In this world of Instagram filters, photoshopped celebrities, and Facebook highlight reels, it’s hard not to feel like we are lacking. We’re constantly bombarded with images of perfect humans living perfect lives while we’re struggling to feel good enough.
Learning how to love yourself can help you overcome the feelings of inadequacy caused by social media and other external factors. Here is everything you need to know about loving yourself, including signs you might not be giving yourself enough credit!
What Does Self-Love Look Like?
When you love yourself, you feel good about yourself. You’re confident, happy, full of energy, and secure in your choices. The world is your oyster, and you are ready to explore it!
Loving yourself also means overcoming your insecurities. So many people have things to say about your choices. These comments can cause self-consciousness or second-guessing. Loving yourself is knowing when to follow your path and ignore the negative opinions of others.
What is the Secret to Love Yourself?
The secret is that there are multiple secrets. The secret to loving yourself isn’t one-size-fits-all. Everyone has unique challenges, struggles, and strengths. One person may find that giving themselves a pampering bath at the end of the week is enough, while another may hate baths or need something more tangible.
The big secret is that loving yourself is personal to you. Here are 15 different ways to love yourself. Keep what works for you, and dismiss the things that don’t work. Learning how to love yourself is a personal journey, after all.
Signs You Don’t Love Yourself Enough
Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you need a little more self-love in your life. Here are a few signs that you might not show yourself as much love as you should.
- You Have No Energy
- You Spend a Lot of Time on Social Media
- You Don’t Feel Free to Express Yourself
- You Can’t Remember the Last Decent Meal You Ate
- You’re on Everyone Else’s Schedule All the Time
- You Don’t Have Any Hobbies
- You Have No Idea What You Really Want
- You Engage in Negative Self Talk
- You Don’t Sleep Well
If any of these things describe you, it’s time to show yourself a little more love and attention. Here’s how.
How To Love Yourself – 15 Tips to Help You Feel Great About You
1. Know Yourself
Many people, especially women, get so caught up in taking care of everyone else that we forget to take a step back and consider ourselves. We’ve spent so much time helping others that we don’t even know who we are anymore, outside of “mom” or “wife” or “partner.”
I understand those roles are essential and a big part of anyone’s identity. But those roles aren’t the only thing that matters. You matter too.
Your desires and emotions matter. Take time to be with just you. Try new things and experiment with what you like and want.
If you’re stuck, check out our ultimate guide to discovering your passions, available on Etsy. It’s a 30-day road map to self-discovery and learning what you really want out of life.
2. Stop the Comparison Game
Studies have shown that social media use may lead to depression, even among adults. It’s no wonder. Social media depicts the finely curated highlights of people’s lives. It allows people to post filtered and photoshopped images that are no longer realistic.
Regular people who consume these images see perfection all around them, then look at their lives and feel upset that they aren’t perfect.
Stop comparing yourself to what you see on social media. Not only is it not always honest, but it also has nothing to do with you. Someone else winning doesn’t mean you have to lose. We are all on our own journey, and it doesn’t matter where you are on yours compared to anyone else.
All that matters is that you are progressing in your own way, on your own time.
3. Pamper Yourself
Sometimes loving ourselves is a matter of treating ourselves right. Permit yourself to pamper yourself. Indulge in a relaxing bubble bath, splurge on a spa treatment or massage, and buy that special lotion or face cream that makes you feel good.
Allowing yourself these special treats will help you feel good about your body, which is a crucial step towards loving yourself.
4. Learn Something New
Have you ever struggled to grasp a concept but then had an “aha!” moment when it clicked? How did that feel?
You can recapture that feeling by learning something new. Learning new skills gives us a sense of accomplishment that can’t be replicated elsewhere. It helps us feel good about ourselves and provides us with the confidence to keep expanding our horizons.
So take that class, learn that language, and read that intimidating book. Learn something new about the world you live in and get a fantastic confidence boost.
5. Engage with Friends
Reconnecting with friends is one of the best ways to reinvigorate yourself and feel better about yourself. Your friends are people who love you for who you are, the good and the bad. They love you, and hanging out with them can help you remember why.
Sometimes, we need the external validation of a trusted friend to remember the good things about ourselves. Seeing that other people care about us can help us care about ourselves.
Even if you don’t need that, getting together with friends is often refreshing. Being around people you care about can leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.
6. Take Care of Your Body
It’s hard to feel good about yourself when you don’t feel good physically. If you want to learn how to love yourself in general, you need to learn how to love your body.
Loving your body means nourishing it and taking care of it. Make sure you are eating healthy, balanced meals and getting exercise. Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Of course, there are many layers to this. Those with disabilities may have a more challenging time taking care of themselves than those without health conditions. Do your best, whatever that looks like. Even tiny changes can make a big difference in how you feel about yourself.
Is there something that you’ve been holding onto? Forgive yourself. We have all made mistakes. Every single person has done something stupid or that they regret.
Stop beating yourself up for the mistakes you’ve made in the past. There’s nothing you can do to change them, and the truth is that you wouldn’t be the strong, amazing person you are today if you were perfect and never made any mistakes.
It’s time to let go of the past and forgive yourself. Move forward and love the person you are becoming.
One great way to learn how to love yourself is to write about it. Journaling is a great tool to help you work out any negative thoughts and feelings about yourself that you might have and help you embrace the good things about yourself.
