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"It’s all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you, rather than looking for love to compensate for a self love deficit.”
— Eartha Kitt
If you habitually think negatively of yourself, this can be a tough one! Try to come up with just one thing each week to add to the list. Before you know it, you'll have a nice long list to reflect on as you realize what a wonderful and beautiful person you are.
It's easy to feel guilty about spending time on yourself, but the reality is that this time allows you to recharge so that you're better able to help others. Give yourself permission to spend time reflecting on yourself and your own life, and never feel guilty for taking the time that you need.
Rewarding yourself is the best part of practicing self-love. When you reward yourself, you're telling yourself that you're worthy of love and special treatment. Just think about how you might celebrate with a friend who'd just accomplished something amazing, then go out and do that for yourself.
The idea of boundaries can sound like a big, scary thing, but it's really just about saying "no" when you don't have the energy or desire to do something. Remember that "no" is a complete sentence—you don't have to explain or justify yourself. Honor and respect your own limits and other people will recognize that you're respecting them as well.
Whenever you're having a hard time, whether from a person or something happening in your life, pause and take 10 deep and purposeful breaths. As you breathe in, think about yourself and think that you love yourself. Then breathe out the negativity. After you've done 10 breaths, you might find you want to do 10 more. Just focus on yourself.
A professional can help you explore your negative thoughts and identify what brings up those thoughts and feelings. Some of these memories from your past can be tough to deal with on your own, so it's good to have your therapist there to support you and help you work through them.
Find positive thoughts that resonate with you and repeat them to yourself daily. This might seem awkward or cheesy at first, but the habit will cause the positive thoughts to sink in and you'll start to believe those thoughts (even if you don't at first)
Think of things that make you feel good on a physical, emotional, or spiritual level. This might involve exercise, meditation, dancing, journaling, or visual art. Find a routine that feels good and stick to it, taking time for yourself every day.
It's not enough just to do these things—take time to reflect on the changes you notice as well. As you spend more time loving and rewarding yourself, you'll likely start to notice that you have more energy, feel more in charge of the choices you make, and feel like you have more control of your life.
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