Entourage. Positive energy is contagious, so whether you’re building a network or planning to go to a fun event, it’s always important to have a community you value around you regularly.

3. Know that your body is a loving vessel.

Treating your body like a loving vessel will not only boost your self-love, but also your energy. Be intentional about what you put into your body, not only because you want to look good but because you want to feel good. Feeding your body nutrient-rich foods will have you oozing love out of every pore.

4. Explore your spirituality.

Faith is the foundation for self-love, no matter what you believe. Believing in something opens up your soul to the beauty of belief and trust. It will build your intuition and help you make decisions based on your gut. When you explore your spirituality it will also take you on a journey to learning things about yourself and those new thoughts, feelings, passions, and raw emotions will make you appreciate yourself for being authentically you.

5. Do something you’re good at.

If this isn’t the ultimate self-esteem booster, I don’t know what is! Self-esteem and self-love often go hand in hand, and participating in a hobby you’re good at will not only boost your endorphins, but will bring out the best version of you. If you love to cook, then cook! If you love to run, then grab those sneakers, head outside and run for your life.

6. Find your happy place.

Think of a place that makes it simple to just be. That means being able to sit quietly and embrace the here and now. Not thinking about what’s due at work or what bills need to be paid, you owe this happy place to yourself. Self-love is all about connecting with yourself, and one of the easiest places to do that is your happy place.

7. Build your letting go muscle.

We’re constantly holding on to things in our past, and it can tend to weigh heavy on our souls and even give us low self-esteem. The more blocks we clear, the more we can really live big in the area of self-love. Although we may do this as a way to protect ourselves from hurting, it’s really only holding us back from moving forward to reaching optimal self-acceptance and loving who we are.

These 7 practices have literally saved me from countless downward spirals and I know they will do the same for you.

You Owe It To Yourself To Know What You Deserve

“Know your worth” — a statement that has almost turned into a catchphrase. It is such an easy phrase to throw around, but do we really know what it means or is it just a camouflage for all our insecurities?

You can read all the inspirational quotes, sing all the lyrics, and read all the books, but until you can tell the person who’s giving you less than what makes you happy to fuck off, you don’t even have a clue what you’re worth.

If you find yourself unable to do this, you need to take a good look at your inner self and figure out what you deserve. There is a hard difference between saying you know your worth, believing you’re worthy, and owning your worth. Until you can back the threats you make, you still have doubts. You still don’t believe you’re good enough for what you want. You still don’t think you deserve better than being mistreated and disrespected. Until you stop settling and clinging to bread crumbs to feel fed, you aren’t going to get what you want. Until you can stand up for yourself and own who you are, what you want, and what you need. You’re going to keep selling yourself short. Until you stop asking and waiting around for people to see your worth, you won’t be happy.

If you keep clinging to the person who has repeatedly let you down and failed to meet the bar of your standards, you’re going to keep simmering in the stew of frustration you’ve created. You’re going to keep clinging to every crumb of potential because you’re starving for gratification — a payout for your emotional investment.

You owe it to yourself to stop giving a shit what the outside world thinks you deserve; you owe it to yourself to harness every ounce of power you have to walk away from people who make you question and doubt what you deserve. You need to get to the point where you are so damn confident in who you are and what you want that anyone who doesn’t match that repulses you. You need to love yourself so much that others’ opinions don’t even shake you. You owe it to yourself to believe you deserve better, so don’t settle until someone comes along and matches your standards and expectations.

You aren’t asking too much; you’re asking the wrong person.

I’m Slowly Learning To Say Goodbye To Everything That Is No Longer Good For Me

There should not be a lot of room in life for storage. I have too much storage in my life, but that is all about to change. I have never been good at goodbyes. Holding on is what I’m better at. But this time, I’m slowly learning to say goodbye to everything that is no longer good for me.

I’m learning to say goodbye to the people in my life that don’t provide any type of quality on who I am as a person. I’m saying goodbye to the doubters, the naysayers, the selfish, the arrogant, the lazy and the deceitful. I’m saying goodbye to the ones that shattered my heart and didn’t look back to see where the pieces fell. I’m saying goodbye to the ones that planted poisonous doubts in my mind because they had leftover seeds from planting their own insecurities. I’m letting go of the ones who support negative competition, the holier-than-thou attitudes, and the ones who thrive on comparison. It’s time to say goodbye.

