Young woman sitting in the lotus pose outside on her patio

Of all the things on our to-do list each day, self-love and self-care can be the most difficult to accomplish. And let’s face it: 2020 was a year that tested many people in more ways than one. While it’s crucial to get help if a condition goes off the deep end, prevention is the key to good mental health. But there’s no magic pill to take; rather, the secret lies within you taking control of the driver’s seat. Here’s how to practice self-love and care so you can keep your mind, body, and soul in check

What Is The Meaning of Self-Love?

Self-love is when you’re able to appreciate yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. You own the fact that your own happiness and well-being depends on it, so you don’t sacrifice your own needs for the sake of others. You never settle for less than you deserve, and that varies from person-to-person based on individual needs and wants. 

What Is Practicing Self-Care? 

As the name suggests, self-care is when you’re taking care of yourself on all levels, from personal hygiene and stress reduction to eating a healthy diet and making sure you’re fitting in time for physical activity. As with self-love, self-care is important for physical, mental, and spiritual health. 

Ways To Practice Self-Love 

Incorporate Daily Affirmations 

If we don’t love ourselves, it’s impossible to love others, as unworthiness only fosters negativity. So, if you want to know how to practice self-love, incorporate affirmations into your daily routine to help banish negative energy while increasing self-esteem and confidence. Look in the mirror and repeat your chosen affirmation(s) several times. Some examples include, “I acknowledge my self-worth,” “I am good enough,” “I am deserving of love and happiness,” “I am beautiful inside and out.” An affirmation can be anything as long as it’s positive, but if you’re feeling stuck, you’ll find a bevy of uplifting examples online or at the library or bookstore. 

Unplug

There is a time and a place for using technology, but sadly, we’re living in an era where it is completely abused, thus taking a toll on our self-esteem, productivity, and relationships. Set aside a period of time each day for a digital detox. Benefits include better sleep, an increase in creativity, improved relationships, greater self-esteem, a better grasp of personal self and needs, and more time for spiritual self-love! 

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

This is one of those self-love tips that go hand-in-hand with technology, as it’s the fuel that sparks us to compare ourselves to everyone from friends and family to Hollywood A-listers and models. Make an effort to focus on yourself, your goals, and your strengths. Doing so will help you free yourself from the negative energy that’s causing you to doubt your self-worth. 

Learn How To Say “No”

Learning how to say “no” can help you get a hold of your life while reducing stress and anxiety. While it may take a bit of practice, some tips for drawing the line include keeping your response simple, buying yourself some time (“let me get back to you”), considering a compromise, being true to yourself, and letting go of guilt. 

Seize the Moment

Stop making excuses for the reasons why you’re not going after your dream job, dating, or taking up a new hobby or side gig. While it’s important not to make careless decisions, overthinking can cause you to miss out an incredible opportunity. Carpe diem, friends. 

Ways To Practice Self-Care 

Get Enough Sleep 

Getting enough sleep is one of the most important everyday self-care tips. You know you’re supposed to get around seven to eight hours of shut-eye each night, but what you may not know is the negative effects that can occur if you don’t. Lack of sleep affects your ability to think clearly, causes driver fatigue that’s as dangerous as intoxication, and can exasperate an existing mental health condition  — or even cause one. Before seeing a doctor, make an effort to improve your sleeping habits by avoiding stimulants (caffeine, alcohol, nicotine) four to six hours before bedtime, transforming your bedroom into a sleep-inducing respite (think sound machine, blackout blinds, and a quality mattress), implement a soothing ritual before bed, and set a consistent sleep schedule — but only go to bed when you’re truly tired. Nothing prompts anxiety more than watching the clock. 

Reduce Stress 

While it’s easier said than done, it’s important that you’re making an effort to reduce stress. Get into the routine of incorporating a couple of tactics into your day, gradually increasing them to a manageable level. Easy ideas include exercise, making a to-do list for the next day, keeping a gratitude journal, practicing mindfulness, avoiding procrastination, getting a pet, exercising, and spending time with family and friends. 

Meditate

Meditation is free and can be done anywhere in the world, therefore making it one of the easiest and most usable spiritual practices to manage. If you’ve never meditated before, you may find it hard to focus at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s likely that you won’t be able to do without it because it reduces stress and helps you have more clarity about what type of life you want to live. There are copious YouTube videos that can guide you through the meditation process and increase your concentration. 

Make Time To Relax — Every Day

Relaxation is a vital part of everyone’s life as it reduces elevated heart rate and blood pressure, slows breathing, and relaxes the muscles, thus reducing stress levels, boosting the immune system, and increasing energy and productivity. Without implementing relaxation techniques on a daily basis, you put yourself at risk for digestive problems, chronic headaches, sleep difficulties, and perpetual stress. Some easy things you can do include practicing breathing exercises, listening to soothing music, meditation, yoga, or simply going for a walk in a quiet environment. 

Take A Mental Health Day

It’s interesting to note that most people don’t think twice about taking a day off of work if they feel the flu coming on, but they will still drag themselves to the office if they’re feeling sad, depressed, or burnt out. With that in mind, don’t feel bad about taking a mental health day every once in a while. To make it a successful use of your time, try to plan it in advance if possible. This way you can rearrange your workload so that you’re not stressed on your day off. Decide what you need most — is it to relax, have fun, or figure out a way to restructure your life? You may discover that you need more than one day, so schedule a staycation or quick getaway. 

Interested In More Ways To Work On Self-Love and Self- Care? 

Self-love and self-care are not always easy to accomplish but it is vital if you’re going to reset, renew, and refresh your spirituality. Some tactics to help you on your path include throwing out the idea that you have to be perfect, live in the moment, self-care, realize you can’t control everything or get rid of negative people and things in your life.

Sometimes, no matter how much you may try to practice spiritual self-care, you may still feel confused and/or lost with regard to a specific situation. A psychic can help you obtain the clarity you need through a reading. Afterward, all of your practices will be more effective because you’ll have the answers you need to move forward. Even if you’re feeling good about where you are at with your life, it’s never a bad idea to book a reading with a psychic to make sure you’re on the right path, or if there’s anything you can be doing to ensure you’re living your best life. 

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