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Seven ways to practice self-love

Readers Lounge By Rachel Murugi
Strive to forgive yourself as you practice self-compassion (Photo: Shutterstock)

When the term ‘self-love’ comes to mind, many of us brush it off thinking that it has a negative connotation. However, self-love does not mean becoming narcissistic or selfish.  More often than not, we find ourselves putting others’ needs first and forgetting our own.

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Practicing self-love should be at the core of our well-being and here is how you can make it a lifestyle.

1. Nurture your body

‘You are what you eat’. If you want your body to be healthy, then you need to eat healthy. Pamper yourself with healthy food that has been prepared well and add exercise to your routine. Once in a while visit a spa and indulge in a massage or sit in the sauna. These will help you relax but it will also rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. As the cherry on top, love your body as it is even as you work towards your body goals. Cherish your shape, skin color and all your features.

If you maintain a healthy lifestyle, you will be strong and better able to attain your dreams.

2. Have a gratitude journal

Remember the childhood song about counting your blessings one by one? How many times a day do you actually count your blessings? When you make a habit of writing down the things you are grateful for, you will have a more positive attitude towards life instead of only seeing the bad. Pen down three things you are grateful for each day alongside your dreams and walk your way to greater positivity.

Look after your body by eating well (Photo: Shutterstock)

3. Celebrate your big and small wins

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Oftentimes, we drown ourselves in the guilt of non-accomplishment. Maybe you are a victim of perfection and can’t seem to get satisfaction from what you’ve done. Bear in mind that you cannot expect anyone to celebrate or appreciate your efforts if you disregard them yourself. Be kind to yourself and celebrate your accomplishments, big or small. Ensure you are your first cheerleader such that, even if the world does not applaud you, you remain unbothered.

4. Forgive yourself

One sure way of loving yourself is releasing the baggage you carry of your past mistakes. Strive to forgive yourself as you practice self-compassion. You do not have to walk around in a pity-party over a mistake that is three years old. Forgive yourself like you would other people. It gets easy to try new experiences when you are freed from the past’s ghosts.

5. Avoid comparing yourself to others

You are unique. When you appreciate your journey, you cease comparing your milestones with others’. Other people’s achievements will stop bothering as you won’t feel as if you are competing with anyone. You will begin looking at others’ accomplishments as motivation to reach your goals.

Give your dreams and passions priority (Photo: Shutterstock)

6. Follow your passions

One way of loving yourself is giving priority to your dreams and passions and chasing them unrelentingly. It may be hard to see yourself in your dream job, starting a business or globetrotting at the moment but when you dedicate each day to working towards your goals you will be that closer to accomplishing them. Practice self-love by chasing that which you can’t stop thinking about late at night.

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7. Let go of worry and negative self-talk

You can be your own worst critic at times but this doesn’t have to be the norm. Constantly putting yourself down isn’t a sign of humility. Loving yourself means silencing that little voice that is trying to belittle your efforts. It means increasing the volume on positive self-talk.

Include these self-love habits as part of your daily routine and you will find yourself in a free and fulfilling place. You will embrace your abilities; and focus on your strengths while chasing your dreams. They will open you up to a myriad of opportunities, help you express yourself more confidently and show the world what you’ve got.

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