If you’re wondering on how to love yourself first and end up reading our guide, welcome! Let go of those shameful feelings as you’re not alone in this journey.
Self-love is often considered as a luxury more than a necessity. Most people assume that it’s all about #selfcare and indulging yourself in high-end spas. Some people also think that loving yourself first is selfish, as we’re conditioned to think that sacrificing our own needs for others equates to true love– that’s not necessarily the case.
We should all consider self-love as a necessity. It’s something that we should strive for as it makes us better and healthier. Also, loving yourself doesn’t require tons of cash and luxury self-care kits. The key is to change your mindset as well as your actions.
Now you’re probably wondering—what should you do to love yourself first? Are there products that you should get? People you should be talking to? Books you should be reading? Will a warm bath with fragrant bath salts work?
Don’t worry as we’re going to talk about that. We will be sharing with you the 18 ways you can love and accept yourself. But before we dive in the self-love tips, let’s have a refresher first on what is self-love as well the benefits of practicing it.
What is Self-Love?
When people think of self-love, they think it’s all about being narcissistic or having a big ego. Self-love doesn’t work like that.
Self-love means prioritizing your own wellbeing and happiness. It’s taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing it just to please other people. When you love yourself first, you don’t think that you’re the best. You think that you’re only human with strengths and weaknesses— that you need a kind and respectful treatment.
5 Profound Benefits of Loving Yourself
Having a loving relationship with yourself is a key component not just to cultivate meaningful relationships with others, but also to improve your overall wellbeing. Here are some of the benefits that you can get when practicing self-love.
You get to fully know yourself and become a better person.
Part of loving yourself is having a clear picture of your character. You become aware of your own passions, strengths, weakness, and vulnerability. Once you’ve figured out who you truly are, you become better in reacting to certain situations. When you react better to certain situations, conflicts will be lessened and this will help you build more meaningful connections with your loved ones.
It increases your productivity.
When you don’t love yourself, you tend to beat yourself up with every mistake that you do at work and in your personal projects. This then makes you less motivated to work– you feel you’re not good enough anyway so you would rather procrastinate.
On the other hand, if you love and appreciate yourself, you see every mistake as a learning opportunity. Since you’re removing painful and self-defeating emotions in your system, you get to embrace the challenge and move forward. It also allows you to maintain your peace of mind, retaining your energy.
You’ll have better physical and mental health.
Loving oneself motivates you not just to become more productive, but to become healthier too.
As you go through the journey of loving yourself, you’ll become more loving to your body and not just in an I’m-so-beautiful kind of way. You love it in a way that you’ll do anything to keep it protected and healthy—you give your body a sufficient amount of water, food, exercise, and sleep. You also steer away from vices and unhealthy coping mechanisms because you know it wouldn’t be good for you.
Aside from maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you’ll also end up strengthening your mental health too. Once you love yourself, you become more forgiving with your mistakes and become more accepting of your flaws. As you lessen the negative perceptions that you have with yourself, you’ll be able to deal with problems and failures more healthily, preventing you from various mental illnesses.
You’ll be better at dealing with adversity.
As you love yourself first, you become stronger when adversity comes. You become less stressed when a problem arises as you’re not filling your mind with negative thoughts. Since you’re no longer busy berating yourself, you’ll have a clearer mind, making you solve problems a lot faster.
You’ll learn how to truly love someone else.
As the iconic drag queen RuPaul said: “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?” This quote sums up why loving yourself is essential when having a relationship– either with a lover, friend, or family member.
If you don’t appreciate yourself, you may end up projecting your insecurities in the relationship. Instead of being a reassuring and supportive partner, you could end up being an overbearing one.
You could go on the other end of the spectrum, where you’re basically a doormat. You let your partner physically and emotionally hurt you because you think the relationship is a solid affirmation to your worth. You’re afraid to let go of the relationship because you think it will make you invaluable.
That’s why loving yourself is a must. If you know that you’re good enough, you become an independent character in the relationship and set standards for yourself. You’re also going to be a better partner as you become more confident and trusting in the relationship.
18 Powerful Tips on How to Love Yourself First
Practicing self-love is a lifelong process. It takes time, energy, commitment, and willpower to change the way you perceive yourself. Now, to help you get through this life-changing journey, here are 18 powerful ways to love yourself first.
Life is unfair– no matter how you worked hard for something, you won’t always get what you want. No, you won’t always be exactly where you want to be, and that can be frustrating.
It’s normal to feel disappointed when things don’t go as planned, but remember this: there are tons of people that would want to be in your spot.
