Self-Love: What It Is & Why You Should Be Doing It
Self-love is the foundation upon which better-than-ever lives are built. It opens the door to more fulfillment in all areas of life and encourages your best self to emerge.
It also allows you to love others more deeply. That’s why today’s post is all about, you guessed it, how to cultivate self-love.
We’ll be talking about what it is and why it’s important, plus we’ll provide you with tips and resources on incorporating self-love practices into your routine. We’ll also be sharing our lead faculty’s top five self-love habits, resources, and products for nourishing themselves in mind, body, and spirit.
What is Self-Love?
Merriam-Webster defines self-love as “an appreciation of one’s own worth or virtue” and “proper regard for and attention to one’s own happiness and well-being”.
More simply put, self-love means knowing your worth and doing things that support your happiness.
It’s speaking to yourself more kindly and showing yourself more compassion. It’s making the effort to not get lost in the to-do lists of life, and seeking to find small joys in the day to day.
The best part about learning to show yourself love, or “fill up your own cup,” is that it allows you to better love and care for the people around you.
How to Practice Self-Love
If you’ve never thought about practicing self-love, the concept may seem silly and even a bit self-indulgent. Why is it that we have such an easy time showing tenderness to our children, partners and friends, but when it comes to ourselves it feels foreign?
The following self-love techniques are attainable, affordable, and will help foster a positive relationship between you and, well, you.
6 Self-Love Techniques
Squash Negative Self-Talk: Take note of harmful thought patterns that may be limiting your potential. Think of your inner voice as your inner child—speak to it kindly! Daily affirmations and journaling are great tools to help with this.
Prioritize Your Health: This means nourishing your body with healthy, energy-boosting foods, making regular time for physical activity (whatever that means to you), getting enough sleep, building white space into your day, and any other actions that support your mental and physical well-being.
Set Boundaries: Whether it’s at the office, with extended family, or between you and the six hours you spent scrolling on TikTok last night, setting boundaries is a way to maintain healthy relationships and preserve your own sanity. (Say, for example, your boss is texting you on the weekend. Boundary-setting would be telling him or her that they can no longer text you outside of normal business hours.) Although setting boundaries can be awkward at first, it’s worth it in the long run.
Make Time for Self-Care: Self-care is a crucial part of loving yourself. Making time for self-care means that we think we are worthy of love, attention and TLC. Try to set aside time in your schedule to do things that make you happy, even if it’s something as simple as going for a walk or baking a pie. Check out these 13 easy ways to fit self-care in when you’re busy.
Show Yourself Compassion: Ditch the perfection mentality (it’s the enemy of self-love), and realize that you’re human and you’re going to make mistakes. It’s important to get comfortable with that notion and change the way you react to mistakes when they happen. Instead of interpreting them as a sign that you’re a failure, view them as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Practice Authenticity: Don’t hide the parts of you that are messy and imperfect, embarrassing or shameful. Don’t fear the judgment of others (it says nothing about you and a whole lot about them). The only person you need to please is yourself. So live your life full out. Be unapologetically and authentically you.
Psychology of Self-Love
Self-love is closely related to self-esteem, with the two concepts feeding into one another. According to a 2016 study about the psychology of self-esteem, those with higher confidence have an inherently stronger sense of worth, and those with low confidence are more likely to dislike themselves and/or feel worthless.
When you love, value, and respect yourself and your needs, you’re more likely to:
- Make choices that nurture your physical, emotional, and mental health
- Enter into healthy relationships with others
- Be successful in your career and other personal endeavors
- Experience happiness, contentment, and peace in your life (and less likely to feel stressed and anxious)
- Engage in practices that support self-growth
- Feel confident and attractive in your skin
When you love yourself, you’re more self-aware of who you are and what you need to thrive in life. You accept yourself, flaws and all, and you embrace your imperfections. You don’t need outside validation to feel worthy or justified in your decisions.
Quotes & Affirmations About Self-Love
Utilize the below self-love mantras and quotes as part of your daily routine. Speak them into the mirror, while you’re in traffic, or when you’re not feeling your most confident self.
- “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.” — Mark Twain
- “How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.” — Rupi Kaur
- “As hard as it is, owning who you are and knowing what you want is the only sure path to affirmation… I want women to know they can get out of any situation if they return to their core source of strength: themselves.” — Ashley Graham
- “Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
- “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” — Oscar Wilde
- “Comparison is an act of violence against the self.” — Iyanla Vanzant
- “You’ve got to love yourself first. You’ve got to be okay on your own before you can be okay with somebody else.” — Jennifer Lopez
- “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” — Lucille Ball
- “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” — Buddha
- I am worthy of love, flaws and all.
- I embrace positive thoughts.
- I love myself. I trust in myself.
- I am enough.
- The universe has my back. I’m right where I need to be.
- My body deserves love.
- I accept myself unconditionally.
How the HCI Founders Practice Self-Love
HCI’s co-founders, Carey Peters and Stacey Morgenstern have curated their top five self-love habits, resources, and products for tending to their personal health and wellness.
Carey’s Self-Love Favorites
Stacey’s Self-Love Favorites
Enroll in Coaching Classes with Health Coach Institute
If you’re interested in a career where you can help others live more fulfilling lives, our 6-month online Become a Health Coach program might be right for you. We offer one of the only dual Health and Life Coach certificates, so you’ll have the skills to transform the most lives possible. You’ll learn from Carey and Stacey (who have over 25 years of combined coaching experience), benefit from 1:1 mentoring, and be part of an amazing community 20,000+ students strong.