7 Ways to Show Yourself Love

As any professional therapist will tell you, you can’t love someone well until you first learn to love yourself.

From fancy face masks to meditation, solo travel and more, the art of self-love has recently taken society by storm—but what does it really mean?

Self-love is defined as “regard for one’s well-being and happiness.” It means you should make time for the things that make you feel alive and well; that you have the ability and responsibility to choose happiness on your own terms. Everyone has their own version of self-love, but here are a few of our favorite ways to cultivate this relationship:

Turn off your electronics and unplug for a while. (Yes, that includes your cell phone!) Allow yourself to enjoy 15 – 20 minutes of solitude without social media, email alerts, or texting. Grab an old-fashioned book and immerse yourself in the wonderful world of words.

Find a new hobby. Hobbies are a great way to explore your interests or learn something new. It can be anything—learn a language, train for a 5k, challenge yourself to cook one new recipe a week, perfect your chess strategy. You’ll feel proud of what you’ve accomplished, rejuvenated by doing something fun and no-stress, and eager to share with others!

Go with the flow and build a yoga or meditation practice. The benefits of mindfulness are endless! A regular mindfulness practice has been proven to aid with mental distress, improve quality of sleep, increase one’s focus and performance during exercise, and make us more compassionate individuals. Start with one yoga class and see how it changes your mindset, productivity, and overall disposition this week. 

Take a deep breath and pamper yourself. Whether you schedule monthly manicure appointments, indulge in a much needed massage, or finally make time to get your hair cut, do something to make yourself feel good both inside and out.

You know those teen movies where the main character dances in front of her mirror and sings into a hairbrush? Do that. Turn on your favorite Spotify playlist and jam out like no one’s watching. Or, take it to the gym and participate in a group exercise class. As the great Elle Woods once said, “Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy!”

Take yourself on a date. As scary as it seems, there is much to be said for braving social activities alone. Whether you go to the movies, out to dinner, or simply venture out to the mall on your own, enjoy the freedom of being on your own schedule. You will see things with a different perspective and learn about yourself in a whole new way!

Make time to laugh. Watch a funny movie, listen to a comedy podcast, or get dinner with your most hilarious friend. Laughter is the best medicine—and it’s even better when shared!

This year, make yourself a priority. Choose to be your happiest, healthiest, and whole-est self. And remember, however you choose to practice self-love will directly translate into your relationships with others!