I’m learning to say goodbye to the negative perspectives I’ve held on to for way too long now. I’m letting go of the I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not from the right place or the right money or the right circumstances. My circumstances are as flexible as I am, and I’m ready to start stretching. I’m saying goodbye to the invisible anchors weighing me down because all I’ve ever needed to do was let go.

I’m learning to say goodbye to a comfortable lifestyle because it’s the one I’ve always known. I’m ready to say goodbye to the familiar and safe so that I can make room for the extraordinary and exhilarating. I’m learning to say goodbye to bad habits and limiting beliefs. I’m learning to say goodbye to everything and anything that is preventing me from living the life I want, which is the one I will only deserve upon actively pursuing it. I can’t actively pursue anything when my hands and heart are full of outdated crap.

I’m learning to say hello to a new way of life. A one in which I surrender to the worthwhile work of doing what it takes to love myself wholly. I’m learning to say hello to self-compassion in conjunction with the discipline it will take for me to achieve what I have always dreamed of. I’m learning to hold onto the right difficulties – the ones that make me grow instead of shrink. I’m ready to say hello to discomfort because I know it means that the old is being broken down to make room for the new to be built.

I’m learning to say goodbye to who I was, which is someone that held on to all the wrong things because I was scared. I’m so tired of being scared. Time is too expensive to spend it on that which isn’t serving me. It’s time for me to serve myself, which means saying goodbye to everything that is not truly and wholeheartedly me.

Stop Putting A Timeline On Life, Let Faith Guide The Way

What could I possibly know about love? What could I possibly know about life? Who am I to give any sort of advice when I still have an entire life of my own to live, mistakes to make, and lessons to learn?

We all have our own story; our own journey in finding love, happiness, and purpose in life. We all have a reason behind our “why” and how we envision our personal stories to unfold. But we all have one thing in common, without even realizing it, we put a timeline on everything. We put a timeline on finding love, finding our forever person. We put a timeline on finding true happiness and contentment. We put a timeline on grief and becoming a better human. We put a timeline on life, and we don’t even realize it. 

So, what could I possibly know about love? What could I possibly know about life? Who am I to give any sort of advice when I still have an entire life of my own to live, mistakes to make, and lessons to learn?

I know that love is overwhelming, exciting, and empowering. But, I also know that love can be confusing, challenging, and even painful or temporary. What I do know about love is that it can be learned from and shared with a million different things in this world; people, places, and passions, none of which have an expiration date. What I do know about love is although immense, it can be taken away from us so unexpectedly.

We know this, yet time after time we continue to put a timeline on love without having a little faith. We continue to put ourselves in a position to hurt and break in ways that could easily be healed if we opened our hearts to let faith guide the way.

Sometimes it’s the realization that two people who care so deeply for one another can somehow manage to be on two completely different paths in life. Sometimes it’s the end of an “almost-relationship”. Sometimes it’s something as simple as not being ready, and sometimes it’s the temporary love that hurts the most. But what we fail to realize every time our heart aches is that every love, whether temporary or forever, allows us to grow as a human in extraordinary ways. That in the end, we will be just fine. Because maybe, just maybe, God has a bigger plan for us; that each heartbreak or failure is something as simple as a stepping stone to becoming a better version of ourselves. Because maybe, just maybe, God knows of our personal timelines and monumental milestones, far better than we do ourselves. 

The same goes for life; we put timelines on milestones and beat ourselves up for not meeting our personal deadlines. If there is anything I have learned in my twenty-something years, it’s that nothing in life is promised. That’s what’s so tricky about it and probably why the majority of us always over-analyze and overthink everything we do; ultimately driving us to question everything that crosses our path.

What does this mean? Why is this happening? Why me? Why not me? What’s next?

It’s scary, not having a concrete road map of life to follow. But isn’t that what makes it so exciting? Isn’t that what makes life so much more worth living?

Think about it. Sit down and really, truly think about it.

We were brought into this world, not to hyper focus on one person or thing, but to live out a passionate and unbroken life; to re-write society’s norms and create a captivating story, one that God has given us the opportunity to make our own, unashamedly and unapologetically. To see the world, to share our stories with people who are hurting, to make a difference, to open our hearts to wanting more. The reality is, everything that happens in love and life happens unexpectedly. So, why do we keep putting timelines on either one? Because maybe, just maybe, God has a bigger plan for us; that when we feel lost or alone, it’s because through faith and time we learn our way around it. We learn to embrace every opportunity to share the love in our heart and our personal stories with the world around us. 

Because maybe, just maybe, having a little faith will guide us towards the milestones that are destined to be ours. Maybe, just maybe, having a little faith will ultimately be our saving grace, allowing us to find our way.

