Self-love is something we can all use a little bit more of in our lives. It can affect our self-esteem, how we carry ourselves through the world, and much more.
Like anything that involves growth, self-love requires practice. So if you're not sure how to go about practicing self-love, don't worry.
Below, we've put together 9 ways to practice self-love that will help you reclaim your energy and boost your self-confidence. Because at Maniology, we believe in the power of self-love and self-care.
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#1. Spend time with yourself
You might not like spending time with yourself. After all, some people simply prefer to blend into the noise of those around them.
But practicing self-care asks you to take the time to get to know who you are without the distraction of others.
Nurture your creativity with nail stamping
Nail stamping is an easy way to express your creativity while reclaiming your "me-time." Not only does nail stamping help you reconnect with your body.
It taps into your self-expression as you explore the various designs found on our stamping plates. The biggest thing we like to emphasize at Maniology is empowerment through creativity.
And creativity is by no means the same thing as perfection. So as you walk yourself through our nail stamping kit, don't worry about creating an absolute masterpiece or work of art.
Create something that matters to you. Spend time enjoying the various designs you can literally stamp onto your fingers.
Play with colors and nail tutorials found on our YouTube channel. Simply take the time to explore yourself through this physical act.
Give back to your body to practice self-compassion
We live in a world that's "go, go, go!" But sometimes, your body needs a break from all of that.
When you notice your body asking for help, answer it. Run yourself a bath with soft bubbles or incorporate essential oils into the bath water to bring some aromatherapy into your evening.
Alternatively, if you find your body has some extra energy to burn, take yourself on a run. Do something physical that brings you back into your body and satiates what your body requires.
Honoring your physical needs reminds you to put your self-care first. Because taking care of others is near-impossible when you're not taking care of yourself.
#2. Practice gratitude
Gratitude asks us to take stock of what is abundant in our lives. And it's one of the best ways to practice self-love and self-care.
Be thankful for the present moment
There's actually scientific evidence to suggest that gratitude can lead to greater happiness. So when you practice gratitude, it's not just a matter of checking something off your self-love to-do list.
It's actually helping you rearrange the way you take in your surroundings both mentally and emotionally. That's a pretty powerful way of honoring your life.
When we get into a daily routine, it's easy to lose sight of what we truly have. Everything becomes familiar and therefore loses its inherent value.
But gratitude reminds us to stop and take a look at the little things we have cultivated along the way.
Focus your energy on the peace you deserve
Many people hope to accomplish great things in their life. We've been taught that our self-worth is equal to that of our achievements.
But this can often lead to feelings of shame and disappointment when we feel we haven't lived up to our life's potential. Self-love reminds us that simply by existing, we are deserving of peace and love.
So as you practice self-care, try to quiet the voices that say you aren't good enough because you are. Reclaim your self-esteem by putting these negative feelings to the side, honoring them, then cultivating the sense of peace you deserve.
#3. Spend time with friends who love you
There's no question that good friends make life better. So if you have just one friend or many friends in your life who help to melt the stress away, consider spending more of your time with them as a form of self-care unto itself.
Treat them and yourself to a self-care night
You shouldn't need a special occasion to bring your loved ones together. Being alive and together is special enough!
Invite friends over for a spa night where you stamp your nails, watch movies, cook amazing meals, and generally enjoy one another's company. As far as wellness goes, your social relationships play a great role in your overall mental health.
Expand your comfort zone with the support of loved ones
Self-love and self-care offer us comfort. But that's not to say that you can't expand your horizons when you practice self-love.
In fact, stepping outside of your comfort and taking a risk can sometimes be one of the best ways to practice self-love. Because you're allowing yourself to experience a joy you have never experienced before.
Trying new things and remaining intellectually curious not only help to banish any uneasiness you may feel in your life. But they give you new ways to support your well-being while helping you grow into the person you've always wanted to be.
#4. Prioritize your mental health
Sometimes, it can be hard to put yourself first. After all, life comes with a lot of responsibilities.
But honoring your mental health above all else is a more sustainable way to live. And it may even help you be more readily available to others in their time of need too.
Honor your physical and emotional boundaries to cultivate self-compassion
Checking in with yourself is one of the most important ways to practice self-love. When life gets going and we get into a rhythm, it's easy to discount any feelings of discomfort for fear of messing with the status quo.
But what if the status quo isn't helping you as a person? What if it's holding you back from being a happier and healthier you?
This is why it's important to stop and take a scan of what boundaries you've been pushing. Which boundaries could use a bit more compassion in the here and now?
Meditate when you're feeling anxious
Meditation is an amazing tool that helps us focus on our inner world when the stress of the outer world becomes too much. In fact, a 2012 study found that regular, brief mindfulness meditation practices may actually improve our ability to focus more in life.
