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Five Tips to Help You Practice Self-Love

The idea of practicing self-love can be daunting. We’re constantly facing internal and external challenges, such as busy schedules that make pausing for self-love or self-care seem impossible.

However, taking small steps each day or week to take care of and love yourself can help you better manage daily challenges and put more passion into what you do. In fact, research shows that having more self-compassion —  being kind to yourself, recognizing your place in humanity and practicing mindfulness — builds resilience in the face of adversity.

Self-compassion doesn’t need to involve big changes to your mindset, appearance or habits. Instead, try using these five tips from the MHFA curriculum to build self-compassion and self-love for who you are and what makes you unique.

  1. Celebrate the small wins. Be proud of yourself for every win, even the small ones — even those that seem “ordinary” such as cleaning the house, waking up early to exercise, taking care of the kids, or treating yourself with a movie night or dinner out.
  2. Create a “no” list. This list should include things you know you don’t like or you no longer want to do. It might include not checking emails at night or not attending gatherings you don’t like.
  3. Connect with loved ones. Connect with family and friends who support and love you and can help you build your confidence. This can be in person, via video or phone calls, or even texting.
  4. Recognize your emotional and spiritual needs. Recognize how you are feeling and what will help you each day. This may include physical exercise, meditation or relaxation exercises.
  5. Be kind to yourself. Every day won’t be perfect, and that’s ok. If you’re struggling to practice self-love or aren’t feeling well today, show yourself compassion and forgive yourself.

Another important part of practicing self-love is recognizing when we might need help. If you’re struggling with feelings of anxiety or depression, take care of yourself and your mental health by asking for support. You can reach out to your primary care physician or a mental health professional for additional information.

You can also contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text MHFA to 741741 to talk to a Crisis Text Line counselor.

Self-love is a journey that takes time. By taking these small steps every day, you can #BeTheDifference for yourself and those around you.