People talk a lot about self-love. We know it’s important. We know it’s good for the mind, body, and soul. We know it’s something we should all be practicing on a regular basis. But we aren’t sure where to start.
It’s easy to prioritize your work, family, and responsibilities above self-love. But practicing self-love can actually put you in a position to do better in those other areas of your life.
Recalibrate your thinking and make yourself a priority in your life. Here’s our plan for seven days of self-love (and what to do each day).
What is Self-Love?
So what exactly is self-love? Dr. Andrea Brandt defines it as “having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness … taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others … not settling for less than you deserve.”
It’s not egotistical or narcissistic. It is knowing that you’re valuable and that you’re the most important person in your own life.
It’s a way to build yourself up and a way to take care of yourself, both physically and mentally.
For people who tend to focus more on others than on themselves, learning how to self-love is crucial. If you’re not already practicing self-love on a regular basis, here is a seven-day plan to get you started.
Day 1: Unplug
Are you consumed with checking Facebook? Do you feel inadequate looking through other people’s Instagram feeds? Does watching cable TV news make you anxious or stress you out?
- How?: Turn off social media and the TV. Distance yourself from any content or websites that fuel anxiety or cause stress.
- Why?: Social distancing may make you want to connect with others through your screens. But unplugging, even for only a few hours, is a great way to connect with yourself.
Day 2: Journal
Need to work through some of your emotions and thoughts? Journaling is a way to record your thoughts and feelings. It’s also a way to analyze and explore them in greater depth.
- How?: Put pen to paper. While you’re journaling, be honest. When you look back and re-read your journal at a later date, you can self-reflect on how you were really feeling.
- Why?: As well as reflecting on your feelings, journaling is also a way to spark creativity. You can set and achieve goals, and relieve some stress.
Day 3: Exercise
You should prioritize exercise in your life. Good physical health and good mental health go hand in hand, so having a strong, fit body is essential.
- How?: The best way to make working out a part of your day-to-day life is to find an exercise routine that you love. From running to biking to cardio to yoga, it’s important to figure out the type of exercise that inspires you.
- Why?: We can achieve a fit body, and therefore a strong mind, by creating a routine. If you identify a fitness routine you enjoy, you’ll be more likely to continue it and reap its benefits.
Day 4: Get Creative
Finding a creative outlet is great for the mind! Don’t think you have the creativity gene? Take a break from the usual and try something new. You just might surprise yourself!
- How?: Dance. Write. Paint. Draw. Play a musical instrument. Take some photos. You don’t have to be a natural, you just have to try.
- Why?: Creativity helps reduce anxiety and depression. It also offers a way to express your negative emotions in an effective way This is an important step towards making self-love a habit.
Day 5: Meditate
Meditation is one of the best ways to connect with your inner self. It’s also a proven stress-reducer and a way to control anxiety.
- How?: There are many types of meditations. Most people find transcendental meditation to be the most satisfying type. Explore different meditation styles and find your favorite today.
- Why?: Focus on your thoughts and breathing, even for five minutes a day. It can lower your blood pressure and improve your sleep. Better health leads to a better self-image, a tenet of self-love.
Day 6: Get Organized
It’s healthy and sanitary to have a clean home, but that’s not always enough. If you really want to practice some self-love, you’ll also need it to be an organized one.
- How?: The first step to get organized is to declutter and rid your home of things you no longer need or want. Once that’s done, you can start arranging and organizing things in a sensible manner. The messier you are, the more overwhelming this task may seem. But it doesn’t have to happen all at once. Start small and organize one closet, one drawer, or one room at a time!
- Why?: A cluttered home (or a messy office) can make you feel more stressed and more depressed. It can make it harder to find things, causing you to waste time and making you less productive in the process. Addressing your organizational needs will make you feel peaceful, a self-love goal.
Day 7: Pamper Yourself
Everyone needs a day of pampering from time to time. On day seven of your first week of self love, take time to pamper yourself.
- How?: Get a mani-pedi. Use a soothing face mask. Take a long, hot bubble bath. Splurge on a one-hour massage at your favorite spa.
- Why?: There’s nothing selfish about carving out a little “me” time. Scheduling time for pampering is a great way to make sure that you get some downtime throughout the week. Even if it’s only for an hour. A bit of pampering here and there will make you look and feel good inside and out!
You can start practicing self-love right now by doing these seven things, one each day this week:
- Unplugging from your devices
- Journaling your thoughts
- Getting physical exercise
- Finding a creative outlet
- Organizing your home
- Pampering yourself
So stop thinking you’re too busy to focus on yourself or that other things are more important. This week, make it a point to focus on self-love.
By the time the week is over, you just may find that you feel better than you ever have before!