There are many reasons to start a journal, but journaling for self-care is generally at the top of the list. Write about your goals, strengths, and how you will overcome any challenges.
If you struggle with journaling, use prompts. These are pre-written questions that can help you start a journal entry. Most journal prompts are designed with different end goals in mind. Some are introspective, some help with self-care, while others are just for fun.
We sell a variety of journal prompts on our Esty store, including a set designed for self-care. Check them out!
Meditation is an excellent tool for self-love. It grounds you and helps you work past all the outside world’s noise and focus on within.
Meditation helps you understand yourself, but not just on a surface level. It helps you know yourself to the very core and become more self-aware.
A daily meditation session can help us discover inner peace. It can enable you to love and accept yourself and even help you find forgiveness for others. If you have the time and patience to develop meditation skills, you will be far closer to learning how to love yourself.
10. Let Go of Toxic People
It can be difficult to give up relationships with people when we care deeply about them. However, sometimes we have to accept that certain relationships, whether they be romantic, platonic, or familial, aren’t good for us.
Many of us have a toxic family member that we keep letting into our lives because “they’re family.” We let them in, and they destroy all the things we love about ourselves, rinse and repeat.
Others have been in toxic, codependent romantic relationships ripe with abuse that we can’t seem to break away from. These relationships can destroy our sense of independence and leave us as shriveled shells of what we once were.
I understand. I was there. I was in a relationship with a severe alcoholic that almost destroyed me. Escaping that relationship and realizing that his toxicity wasn’t my problem was the best thing I ever did for my life. It’s hard, I know. But you have the strength to do it. Believe in yourself.
11. Embrace Your Quirks
Do you hate that you laugh funny or the weird way your lip curls when you smile? Stop! Our unique features are what make us human. Embrace them!
Everyone is different, with different flaws and quirks. Can you imagine a world where we all smiled and laughed the same? Wouldn’t that be boring?
Our flaws make us interesting. They showcase our history and our life in a way that other things don’t. Embrace the Japanese art of Kintsugi – the practice of mending items with gold to showcase their flaws, rather than super glue to hide them or throwing broken things away. These flaws make us special. Embrace yours.
12. Get a Pet
Unconditional love can make anyone feel better about themselves. A furry friend is often just what you need to improve your motivation and get more done.
Petting a dog or cat is associated with happiness and stress reduction. They can also help you get through the most challenging times in your life with just a soft purr or a head in your lap.
Please don’t get a pet spontaneously. Do your research and determine which type of animal would be best for you according to your lifestyle. Different dog breeds require different levels of care, maintenance, and interaction. For example, huskies are gorgeous, but they need to be doing things all the time. They love to run. Don’t get a husky if you’re a homebody in a small apartment.
Getting the wrong pet can lead to even more problems. Take the time to figure out exactly which species and breed would fit into your life best so that you don’t end up with pet regret.
13. Set and Enforce Boundaries
A common hindrance to loving yourself, especially among women, is a lack of boundaries. We often give and give until there is nothing left. We’ve been socialized to give everything of ourselves, regardless of whether we get anything in return.
I know it’s hard. We’ve been conditioned from an early age to give selflessly. But our lack of boundaries can lead to being taken advantage of, even by those who claim to love us.
Show yourself some true love by setting boundaries and enforcing those boundaries when tested. Don’t let anyone, even a romantic partner, even a parent, step over your limits. Show them that you will accept nothing less than respect and walk away if they refuse to give it. When you treat yourself with this level of care, others will follow, and you will begin to love yourself truly.
14. Practice Gratitude
Sometimes while stuck in the oppression of self-despair, we forget to be thankful for some of the things we do have. Are you alive? Do you have food? A good friend? A place to live?
It’s important to show appreciation for the things we do have, no matter how mundane or simple they seem. Remembering all the good in our lives will help us feel better about our current situations.
Learn to show more gratitude in your everyday life, and you will start to appreciate the little things. It will help you become happier with yourself and your situation in the long term.
15. Have Some Fun
You shouldn’t take life too seriously; you’ll never get out alive. Yes, the iconic Van Wilder quote is relevant. Life doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom or serious.
Enjoy yourself! Sing in the rain. Smell the flowers. Run through a sprinkler. Be a kid again. Explore the extraordinary beauty of the world, and be one with it.
Letting yourself enjoy things without worrying about what others think is a key to loving yourself and being comfortable in your skin.
Bonus: Get Help
It’s time for some hard truths. If you’re struggling with mental illness like depression or anxiety or have a lot of trauma in your life, no amount of trying things you read on some website will help. The best way to show yourself true love is by seeking the help you need.
A therapist can help you work through your feelings of self-hatred, identify the causes, and get you on a personalized plan to face those demons and feel better about yourself. A psychologist can diagnose mental illnesses and help you towards a path of recovery.
There is absolutely no shame in seeking therapy. Even if you don’t have a mental illness, a therapist can help you learn how to love yourself. It’s the best thing you can do, especially if you’ve tried everything else and nothing seems to work.
Quotes About Loving Yourself
These quotes may provide you with a little extra inspiration to start loving yourself!
Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option
You yourself, as much as anyone else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection
Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all
Love yourself first and everything else falls into line
Having compassion for yourself means that you honor and accept your humanness.
Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.