When we come more present, we find a deeper appreciation for the details. No matter the situation, you can always step back, take a moment, and recalibrate the way you want to engage with life.
#5. Take a break from technology
Technology has no doubt given us an abundant amount of resources. But what role does it play when it comes to self-love and self-care?
Practice self-love through digital wellness
A study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology investigated the effects of social media on one's mental state. Ultimately, they found that limiting our digital intake to 30 minutes a day can greatly improve our overall wellness.
It's fair to say that social media can often lead us down rabbit holes, causing us to compare ourselves to others. But digital wellness reminds us that such standards as perpetuated by Instagram and similar apps are not necessarily conducive to our overall happiness.
Come back to your body by spending time outside in fresh air
A great way to practice digital wellness, and in turn self-love, is by being outdoors, off of technology. The fresh air can literally cleanse us of being indoors all day.
And all it takes is one step out the door. Even a short walk around the block can help to reset your perspective while helping you to cultivate your own self-love.
#6. Practice self-acceptance
Ideas about self-love often conjure happy and liberating feelings. But it's important to note that self-care isn't just about the positives. It's about accepting the negatives too.
Accept negative thoughts for what they are, then let them go
Negativity doesn't go away just because you give yourself over to self-care and self-love. But it does become easier to cope with.
When you start to feel anything negative, allow it to exist. Then, let it go.
You can even write it out on a piece of paper, then ceremoniously burn it. This way, you're not repressing the negativity. You're accepting it for what it is and choosing to direct your energy elsewhere.
Write down the little things that bring you joy
Similarly, writing down your little joys can equally act as a form of self-love. In jotting down the things that make you happy, you're able to visualize them.
Over time, you may not need to write them down as regularly. But by starting such a practice, you're drawing your attention to the things in life that make you happy.
#7. Slow your life down
Earlier, we mentioned just how fast-paced life can be. But that doesn't mean you have to give into the hustle and bustle when it doesn't suit you.
Instead, you can choose to slow your life down.
Make sure your daily routine includes activities that make you feel good
Unfortunately, nobody has discovered how to literally slow time down yet. But when you make room for joyful activities in your everyday life, you end up slowing down, being in the present, and enjoying the process.
Let's say you love being in nature, but you just don't feel like you have enough time in your schedule. Try taking a 5-minute walk a day, just to get that fresh sunshine in if only for a little bit.
Over time, you may be able to rearrange your schedule to fit in longer nature walks. But what's important is that you're making time for what brings you joy.
Practice the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique
The 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique is often used for folks looking to manage anxiety. But it's a helpful tool that centers you in the present, specifically helping you cite your surroundings.
To perform this technique, start by mentally listing 5 things you see. Then, become aware of 4 things you can touch.
Next, acknowledge 3 things you can hear. Then, 2 things you can smell. And lastly, 1 thing you can taste.
#8. Practice self-love with affirmations
Affirmations might seem cheesy at first. But you'd be surprised at just how much of a difference they make.
"I am here and that matters"
In moments where you feel overwhelmed, try repeating this affirmation. Remind yourself that your very existence is special enough.
You don't need to strive for anything more than the here and now. At this moment, you are here and that matters.
"My work does not define me"
If you had a less-than-spectacular day at the office, remind yourself that you are not your work. Your worth is not diminished by a mistake you made or a deadline you just barely made.
Life happens. Mistakes happen. But you are no less important because things didn't go as planned.
#9. Let go of the things that no longer serve you
Self-love and self-care ask us to identify what brings us joy. But they also ask us to take action against the things that no longer contribute to our happiness.
Clear your environment of any unnecessary stress
We're not saying you have to completely overturn your daily life. But if there's a particular part of your day that just brings you down, try letting that one task go.
It can be as simple as having to make coffee in the morning. If you're already not a morning person, try preparing your coffee maker at night, then set a timer so you wake up to the smell of warm coffee beans filling up your home.
You might even get an extra few minutes in bed!
Respect that you are an evolving human being
Over time, our likes and dislikes change. Our core beliefs may shift and change too.
As you evolve, remind yourself that these changes are not a reflection of your failure. They're a reflection of your growth.
What once worked for you may no longer bring you the same sense of peace and joy. Invest in your continual evolution as a human being and honor the changes as they come.
We hope that these self-love and self-care ideas can help you find more joy in your life. Of course, these self-care ideas are not an exhaustive list and you'll find what works best for you.
But what matters most is that you're invested in your journey toward self-love. And that's cause for celebration on its own.
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At Maniology, we believe your nails are opportunities for adventure, fun, and unrestrained artistic expression. Our nail stamping plates and nail accessories are here to help foster your self-expression in the hopes of building a community of individuality. For more nail tutorials, subscription box updates, and designs, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, LinkedIn, and YouTube.