34 ways to love yourself

What sparks joy for you or makes you feel loved?

When is the last time you did something really nice for yourself? How often do you take time to relax and indulge yourself a bit? 

Self-care isn't selfish. 

Now before you start thinking that you don’t have the time or the money for this, hear me out.  It does not have to be something big and elaborate. Chances are, you have a lot of the tools you need right there at home. And what if you want to kick it up a notch and buy something new for yourself? Great!

But first, take a few minutes to figure out what is it that really sparks joy for YOU. What makes you feel loved, supported, and pampered?
  1. Are there certain:
    • colors
    • scents
    • sounds that either make you feel relaxed or make you happy?
  2. What about certain fabrics? Is it the cool feel of silk? Or something more warm and cozy?
  3. Fuzzy socks
  4. Candlelight
  5. A good book
  6. A favorite movie
  7. Yoga or some leisurely stretching
  8. Fresh flowers 
  9. Rich creamy lotions
  10. Going for a long walk, hike, or bike ride - especially in nature
  11. A couple of pieces of your favorite chocolate? It doesn’t have to be guilt-inducing to be pleasure-inducing.
  12. A glass of wine
  13. Water infused with fruit or herbs
  14. A healthy, tasty meal prepared especially for you, by you
  15. Dinner out 
  16. A really good cup of coffee
  17. Gratitude - what are five things you are grateful for in your life right now?
  18. Spending time outside
  19. A long soak in the tub, complete with a book and candles and music
  20. Bath using an indulgent-feeling bath bomb or bubble bath or even just Epsom salt to soothe aching muscles
  21. Neck pillow for the bath
  22. Aromatherapy using your favorite essential oils
  23. Manicure
  24. Pedicure 
  25. Face mask
  26. Eye treatment
  27. Massage
  28. Good sex
  29. Journaling about what makes you happy
  30. Writing a ‘wins’ list - we focus too often on our failures – what are some things you have really rocked?
  31. A nap - bonus if it's in a hammock!
  32. Fun animal videos of that’s your thing - If you have a tendency to spend hours and then berate yourself, set a timer and enjoy them for a more reasonable amount of time.
  33. Call a friend 
  34. Write someone a letter or a card telling them how much they mean to you

How can you incorporate some of these things into your day-to-day life?

Even spending five minutes a day intentionally doing something that brings you joy can have a big overall impact on your sense of well-being.

And while I believe we can decrease the negative things in our life by increasing the positive ones, there are times when we need to look at things that are negatively affecting us. And social media is a great place to start.

Especially right now, there is so much negativity and tension on social media, and this can increase stress levels if we aren’t careful. Some people are opting for social media timeouts or fasts. Only you can determine what is best for you, but one good indicator is how you feel after you are on social media. Do you feel more anxious or sad or scared? If so, something probably needs to change. In addition to just stopping cold turkey, you could set firm time limits with yourself. Or if there are certain things in your feed that impact you negatively, unfollow those pages or people. I have a pretty good number of Facebook friends yet my feed stays positive. Most of that is because I only engage with the positive people. I don’t believe that most people come to social media to have their minds changed, but there are plenty who like to stir things up or who want to get their point out into the world. And I am fine with that as long as it is done in a respectful way. But when it isn’t, that is someone that I don’t need to hear from regularly. I’m not saying that I never get stressed or saddened by things I see, but those are rare exceptions because I have designed it that way.  

Find people or groups that share your values and interests. And be open to the possibilities. One of my favorite groups on Facebook is my shoulder surgery support group. It is very positive and encouraging and just has an overall great vibe. Join (or start) a Bible study or book club. 

What if it’s family members that increase your stress?

Unfollow them. They don’t have to know that you've done it.  Or try to bridge the gap with them if it's something that makes you uncomfortable for a particular reason. But understand that you can’t change people that don’t want to change. What you can do is get clear on what is it is not acceptable to you. And then try to let the things in the gray area go.

Focus on making your life so full of things that bring you joy and help you live your best life that you don’t have time or energy to focus on the things in the lives of others that you don’t agree with. 

 What brings YOU joy?  Share in the comments!




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