Simple, Quick Self-Love Practices | Self-Love Series #1

Today is the first installment of the self-love series, and we’ll be focusing on simple self-love practices that take less than 5 minutes to do. I curated this list so that each activity could easily be integrated into a busy schedule.

Next week, I will write about self-love practices that take a little longer but are more immersive and very impactful. The more time and love you invest in yourself, the greater your chances are for living a happy, fulfilling life.

As a reminder, self-love is a “regard for one’s own well-being and happiness” (Oxford Dictionaries). Practicing self-love doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming, or even Instagram-photo-appropriate. It only has to satisfy two criteria: (1) improve your happiness or wellbeing and (2) make you feel loved by yourself.

You should consider practicing self-love because it boosts your confidence levels; helps you to see and appreciate your strengths as well as accept your weaknesses; engenders compassion for yourself and others; and you will feel less of a need to explain away your insecurities. You will feel more fulfilled in life. That fulfillment will come from within, regardless of what is happening in your external environment.

On the flip side, the absence of self-love can cause you to live a life that you hate because you feel like you do not deserve to live the life you truly want. Lack of compassion and love for yourself can start with small habits and later snowball into bigger things, like self-sabotage. The absence of self-love also affects the relationships you have with other people.

Let’s focus on cultivating high self-esteem by falling in love with ourselves first!

If you try any of the practices below, please share how it went with me in the comments below – I’d love to know how it worked for you 🙂

5-Minute Self-Love Practices

1. When you look at yourself in the mirror every morning, say one thing you love about yourself

You want to train yourself to love your image. You want your natural instinct to be that when you see your face, you think, “Yes, this is my face, and I love it. This is my image. Those are my thighs. That’s my tummy. And I’m beautiful.” This sounds so simple, but it can be one of the hardest practices to start. Start today. Just do it.

If you want to go one step further, you can even write what you love about yourself and your body on sticky notes that you post around your mirror. I have a sticky stuck on my mirror that says, “Hello, gorgeous!” Surround yourself with positive affirmations about yourself.

Chanticleer Garden

2. Go to your Instagram or Facebook friend list, and unfollow one person who has a toxic feed.

Just one. You can make this a weekly practice or a daily practice. Eliminate people in your life who aren’t bringing positivity to your life. Time is finite. Don’t waste it scrolling through the pages of people who bring you down. You don’t have to explain yourself to this person either. Just unfollow.

3. Practice positive self-talk

“Stop being such an idiot!”

“You’re not pretty!”

“You’re so fat!! Don’t take another slice of birthday cake, you don’t deserve it.”

Do any of these sound familiar? Have you been guilty of putting yourself down with negative self-talk? Start to talk to yourself with love. Would you ever say these things to someone you love – a child, a parent, a spouse? Probably not. So don’t say them to yourself.

Write a list of boundaries that you will not cross when you talk to yourself. You can write whatever you want on that list, from “I will not curse at myself” to “I will not call myself fat.”

Most importantly, once you write this list, do not cross those boundaries. Don’t let anyone else cross them either. A big part of self-love is practicing kindness towards yourself, every day.

A mind too active is no mind at all.

Theodore Roethke

4. Reduce unnecessary app notifications on your smartphone

Every time your phone chimes, it interrupts your thought pattern and tempts you to stop what you’re doing to look at it. If your phone is constantly beeping, chirping, tweeting, and chiming at you, it’s going to be hard for you to be mindful, present, and at peace throughout the day. Your thought patterns will be fragmented by the continual nagging from your phone. And you’ll be indirectly placing other people’s needs above your own.

Give yourself some peace and prune the notifications & sounds on your phone.

Stoneleigh: a natural garden, Villanova, PA

Think to yourself: which apps are critical for me to get real-time notifications about? For me, those apps are the actual phone (when someone is calling me), iMessages, and Whatsapp.

Decide which apps you need to get real-time updates for – and disable notifications and sounds for the ones that you don’t.

Of course, this advice is only for your personal smartphone. If you have a business cell phone for your job, you’ll have to abide by whichever rules are set forth by the company policy.

5. Follow an inspirational podcast

This is a fun one. Set your phone timer to 5 minutes. Now go to whichever app you use for podcasts and search for a podcast that you think might interest you. Quick, quick! Try to beat the clock and find at least one that looks interesting 🙂 You’re not going to listen to the podcast; today you’re just searching for a podcast that you think might be uplifting and motivational. Next week, we’ll make time to listen to the podcast. Some podcasts that I subscribe to that I find helpful to my self-love journey are The Lavendaire Lifestyle and Therapy for Black Girls.

6. Meditate for 5 minutes day.

Your mind needs a break just as much as the rest of your body does.

Here’s a simple mediation routine that you can do in 5 minutes: Basic Mindfulness Meditation.

You can read about the benefits of mediation in my blog Cultivate Mindfulness.

Chanticleer Garden

7. Accept the part of yourself that you think should be different

Say you find yourself feeling jealous about a friend’s accomplishment. The first thought you may have is, “I shouldn’t be feeling jealous right now! I should be happy for my friend. What is wrong with me?!?”

Take a deep breath. Inhale. Now, exhale. Think to yourself: “I love and accept the part of me that is jealous right now.”

You will feel so much better accepting yourself for who you are rather than rejecting what you think is the ugly part of yourself. Go on. Try it right now, and see how it makes you feel. Take a deep breath in and out, and say, “I love and accept the part of me that is ___________.” This doesn’t mean that you act on your jealousy and sabotage your friend. No. It means that you accept that you are a human being who experiences feelings that aren’t always positive (which is normal). It means you give yourself the time to feel that feeling, process it, and push through to the other side so that you can genuinely congratulate your friend on their accomplishment. Processing your feeling can be anything from talking to God about it, journaling, or speaking with a therapist. Ironically, we often have to accept how we feel and the things we don’t like about ourselves before we can release them.

Accepting all parts of yourself is key to fully loving yourself. And if you encounter parts of yourself that you want to change, you have to acknowledge and accept those parts of yourself before you can change them.

8. Start a Self-love Jar

All you need for this is a jar (you can even use a recycled mayo or jam jar!) and a small pad of paper. Every day, write one thing you love about yourself on a slip of paper. Fold it in half, and stick it in the jar. I first wrote about keeping a self-love jar in my post Cultivate Mindfulness.

My self-love jar is a little mason jar that I decorated with washi tape and keep on my window sill. Each day, I write on a little slip of paper one thing I love about myself and I stick it in that jar. On days when I feel low, or I can’t think of anything to write, I pull out a slip of paper and read it and feel that warm fuzzy glow…they’re like love notes to myself. I get happy just looking at the jar because I know it’s filled with great things about myself.

Chanticleer Garden

Self-love is an action, and it’s one that we can exercise every day to improve our life, our relationship with ourselves, and our relationships with others. If you’d like more ideas on how to practice self-love, come back to the blog next week for my post on how to implement more immersive self-love techniques. If you subscribe, you’ll be notified once that post comes out.

What are some things that you do to cultivate self-love? I’d love to hear your ideas!

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