What Self-Love Means: 20+ Ways to Be Good to Yourself (2024)

What Self-Love Means: 20+ Ways to Be Good to Yourself (1)

“Self-love requires you to be honest about your current choices and thought patterns and undertake new practices that reflect self-worth.” ~Caroline Kirk

If one more person told me to “love myself” I was going to levitate into the air and pull one of those impossible martial arts moves from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I was sick of it!

What the heck does loving myself mean? Were they talking about bubble baths, pedicures, and cucumber masks? It turns out there is so much more to self-love than just pampering ourselves. I found this out the hard way.

About a year and a half ago, I almost died after a bad breakup. I had devoted so much of my energy to making the relationship work that I had completely neglected my own needs,and had given away my power and my responsibility for happiness.

As I wrote about here, when I finally developed the courage to end an addictive and painful relationship, I had to live with the effects of lack of self-love.

I struggled to eat, sleep, or continue my daily functioning. I spent every waking hour to myself, trying to understand how and why I had gotten there. I had to know, because whatever it was, if I did not attend to it, this was going to be the end of the road for me. I knew it.

I made mixed media collages, journaled, watched The Notebook five more times, cried, and called up friends to keep me company while I ate my few bites each day.

During this whole time, I found places in my story where I was not present to my own life, my body, or my spirit. I was just there. I found the places where I had abandoned myself and then gotten mad at the other person for not meeting my needs.

The truth was, I did not have a big enough inner container to hold the love I so desired even if I received it, because my self-love tank had shrunk down to the size of a bottle cap.

It finally became very clear to me that there was one core reason I had gotten there: I did not know anything about self-love.

This realization launched me into a relentless search for the meaning of self-love, internally and externally.

I found that self-love is a not a destination; it’s a practice. Self-love is the foundation on which we build a happy life. Without self-love, we have nowhere to put the love or abundance that comes to us.

Not sure what it looks like to love yourself? Here is what I’ve learned. Self-love is…

1. Choosing ourselves, even if it means upsetting others and not being popular anymore. Even if it means we leave a party before anyone else because we feel tired, overwhelmed, or just plain feel done with the crowd.

2. Telling what is true for us, not swallowing words that express what we truly feel, think, or want to do.

3. Giving our body the nurturing, rest, exercise, and comfort it needs to the best of our ability.

4. Wearing clothes that make us feel good and fit our personality instead of wearing clothes that are in fashion that we use to impress others.

5. Building a life that we love while we are single instead of waiting for our prince/princess to show up to explore life and to be happy.

6. Accepting ourselves with the good, the bad, the ugly, the sexy, and the smelly—all of it—and appreciating ourselves as whole people.

7. Making time to do whatever we love, just to play, without worrying about wasting time.

8. Owning our inner and outer beauty and complimenting ourselves without feeling guilty, arrogant, or entitled.

9. Not rehashing our past mistakes and dragging ourselves to a dark place when we know that we can only learn from the past; we can’t change it.

10. Spending some quality, connected time with ourselves instead of always watching TV or wasting time on the Internet.

11. Using discretion when sharing our heart, self, and dreams with others.

12. Trusting the path that our soul is on and making a genuine effort to become a conscious co-creator of our destiny.

13. Not blaming our parents for our current issues, and looking for ways to heal our wounds and change our dysfunctional patterned behaviors by reaching out to ministers, therapists, coaches, and healers.

14. Following what our gut/intuition says instead of living out of our brain and ego.

15. Staying in our integrity, both when it comes to ourselves and when interacting with others out in the world. This includes keeping ourselves in check regarding patterns such as lying, manipulating, co-depending, withholding, and pretending.

16. Allowing ourselves to dream big, without contaminating these dreams with judgments, our perceived limitations, or a lack of sense of deserving.

17. Knowing how we’re spending our emotional, mental, financial, and physical energy, and whether these activities bring back joy, connection, nurturing, rest, and creativity to our lives.

18. Taking responsibility for all of our experiences. Knowing that we have the ability for deeper self-awareness and access to our intuition when it comes to making life choices.

19. Not labeling ourselves with others’ opinions of us, while having the courage to look inside to see if there might be some truth to them.

20. Learning to set boundaries that protect and nurture our relationships, with ourselves and others.

21. Allowing ourselves to make mistakes and not berating ourselves for making them. Instead, choosing to appreciate our desire to learn and grow.

22. Refusing to seek permission or approval to be ourselves. Recognizing that we, like everyone else, deserve to take up space on this planet just as who we are right now.

And lastly, self-love is:

23. Loving and accepting ourselves even when we fail miserably at some of these self-love goals.

No one else can offer these things to us. No one else can take our vitamins for us or prevent us from going into a self-loathing attack.

Even if we land the best partner on the planet, this person won’t be able to make us happy and feel loved unless we create the space for it inside by practicing self-love. This is why self-love is an inside job.

