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50 Small Things You Can Do Every Day to Really Love Yourself

50 Small Things You Can Do Every Day to Really Love Yourself

When we love ourselves, it helps us feel our best, and when we feel our best, we can give more to the world. Treating yourself well, and with love, is more than eating healthy and exercising.

What exactly is self-love, though? In Psychology Today, Deborah Khoshaba, Psy.D. writes, “Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature us.”

She explains the profound effects of self-love, stating, “When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our short-comings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through our own efforts.”

I’m on a mission to empower people to spend their lives focused on their purpose, priorities, and passions, and to get rid of the junk that gets in the way of living the life of their dreams. Part of living the life you dream of is practicing self-love. Self-love is incredibly important in many areas of your life. It influences how high you set your goals, how you let others treat you, and how you react to difficult situations. Self-love affects how you treat your body, how you manage stress, and your ability to live consistently with your values.

Here are 50 small things you can do every day to practice self-love. I divided them into categories of the 7 Dimensions of Wellness, so you can practice self-love in all areas of wellbeing.

Social wellness

Social wellness is the ability to connect with others and develop positive relationships. To practice self-love in your social life, do the following:

1. Connect today with someone who is positive, inspiring, and encouraging.

2. Visit with your neighbor.

3. Send a note in the mail to a family member or friend.

4. Plan a fun night out with friends.

5. Snuggle with your love.

Emotional wellness

Emotional wellness is the ability to cope with life’s challenges. The University of California states,”The ability to acknowledge and share feelings of anger, fear, sadness or stress, hope, love, joy and happiness in a productive manner” contributes to increased emotional wellness. To practice self-love in this area, work on the following:

6. If you’re not satisfied with your life, admit it to yourself, and write out your action plan to make changes.

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7. Spend 10 minutes today being quiet.

8. Forgive yourself. You must accept that you are not perfect before you can love yourself.

9. Seek the help you need — set up an appointment for counselling or therapy if you’re struggling emotionally. You are worth it.

10. Spend 10 minutes working on a favorite stress-management technique.

11. Write down your schedule for the day. This will help you set aside time each day to spend time on your priorities and minimize wasted time.

12. Practice an optimistic attitude.

13. Be mindful of your inner dialogue. The messages you tell yourself can greatly influence your life.

14. Set boundaries on how you’ll spend your time. Steer clear of time-sucking activities that don’t add meaning to your life.

16. Turn away from behaviors that tend to get you into trouble.

17. Say no to toxic people and activities.

18. Say yes to adventure.

19. Have fun. Laugh every day.

20. Compliment yourself.

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Spiritual wellness

The University of California describes spiritual wellness as “the ability to establish peace and harmony in our lives.” To practice self-love in your spiritual life, take these actions:

21. Explore your faith.

22. Spend time in prayer or meditation.

23. Seek an opportunity to grow in one of the challenges in your life.

24. Get outside in nature.

25. Do something altruistic.

Environmental wellness

Being environmentally well means recognizing your responsibility to make a positive impact on the earth. To practice self-love and environmental wellness, try these tips:

26. Practice not buying what you don’t need.

27. Donate items you don’t need. Practice getting rid of 1 item per day.

Occupational wellness

Occupational wellness involves getting fulfillment from your work. To practice self-love in your work life, take these steps:

28. Learn about your strengths.

29. Discover your passion. This workbook is a great start.

30. Write down your big career goals.

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31. Take one small step each day toward your dream career.

32. Connect with a coworker.

Intellectual wellness

When you are intellectually well, you continually expand your knowledge as a lifelong learner. To practice self-love intellectually, try these actions:

33. Read 1 page of a book that interests you today.

34. Learn.

35. Book an adventure to a new place.

36. Sign up for a new class through community education or a local college.

37. Take a small step out of your comfort zone every day.

Physical wellness

Optimal physical wellness is achieved when you have a healthy quality of life. To practice self-love and increase physical wellness, try these actions:

38. Appreciate the amazing things your body can do rather than focusing on what you consider to be your “flaws.”

39. Schedule your routine physical with your doctor.

40. Pick a new vegetable to eat.

41. Choose one new healthy recipe to make this week.

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42. While you eat, focus on your meal.

43. Make a specific game plan to quit a destructive habit.

44. Nourish your body with healthy choices.

45. Establish a nighttime routine for a healthy dose of sleep.

A few bonuses

46. Set aside time each day to work toward making a big dream of yours a reality. Guard this time furiously.

47. Do something you love every day.

48. Buy yourself fresh flowers someday soon, just for fun.

49. Schedule a massage.

50. Start a gratitude journal and list something you are thankful for every day.

When you start working on these small actions, you’ll begin to accept and appreciate yourself more. When you genuinely love yourself and love life, it causes amazing effects in your life and in the lives of those around you.

Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Feel free to email me at kerry@yourstreamlinedlife.com and tell me one step you’ll take today to practice self-love. Always remember, you are enough and you are worth it.

Featured photo credit: Take Back Your Health Conference 2015 Los Angeles/Take Back Your Health Conference’s Photostream via flickr.com

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Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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