6 Difficult But Extremely Necessary Exercises In Self-Love

The truth is, we all want to better ourselves. The difference between some of us is how far along we are in that process. Are we denying the work we need to do? Are we actively pursuing a better life? Or have we merely accepted that this is as good as it’s going to get? At the end of the day, it all boils down to you. You have a lot more power to change your life and circumstances than you realize. It begins with a lot of internal work that isn’t always pretty, but is always worth it.

1. Take note of the things you are clinging to that you have outgrown.

This goes for more than clothing, although you could definitely start with cleaning out your closet. Ask yourself what you are keeping in your inner circle that is no longer contributing to your growth. This could be friends, a relationship, a bad habit, an addiction. Take note and then clean out your closet.

2. Listen to how you speak about the people around you.

Do you sound happy for them and supportive? Or do you sound jealous, judgmental and bitter? This is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself and where you are in your life. A great way to shift yourself in the right direction is to speak positively about who you are, who you want to become, and who you spend your time with. If you can’t do that, make some changes until you can do that.

3. Listen to how the people you spend time with speak about anything and everything.

Do they mock others’ successes? Do they constantly complain? Do they scoff when you or anyone else tries to make a change to better their lives? Or do they support you? Uplift you? Have their own goals that surpass monetary and social status? This can be a difficult decision to make, but you must be ruthless when it comes to your mental health and growth. If someone is hindering it in any way, wish them well and let them go.

4. Find one positive quality in every person you once felt affection for.

I know, this can be a tough one. This is so necessary though. It not only frees your mind and heart of guilt and anger, but also allows you to focus on what it is you want in your next relationship, or what it is you appreciate in the relationships you already have. You have to give to get, and you can’t get anything worthwhile if you’re constantly speaking ill about the people in your past. If it helps, instead of finding a specific quality, focus on everything that you have learned about yourself from these relationships (both good and bad).

5. Differentiate between what you actually want and what you are “supposed” to want.

Oftentimes, we convince ourselves of something that we want because it is what everyone else wants or what we are conditioned to want at a certain age. The truth is, if we want something, truly deeply want something, we won’t stop until we get it. We will put up with difficulties, detours, and investments of time and money. That’s an awful lot of effort to put into someone else’s opinion or a societal fabrication of what’s ideal, so make sure you are being true to your own goals.

6. Recognize the areas in your life you want improved. Let go of the guilt for that and get honest.

Stop feeling bad for wanting financial security. Wanting more money does not make you an evil shallow person. Stop feeling guilty for wanting a meaningful relationship or wanting to be single. It does not make you unlovable or difficult. Stop feeling bad for wanting to be healthier. It does not make you boring or lame to not want to go out drinking or pass on the junk food. The only thing you should feel bad about is neglecting yourself, starving yourself of love, and suppressing your true desires because of something someone else convinced you.

Listen, you rock. Honestly. You are worth the time and effort. Most importantly, you are worthy of loving and you will begin to feel that way when you successfully cut through all the other crap.

Now go clean out your closet.

To Myself: I’m Sorry For Not Loving You Enough

I’m really sorry I don’t love you enough, that I haven’t loved you enough.

You’ve been through so much. I know that. You’ve been hurt most of your life, and a lot of the time that hurt has overshadowed any love you’ve received. I’m sorry it’s gotten to you this way.

It’s just that hurt is one of the most ironic things, you know? No one wants to be hurt. It hurts to hurt. Whatever you are grieving the loss of- a lover, a friend, a version of yourself you never wanted to become- it’s draining. It starts out as an emotional wound and then becomes physical.

This is when you stop eating because if you even think about it, you want to throw up. Or you eat to cope, to deal with the stress of everything. This is when your heart actually feels in pain; it’s not just a fluke. You start getting migraines from crying so hard. Your body is so tired from simply living and it’s the saddest thing you could ever see.

So yeah, that hurt takes you over. It uses your emotions as an excuse to host itself inside of you, to grow, to consume your soul and turn it into something you don’t recognize.

But when that hurt is gone you almost miss it, like a phantom limb. Like the last real summer day, where the sun and moon can still sneak glances at each other in the same sky before one leaves and the other arrives.

It hurts to hurt, and yet, it also hurts not to.

But I want you to know that from now on I’m going to try harder, to be stronger. To stop finding faults, to protect you from hurting without hiding. To get better at being alone, because the company I really should be seeking right now is my own.