We’re not saying that the pain you’re feeling is invalid—we’re just reminding you to practice gratitude at all times, even when things get tough. Just the fact that you’re alive and well is already enough reason to be thankful.
Remind yourself that you’re only human.
We live in a time where people often showcase themselves in perfectly curated social media feeds. With that, it can be tempting to strive for perfection. We want to have the fittest bodies, the most lucrative job, and the perfect partners. We often hide away our dark sides and strive to have a squeaky-clean image.
Though there’s nothing wrong with trying to be the best version of yourself, putting yourself in immense pressure just to be perfect can do more harm than good. If you strive for certain ideals, you start to hate yourself whenever you make mistakes or you discover certain flaws.
On the other hand, if you start thinking that you’re only human and that you’re bound to make mistakes, you become more compassionate with yourself. When adversity arises, you become less stressed as you know that the problem isn’t going to devalue you in any way.
Without the pressure to perfection, you become more focused on dealing with the problem, thus solving it in no time.
Be honest with yourself.
Part of loving yourself is to become honest with your character and feelings. Just like what we’ve stated above, you’re only human with flaws. If you want to fully love yourself, you need to embrace your unfavorable side too. You need to assess yourself and see if you’re lazy, snarky, boastful, clumsy, bossy, impatient, and etc.
Once you’ve realized and accepted your dark side, you’re not just going to love yourself more, but you’re also going to be a better person. If you’re aware of the unfavorable sides to your character, you’ll become aware of the things that you need to improve to lessen it.
Aside from your character, you also need to be honest when it comes to your feelings. Life isn’t going to be sunshine and rainbows all the time. If you’re frustrated about something, go ahead and cry it out. Being honest with yourself is another crucial point towards self-love, so don’t forget this step.
Face your negative thoughts.
Another crucial step when you love yourself is by facing your negative thoughts. As we’ve mentioned above, you need to be honest with yourself, and facing these thoughts is another way to do it.
This tip may take some time as you’re going to dive into your past. To uncover the truth behind your negative thoughts, you need to dive into your past. Are there people in your life who have been undermining your abilities? Are there events in your life that made you think that you’re not good looking enough? Asking yourself these questions may be tough, but it’s also the questions you need to ask you to face these negative thoughts.
Once you’ve uncovered the stories behind the negative thoughts that have been looming on your mind, you become more compassionate with yourself. You become more aware of the troubling scenarios that you’ve faced in your life. Along with compassion, you can also get some clarity as to why you’ve been thinking that way. This will then serve as a guide as you move towards healing, whether by yourself or a trusted therapist.
Be your own best friend.
Think about your best friends. Recall the way you talked to them. Remember how you forgave them when they made mistakes. Reminisce the times when you helped them in certain situations.
Now think of your inner voice—the voice that talks to your mind. How does that inner voice talk to you? Is it meaner? More serious? Is it insulting when you get into unfavorable situations? Does that voice blame you for all your mishaps?
If this is the way your inner voice talks to you, it’s time to stop. You should treat yourself the way you treat your best friends. You’re probably hanging with your friends all the time, but you’re with yourself 24/7. Besides, people come and go. The friends you’re seeing right now may not be with you in the next few years, but the love for yourself will always remain with you, so don’t hesitate to nurture it.
Focus on your story.
This step can be difficult, considering our modern culture. We’re always on our phones, checking out the well-curated social media feeds of our friends.
In just a few taps, you found out that your former workmate just got engaged. You also discovered that your high school’s former prom queen just started vlogging. On the other hand, your cousins are going to Japan. Then there you are busy liking and reacting to other people’s stories, that you forgot to focus on yours.
The story you should be monitoring the most is yours. Though there’s nothing wrong with getting updated with your loved ones, you should take some time to nurture your growth too. Checking everyone’s profiles can also make you compare them to your life, which can hinder your love-yourself journey.
With that, start lessening the time you’re using social media. Focus on your personal projects and hobbies. If you want to get some updates, ask your friends or relatives to hangout. Also, if you ever find yourself comparing your life to someone else’s, remember that social media profiles just -highlight reels—it’s not a reflection of one’s reality.
Don’t focus on winning the approval of others.
One of the things that hinder you from fully loving yourself is the perception that everyone should like you. We’re led to believe that kindness equates to likeability, so you basically do everything just to get their approval. You may end up trying the new trends and activities that don’t go along with your values. Even though you’re not fond of trying those things, you still go along with it since you don’t know how to say no.
Here’s the thing, you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. Not everyone will like you and that’s okay. Saying no to favors isn’t a sign of selfishness, you’re simply valuing your time. Remember, this is your life. It’s up to you on how you should live it.
Steer away from the people who bring you down.
