When you think about love, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Your family? Your pets? Your friends? Guessing it likely wasn’t yourself. We tend to take care of others before we take care of ourselves.

 

We hear a lot about self-love and the importance of a positive self-perception and yet it can be one of the hardest things for people to practice. So, we’ve pulled together 5 ways to start loving yourself, today.

 

Adopt an attitude of gratitude

In the wise words of Oprah, “Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never ever have enough.”

 

When we appreciate the amazing gifts we have, and focus on all the positive things about ourselves, we realize just how much we have and just how amazing we are. A great place to start is a gratitude journal. At the end of each day, write down three things that you are grateful for in your life. It can be anything from your compassionate heart to the roof over your head to your fulfilling job. Think of gratitude like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it’ll get.

 

Nourish your body and soul

Fill your body with healthy food, not because of how it will make you look, but rather how it will make you feel. Healthy, fresh, whole foods will make you feel amazing, so you can perform at your best. Think of each meal as an opportunity to show your body some love in the form of wholesome, nourishing foods.

 

Spend a few minutes every single day to yourself, without distraction. This can be in a quiet area of your home with a cup of tea, in a nice warm bath at the end of the day, journaling for a few minutes before bed, or just reading a book that will nourish your soul. Take some time out to spend on just you.

 

Move your amazing body every single day

Whether that’s a cycle class, a ten-minute walk after dinner, a hike outside, a yoga class, a weight session, or running around with your puppy, get up and move. Sweat. Do what feels good in your body every day. Focus on appreciating what your body can do and not on what it can’t do. Changing your mindset to focus on all of the amazing things we take for granted on the daily can alter your entire perspective on your body. Love (and move) that skin you’re in!

 

Use positive talk

Start the day with three positive affirmations about yourself. Look in the mirror and say three things about your mind, your body, and your soul that you love. The more you do this, the more you’ll find to love.  On the same note, congratulate yourself for your achievements. No matter how big or small – from that promotion at work to staying strong and not caving to that 3 pm chocolate craving – celebrate your wins! Pat yourself on the back, you deserve it!

 

Hush the inner critic

Gandhi said, “A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.” So, keep those thoughts positive and stop comparing yourself to other people. You are the only you. Remember that. There is NO ONE else on this planet like you and that’s pretty special.

 

Once you stop comparing yourself to other people, you can also stop comparing yourself, well, to yourself. Hush the inner critic who always has something to judge – hair not thick enough, hair too thick, hair too curly, hair too flat. Put a cork in that inner critic and allow yourself to be who you are, without judgement.

 

 

Remember, taking care of the people you love includes taking care of yourself. Hope you find these reminders helpful and if you need additional ideas, feel free to speak to any of the In-Shape Yoga instructors!