I hope one day you’re proud of me. I don’t want to let you down anymore. I love you, always.

I No Longer Have The Energy To Fight For Things

I no longer have the energy to fight for things. I no longer have the energy to hold on tightly and try to fix what’s broken. I no longer have the energy to mend what I didn’t break. I no longer have the energy to keep asking for what I want if my requests have been previously denied. I no longer have the energy to be calm around those who tick me off or be understanding with those who don’t consider my feelings. I no longer have the energy to be generous with selfish people or waste my time with someone who’s stingy with theirs.

I no longer have the energy to wait for people. I have learned that those who want something always find a way to do it. They don’t let anything get in the way but those who don’t will always find a way to delay it. I no longer have the energy to blame things on timing instead of people. I no longer have the energy to lie to myself.

I’ve always been a firm believer in fighting for the things you want and I still am but I’ve realized that there are a few exceptions. You can’t fight for things you’ve already fought for a thousand times before. You can’t fight for people who aren’t fighting for you. You can’t fight for things that are not yours. You can’t fight for things that keep getting blocked for some divine reason and you can’t fight for things that could destroy you. You can’t fight for things that you need to stay away from.

I no longer have the energy to spend my time fighting. Yes sometimes it’s necessary but that can’t be what my life is about because I’ve seen the other side of things, the things that kind of fall into your lap effortlessly and seamlessly without any fight. The things that kind of blend in perfectly with who you are and what you believe in. The timing that doesn’t get in the way. The circumstances that are perfectly aligned with yours. The people who don’t drive you crazy with mixed signals and confusing behavior. The things that just come into your life and bring you peace, joy and stability.

I’ve seen the other side and it’s much simpler over there. It feels safe. It feels good. Sometimes we get used to a difficult life and we think that we have to spend the rest of our lives fighting battles and trying to ‘win’ but other times we get tired of this life and we just gravitate towards a simpler one without any battles, without any losing or winning because things just make happen organically. Things flow smoothly when everyone is on the same page.

I no longer have the energy to fight for anyone but myself.

This Is Me Finally Choosing To Do What’s Best For My Mental Health

This is me recognizing you no longer fit into my life. Every relationship lasts for a season, a reason, and a lifetime. It’s time I accept our season of friendship has come to an end. I know you’re confused. I know you’re hurting. I know you will never understand my decision until you step into a place where healing begins and never ends.

This sacred place is where I am now. It’s called self-awareness, and I know you will get here when you’re ready, but I’m no longer letting you pull me back towards a version of me that no longer exists.

This is me accepting I outgrew you. Once I woke up to the power of choice, I wanted to keep choosing a life of peace, joy, and gratitude. I chose to move away from the victim mentality, a toxic trait that bound our friendship as we unconsciously enabled one another’s unworthiness.

This is me no longer projecting my unhealed wounds onto you while knowing you’ll never stop doing it to me. I broke out of an old belief system that held me back from wanting more for myself. Stepping into this new version of myself made you uncomfortable because I could no longer be a mirror giving you permission to stay where you are.

This is me no longer letting you define me by my traumas. I moved on towards a journey where I can let be who I used to be. I moved forward with forgiveness and compassion for my past self. Yet you keep reminding me of her, so I stay stuck with you. I am not my trauma, but I can acknowledge its existence pushed me to become who I am today.

This is me finally choosing to do what’s best for my mental health and let you go. We are both in different places. No one is to blame. No one is right. No one is wrong. It just is. To deny the growing space between us is to stay in a place of resentment, friction, and anticipation of constant disappointment.

It’s not fair for you to make me stay where you are when I am on a path of transformation. It’s not fair for me to pull you in this place of awakening when you’re not ready. What’s safe for both of us is to accept we no longer need each other for the places we’re at in our lives.

This is me creating permanent space between us. Friend breakups are never easy, but there will be peace in the void of where you used to be. I can no longer stay where I’m no longer celebrated. I can no longer stay in places I outgrew. I can no longer stay where I don’t feel safe to be a growing version of myself. I can no longer stay with you.

This is me choosing to love you from a distance. Our history will never be diminished. Our good memories will always remain. My love for you will never leave me, and I will always wish you well because we did need each other once upon a time, and I’ll always honor that.

I’ll always honor us. But the way I now move through life will continuously strengthen your desire to stay where you are, so I have no choice but to let you go for my mental peace and yours.

