Alissa standing at an overlook, looking out at mountains.

Self-Love: Tips for Strengthening the Most Important Relationship in Your Life

wellness Feb 11, 2019

As the lovely writer/illustrator, Mari Andrew says, “You may not always have the same friends or same relationship you have now but you’ll always be with you. As a (new) adult, now’s the time to become the person you want to live with for the rest of your life.”

New or seasoned adult, deepening your relationship with yourself is part of having a happy, fulfilled life. When we love ourselves, we create a healthy internal world that we can turn into and feel safe in, regardless of what’s going on around us.

If only it were always easy to love ourselves. Despite the way we’re able to feel compassion for others, we don’t often give ourselves that same respect. How many times have you made a mistake and then thought something like: You’re such an idiot. You always mess things up.

I know I’m guilty of that type of negative self-talk. Like anything else, self-love takes practice. If your natural response is to talk down to yourself, you have to rewrite the script. As someone who tends to be hard on herself, here are my favorite tips for cultivating a deeper, more loving relationship with yourself.

  1. Love the child inside of you. What were you like as a little girl or boy? Sure, you’ve grown and changed, but you’ve still got that little you inside. You have fears, personality traits, and quirks that are deep-rooted from childhood. When I’m frustrated with myself, I like to think of the little Alissa inside of me and I immediately soften. Candidly, I am often hard on myself for not speaking up and being too shy. Instead of immediately going to a thought like, Wow, why didn’t you just say it?! You’re so awkward. I try to think of the shy little girl inside of me. I picture that quiet, thoughtful, sweet little me and I wouldn’t want to yell at her. It reminds you that you are just you, and that’s beautiful and perfect as it is.
  2. Look at yourself from the outside. I often struggle with comparing myself to others. I’ll use my blog for an example. If I see someone else’s blog who I think has a prettier website, nicer photos, more followers, I may feel a pang of envy and self-doubt. Instead of letting myself go to a dark place, I try to picture myself from above (I’m big on visualization, if you haven’t noticed). I think of myself waking up early with excitement to put my work into the world; I picture myself going through my days getting inspired and making note of topics to write about; I remind myself of how I hunched over my laptop for hours learning to make a website. From that view, how could I ever be hard on myself? When you take a step back, you remember how much you do, how much you care, and you can’t help but feel compassion for yourself. You’re doing your best.
  3. Remind yourself daily what you love about yourself. Every morning, after I write five things I’m grateful for, I write one thing I love about myself. I try to make this different every day. Some days it’s hard to think of something, other days I’m feeling confident and the self-love comes right away. It’s become a great practice to look for and appreciate what makes me special.
  4. Positive affirmations. Also part of my morning journaling routine is writing positive affirmations. I like to focus on areas where I struggle so I can reshape the beliefs I have about myself. Lately, my daily affirmation has been: I am confident. I am intelligent. I am strong. I’ll sometimes repeat this to myself during the day. The way we speak to ourselves is powerful. It becomes what we believe to be true. I also like listening to affirmation meditations. I’ll recommend Insight Timer for like the third time now, but they have so many meditations to strengthen self-love, inner peace, confidence.
  5. Take care of yourself. The way we take care of our body and mind is the ultimate act of self-love. This can simply mean eating healthfully; giving yourself time to read a good book; going for a walk in the sun; taking a bath with essential oils. Even setting boundaries and saying “no” is an act of self-love.
This post is a great reminder of ways to show yourself love.

When we love and care for ourselves, we’re able to bring more light to the people in our lives. We connect with others deeper because we’re at peace with ourselves. It’s easier to fully listen and engage with compassion when we aren’t so clouded by our own insecurities.

Always remember, you are so loved, special, and unique. The fact that you exist in this world is pretty amazing.

With love,