7 ways to love yourself, just a little bit more

7 ways to love yourself, just a little bit more
By Sally Evans


If all you can do is be kind to yourself for just 5 minutes a day, just do it! There you go. Easy advice, but what could that look like? The important thing is to start small; just one little habit at a time is all we need to change to start being good to ourselves and love ourselves just a little bit more.
If we love ourselves first, we are likely to be kinder to others throughout the day. As you read this list of ideas, take what sounds good for you and leave the rest. Create your own morning ritual of self-love and start your day with kindness:

Wake up at 2 hours before you need to be somewhere. Being frantically in a hurry doesn’t lend itself to gentle kindness throughout the day. For extra kind waking, try the Sleep Cycle app, or similar. It monitors your Circadian rhythms (movement) and knows whether you’re in a deep sleep, waking you within a set time parameter while you’re in light sleep, so as not to jolt you awake from the depths of slumber. Just the best and most gentle way to wake up every day.

According to research, we lose water at night just by breathing and dehydration will make you tired throughout the day, so putting a full glass back in to our beautiful, healthy bodies first thing will help give us the energy to tackle our day with excitement and mindfulness.

This is not just for Buddhists any more! Giving ourselves personal alone time for 20 minutes each day, first thing, is a great way to find some peace and if your mind wanders, it will help you generate winning ideas. You can walk or sit in your special place, but it’s important to respect yourself by having this personal time for you and no one else.

Julia Cameron calls this ritual ‘morning pages’ in her seminal book on the subject of creativity, The Artist’s Way. Writing down your first thoughts is a way to capture your mind at its freshest but also to encourage and acknowledge one’s own thought process, instilling self-confidence. Keeping a journal and practising gratitude have both been found to increase positive wellbeing and are a great way to start loving your life and yourself.

Make a list of your best qualities and accomplishments and tape it to your mirror so you can look at it every morning while you get ready. While you’re at it, practice Amy Cuddy’s ‘power posing’ for a self-confidence boost. Her research shows that standing like Wonder Woman for a full 2 minutes, can massively boost your confidence. Go on, try it! Got an achievement you’re proud of (run a 5km recently?) – then keep the medal hanging on your door, so you can see them every day.

Leave your mobile on airplane mode until you leave the house for work in the morning. How is this the same as practicing kindness and self-love? Constant notifications and distractions take away our ability to be mindful and enjoy the moment. It’s much easier to follow your morning routine if your phone isn’t buzzing with the latest email or Facebook like - that can wait until later to be seen.

It’s so much easier to kind to yourself and others when you’re crowding in the positive thoughts and crowding out the negative thoughts with gratitude. Write down five things you’re grateful for or think (or sing!) about them while you’re in the shower and pretty soon you’ll be too joyful for negative talk and practising real self-love.