This Is The Ultimate Kind Of Love

This world can be such a volatile place if you aren’t sure about who you are or what you stand for. I know for me personally, I have spent a lot of time learning lessons the hard way. I realize that if I had just been a little smarter and more confident in myself and what I deserve, it wouldn’t have had to be that way. Don’t get me wrong, some things really need to be learned in a way that we don’t forget them and I realize that. But I cannot tell you the amount of times someone has warned me about something or someone and I went for it anyway. I had every intention of a different outcome but in the end, exactly what I was warned would happen, happened. It’s kind of like the moment your food is delivered to your table and the waiter tells you that your plate is hot. They can tell you a million times that the plate is hot but sometimes you just have to burn the shit out of your hand and learn the lesson for yourself.

The rule applies especially to romantic relationships. The pursuit of love is often put on a pedestal and seen as the ultimate goal when in reality falling in love with yourself and everything you offer is the ultimate love. When you go into a romantic venture unsure of who you are, you tend to base your self-worth on the opinions of those you want to love you. And at the end of the day, a person’s inability to appreciate you says nothing about you and the person you are or the body you have. It does, however, speak volumes on who they are.

In a lot of ways it boils down to the whole “we accept the treatment we think we deserve” idea. And it’s truer than you realize. When we know our self-worth, we have higher standards for the way we allow people to treat us. This inevitably results in us setting healthy boundaries and living happier lives. When people or situations continuously bring you down or make you feel like anything less than the deserving individual you are, let them go. You are worthy of everything that you dream of having and more. Accepting treatment that is less than what you deserve just postpones you from finding the amazing things that are awaiting you.

Realizing I’ve wasted so much of my precious time and energy prioritizing things that added absolutely no value to my life was a hard pill to swallow. I was giving people power that they sure as hell didn’t deserve. I was allowing others to control how I felt about myself. I had spent my whole life up until a particular moment trying to impress others when really I should have been working on impressing myself. If there is one thing that’s not going to change, it’s that everyone is going to have an opinion about you or how you choose to live your life. This is inevitable. However, the sooner you learn to stick up for yourself and what you love, the sooner you won’t care about other people’s opinions because you will be too busy enjoying your life. Once you find happiness within yourself; nobody can take it away from you because it’s yours and depends on nobody else.

You’re Not Supposed To Have Every Answer, So Stop Trying To Race To The Finish Line

You are not supposed to know everything right now.

You are not supposed to have every goal achieved and every decision made as quickly as you can.

You are not meant to race to the finish line of your life.

There is a pace to life that we have to honor. We cannot cut to the end of the story, we cannot demand it all at once, and we should not stress that we have not hit every milestone as early as possible.

There is a pace to life, and when we begin to see that there is a unique timing for everything, we begin to trust it more than we doubt it.

Sometimes, things don’t happen the moment we want them to because we are just not ready yet.

Sometimes, we have to learn how to handle little bits of success, so we are ready when they become massive. Sometimes, we have to learn to be okay by ourselves first, so we don’t ruin a relationship with unhealthy attachment. Sometimes, we have to learn to handle little criticisms here and there, so we’re ready when life takes off and people are really watching.

Sometimes, we just have more growing to do than we realize, and life always honors that — even if it lets you down in the moment. Just because you aren’t going as quickly as you thought does not mean you aren’t on your way.

There is no virtue to peaking too young. There is no real ambition that should culminate immediately after you’ve conceived of it. The real work is a lifelong commitment to excellence and the pursuit of a strong foundation, and a thriving soul.

You do not need to know everything that is in front of you yet.

When you set out on a road trip at night, you don’t expect your headlights to shine all the way through the darkness, miles and miles ahead of you, straight to your destination. All you can see is what is directly ahead of you, and that’s all you need to see. If you keep taking the next right step, you will arrive.

This is true even if you run into a roadblock along the way. You wouldn’t turn your car around because you couldn’t pass. You’d find another road. The same is true of your life journey.

Right now, you don’t feel lost because you actually have no idea where your life is going. You feel lost because you’re in transition. You have planted, or maybe sprouted, but not yet bloomed.

But you do not expect a bud to bloom on command. You bury its seed deeply, water it and give it light — and then you let it do what it was created to do, in its own time.

You are the exact same way.

Keep stepping forward. Take one right step, and then the next one. You do not have to have all the answers, you do not need to be your most perfect self right at this exact moment in time.

Sometimes, the growth process brings us somewhere unexpected, better than we conceived of originally. Sometimes, it delivers us right where we always wanted to be, as the people who are ready to step into the life we’ve been getting ready for.

The path is the process.

Trust it.