Your life in this world is precious—why would you keep sharing it with people who don’t care about you? Hanging out with people who disrespect you would just cause more problems to your overall wellbeing. If you want to fully love yourself, you need to distance yourself to “friends” who are bringing you down and focus on the ones that respect, motivate, and inspire you.
Change the things that you know you need to improve.
As you go through the journey of self-love, you start seeing the areas in your life that need improvement. Use this self-awareness as a guide on changing the things that you want to improve. If you feel like you can do better with your skills, take some time to improve your craft instead of just sulking around.
Don’t take everything personally.
As you learn how to love yourself more, you will also learn to not take things personally.
When people treat you like crap, it’s not because they’re superior to you. You shouldn’t spend your life seeking their approval or wondering why they’re treating you that way. Most people who mistreat people are simply insecure, fearful, and in pain. Most of the time, they’re just projecting the way they treat themselves. Also, don’t even think of “fixing” them. You’re not their therapist.
If you received disapproving remarks from someone, simply steer away. Don’t waste your energy into thinking about their behavior but rather focus on ways you could love yourself more and the people that actually matter.
Know and use your strengths.
As you’ve opened your heart and mind to self-love, you’ve become more aware of your identity, one of which is your strengths. Once you’ve learned these strengths, take some time to develop it, and use it for the greater good. Acknowledging your best characteristics is also good for your self-esteem as you improve the way you perceive yourself.
Strive for lifelong learning.
As people go through adulthood, they’re often afraid to learn new ideas and concepts. This happens because they’re afraid of being judged or they feel like they couldn’t handle learning new things.
But here’s the thing, learning, just like self-love, is a lifelong process. If you’re interested in taking a class or joining in seminars, then just do it. Aside from learning something new, you’ll surely be going to have a fun time connecting with new people that have similar interests.
Believe in your abilities.
As you go through the process of self-love, you might realize your abilities aka the things that you’re good at. Once you’ve realized those things, you should believe in it. If you don’t believe in your abilities, you will have less motivation to get things done. You might find yourself sulking over minor mistakes instead of finishing the whole thing.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
But along with believing in your abilities, you should be able to determine your weaknesses too. Once you’re aware of the things that you have difficulty in doing so, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Again, part of self-love is the perception that all of us are simply humans. Once you’ve embraced the fact that you’re not good at everything and that getting help is something normal to do, you’ll be able to finish your projects and achieve your goals in no time.
Don’t forget self-care.
Hustle culture has perpetuated this perception that people should strive to work all the time to be successful. Countless respective figures in the industry have been telling their stories, saying that they’ve worked these n hours per week and this has made them successful in their ventures.
Though there’s nothing wrong with investing extra time on our goals, this made us become terribly disconnected from our bodies, minds, and souls. We give all our energy to our goals, projects, and relationships, but never try to take some in.
With that, we’re here to tell you that it’s okay to take a break. It’s okay to recharge. Spend each day exploring your physical and mental wellbeing. Check if your body’ hurting and be connected with your thoughts.
Once you’ve figured the issues, choose the self-care method that will work best for you. Now should you think that self-care is expensive, don’t fret. You don’t need expensive trips to the spa or have those luxurious kits when caring for yourself, a simple warm bath, nutritious meal, or even a movie marathon will do.
Don’t hesitate to appreciate yourself! You’re spectacular in your own way and the first person who should believe in that is you. Whenever you look in the mirror, compliment your best features instead of sulking on your flaws. If you succeeded in something, take a moment to compliment your ideas and effort. Don’t think you’re being boastful just because you appreciate yourself.
Keep on having fun!
It’s okay to loosen up and have fun at times. If you feel like having a night out and dance goofily with your friends, go ahead. As long as you’re not hurting anybody, you’re good to go.
Also, loosening up is a great way to prevent feeling miserable when adversities arise. People who are too serious may get soooo stressed as they get through with problems. On the other hand, people who have a good sense of humor will have a good sense of the situation and will help them solve the challenges in a less-stressful way.
Live in the moment.
Part of self-love is being able to live in the moment. Once you’ve fully love yourself first, you stop focusing on the past nor get worried about the future. You become more accepting of what’s about to come as you know yourself that you can handle it. You also become more trusting with your instincts and skills.
As we’ve mentioned above, self-love is a lifelong process. There’s no magical pill or word that you can use to make you more loving to yourself. You need to be patient as you go through each tip that we’ve listed above.
Also, when you love yourself, your mind isn’t just the one that’s changing. You should also change the actions and habits that have been embedded in your everyday life. So go ahead, nourish your mind, heart, and soul as you practice self-love.