I didn’t make New Year’s resolutions for 2018. But I did make a ton of personal goals. One of the biggest things I’m working on is self love. I’ve slowly been realizing that until you truly love yourself, it’s impossible to find happiness in every aspect in your life. In case you’re struggling with self worth and low self esteem, I wanted to share some ways to increase self love this year. I asked inspiring women in my life how they practice self love, and I’m sharing my top tips, too.
The most effective ritual I’ve been using this year is affirmations. Every morning, I meditate then recite affirmations in the mirror. I typed them out, printed them out and say them over and over and over again. They range from telling myself that I’m worthy of love to focusing on my ability to be successful.
If this is too new age for you (trust me, I get it! It took me forever to be able to stick to my morning ritual) I have an easier way to bring affirmations into your life. A makeup artist years ago told me a beauty trick that increases self-esteem. As you apply mascara, say “I am beautiful” in the mirror. It takes at least four swipes of mascara to finish your face so you’ll tell yourself how beautiful you are at least four times in the day. It feels silly at first, but trust me, it works!
Jeannine Morris is a life coach, beauty expert and nutritionist… and one of my best friends. I always turn to her when I need to add some positivity in my life (or when I need to figure out how to eat healthier!). Here’s what she had to say:
Self love is all about self acceptance. We can be so hard on ourselves and live in a society where the thought of “not being enough” (not skinny enough, not successful enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not good enough) can often make our minds spin. Personally, I practice flipping my perspective often. It’s a conscious effort I have to make, but the minute I begin to tell myself that I’m not enough, I immediately try to counter that statement with something positive. For example, instead of thinking, “I’m not skinny enough,” I find self acceptance through saying, “I’m appreciative of my healthy, fit body.”
Diana Madison is a major power babe. She runs a successful website, has her own talk show and is a TV producer! She balances all her success with motherhood, having just welcomed her second child last year. She always lifts me up with her ambition and positivity:
A great way I practice self love is to everyday remind myself how grateful I am of how far I’ve come and how far I want to go. Every morning I start out my day with meditation. Sometimes it’s 5 minutes and sometimes it’s 20 minutes. I tell myself positive things that will help me conquer my day. On my way to work I say aloud 10 things I am grateful for.
I think the most important thing about having self love is really believing in yourself. No matter how much inner work you do on yourself life happens. Sometimes you don’t get the job you wanted , your heart gets broken by the person you love. The list goes on and on and on. As long as you believe in yourself… in your gut you know who you are… you will get through any difficulties.
I met Kathryn Eisman years ago when she was a fashion producer at E! We instantly became friends. Not only is she insanely talented (she’s a best selling author and has been nominated for two Emmys!), she also has the kindest heart. She’s always made time for me to motivate me with my struggles:
I’ve found real self love starts and ends with the dialogue we have with ourselves from the moment we wake to the moment we fall to sleep. The tone of that ever-present conversation needs to be supportive, encouraging and championing. We need less “poor baby” and more “go get ‘em tiger”. We need less “I’m hopeless” and more “I’ve got this”. Only when we learn to speak to ourselves as coaches and best friends will we be able to love ourselves the way we deserve to be loved and have the fortitude of self to reach our full potential.
I’ve known Alice Chung for years. She’s a PR & Marketing power player in LA, having worked with top brands in fashion, beauty and art. In my low times, she’s always been there to help lift me up:
In the past year, I’ve worked hard to be kinder to myself rather than falling into a pattern of negative self-talk, which studies have shown can lead to higher stress levels, anxiety and even depression. There is one exercise that I did which promotes the concept of self-love, and which I credit with helping me to think more positively.
Self-Love Exercise – There is Only One You
- On a sheet of paper, write down 50 qualities and traits that you love about yourself. They can be character traits, parts of your body, personality quirks, strengths – anything about yourself that you love.
- Once you have written down 50, go for 75. Then, 100.
- Yes, it may feel weird at first. But keep going until you get to 100!
- Keep your list in a special notebook or place. Take it out and reread it from time to time to remind yourself of all the things that make you unique and worthy of being loved – when you’re having a bad day, when you’ve messed up at work, or even when you’re happy!
The intention behind this exercise is to show yourself all of the incredible qualities you possess, which you often forget. The exercise also reminds you that there is only one person on earth with this unique combination of qualities – YOU!
I’m a naturally self-effacing person, and I’m also so hard on myself that I found this exercise very difficult and somewhat embarrassing to do at first. But as I thought of things – all my strengths, wonderful qualities and goofy quirks – it became fun to find more and more things to celebrate and love about myself. After creating this list, I found that I was more confident and positive when facing challenging moments or times, and less likely to be self-critical in a damaging way. Ultimately, not beating myself up has helped me develop a more positive mindset.