From my heart to your heart…

What Self-Love Means: 20+ Ways to Be Good to Yourself (2)

About Banu Sekendur

Banu is an intuitive coach and a healer. Her passion is removing emotional, mental, and energetic splinters that create blocks to joy. You can connect with her on her website and her budding Facebook group Heart Alchemy Crusaders.

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What Self-Love Means: 20+ Ways to Be Good to Yourself (2024)


What Self-Love Means: 20+ Ways to Be Good to Yourself? ›

Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Self-love means not settling for less than you deserve.

What is the true meaning of self-love? ›

Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Self-love means not settling for less than you deserve.

What are 5 ways to love yourself? ›

5 Ways to Fall in Love with Yourself
  • Change your self talk. ...
  • Take care of your physical state. ...
  • Adopt an attitude of gratitude. ...
  • Reconnect with yourself. ...
  • Be the energy you want to attract.

What are the highest forms of self-love? ›

It's choosing what's best for you in the future, rather than what's easy for you in the moment. Discipline builds confidence and trust in yourself, that you're going to do what you say you're going to do. This is a very important trust.

How to give self-love to yourself? ›

They could be as simple as speaking kindly to yourself, taking breaks when needed, or engaging in activities that make you happy. Other self-love habits include practicing gratitude, spending time in nature, eating nourishing food, and exercising in a way that feels good to your body.

Why is self-love so powerful? ›

When we practice self-love, we accept ourselves for who we are and recognize our worth, which has a healthy impact on our self-esteem. Self-love also encourages us to take care of ourselves, both physically and emotionally, and helps to protect us from outside influences that might diminish our self-worth.

What is the best quote for self-love? ›

45 inspirational quotes that'll have you feeling yourself
  • “I am somebody. ...
  • “If you have the ability to love, love yourself first.” — ...
  • “Make happiness your priority and be gentle with yourself in the process.” — ...
  • “I love the person I've become because I fought to become her.” — ...
  • “I am my own experiment.
Nov 30, 2023

How to heal and love yourself? ›

If you're looking for some ideas to get started, these are some great first steps towards loving yourself.
  1. Plan your escape. ...
  2. Book a therapy session. ...
  3. Spend time in nature with those you love. ...
  4. Adopt a pet. ...
  5. Fill your home with things that make you smile. ...
  6. Go screen free. ...
  7. Give yourself permission to say 'no' ...
  8. Eat alone.
May 21, 2021

What are the 7 steps to loving yourself? ›

7 Steps to Loving Yourself Unconditionally
  • Step 1: Make Contact with Your Inner Self. ...
  • Step 2: Honestly Face Your Inner Obstacles and Resistance. ...
  • Step 3: Deal with Old Wounds. ...
  • Step 4: Forgive Your Past. ...
  • Step 5: Accept where You Are Right Now. ...
  • Step 6: Form Relationships where You Feel Loved and Appreciated.
Sep 1, 2016

How to practice self-love daily? ›

Write down three things you appreciate about yourself each morning when you wake up, or each night when you go to bed. 4. Speak affirmations. Whenever you think of it as you go about your day, silently or aloud repeat self-affirmations such as: “I am enough.” or “ I love and accept myself.”

What is the ultimate act of self-love? ›

After all, cultivating discipline to accomplish your goals is the ultimate demonstration of self-love, as it allows us to reach our highest potential.

How to love yourself unconditionally? ›

How to Love Yourself Unconditionally
  1. Discover Who You Really Are. ...
  2. Set and Keep Boundaries. ...
  3. Use Kinder Words in Your Self-Talk. ...
  4. Honor Your Alone Time. ...
  5. Heal from Old Wounds and Let Go of Past Resentments. ...
  6. Spend Time with People Who Love and Appreciate You.
Feb 13, 2023

What are the four types of self-love? ›

If you are having challenges with self-esteem or would like extra support, seeking therapy may also be an option worth considering. What are the 4 types of self-love? Self-love can generally be broken into four categories: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

What is the general purpose of self-love? ›

Self-love helps us take care of ourselves, lower stress, and strive for success. But it also protects us from negative thoughts, self-sabotage, and pushing ourselves too far. It's important to recognize that knowing what to say “no” to is just as important as learning when to say “yes.”

What is self-love according to the Bible? ›

True self-love is acceptance of ourselves as redeemed people. Yes, we are loved and accepted, but it is precisely not because we are worthy in ourselves, but because Christ is worthy. Only when we accept the reality of redemption can we find freedom to look outwards.

What is an example of self-love? ›

Self-love can be defined as an appreciation of one's own worth or virtue. That includes accepting yourself as you are, prioritizing your needs, setting healthy boundaries and forgiving yourself when needed. Treating yourself with kindness and respect means taking time to take care of your overall well-being.

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