Let’s talk about getting started with self-love. It’s a pretty poorly hidden secret that I love almost everything Mindy Kaling creates. The almost here is integral because I wasn’t really into the show Champions and didn’t love her movie ‘Late Night’ – but overall picture, I’m a fan. Let me explain.
My remedy to a bad day is reruns of The Mindy Project & a large milk tea with half sugar and boba. I’m not lying, it makes me smile every single time.
I actually started watching the show because a friend recommended Mindy Kaling’s book to me “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me” and I decided to listen to it on audiobook. I fell in love with Mindy’s wit, sense of humor, and overall candid nature. After I finished both audiobooks, I needed more. I went online and bought a subscription to Hulu just to watch her show.
In one episode, Laverne Cox guest-stars as Cousin Sheena and asks Mindy to look at herself in the mirror and describe herself. When Mindy is critical of her body, Sheena asks her “if the person in the mirror was her best friend would you be as mean to her as you is being to yourself?” – Whoa.
This concept is so true! When our girlfriends complain about an oily T-zone or a few pounds they gained, we brush it off and tell them that it’s nothing! They are beautiful, smart, and strong! Why is it that we are the most critical when it comes to ourselves? It’s high time that we jump on board the self-love train and start treating ourselves like we do our best friends.
Here are 8 easy ways to get started with self-love.
1. Be a Solo Act
Too often we rely on our support systems (best friends, boyfriends, or parents) to tell us how great we are and what we are capable of doing. That’s not going to work anymore. Self-love is a solo act which means you have to be your own biggest cheerleader. Investing in self-love means that it has to come from you.
Some people base their esteem and how they feel about themselves on other people’s interest in them. They fail to realize that they are capable of giving this love and acceptance to themselves, and if they depend on someone to give this feeling to them, then they are also giving them the power to take it away.
Whether you keep a digital notebook or do One Line a Day, it’s crucial for you to document your life and your progress. Consider how you are feeling, what you are confident about, insecure about, and how you rise from challenges. Establishing your progress as a person will help you realize your potential and what an amazing person you really are.
3. Push Your Limits
Ever wanted to try something out of your comfort zone? Maybe a calligraphy studio, baking class, or even adult gymnastics? If not now, then when? Give yourself the ability to build confidence in something that you may not be inherently good at. It’s okay if you aren’t amazing! You tried something that interests you and that’s really cool. Now you have a new “fun fact” for those dreaded get-to-know-you games.
Fun fact: I went to adult gymnastics when I was 21 to try to live my dream of being an Olympic gymnast. After 8 classes I couldn’t even tumble with a trampoline and 16 stacked mats. Hey, at least I tried!
4. Treat Your Body Like a Temple
There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a glass of wine or a decadent doughnut but establish a habit of caring for your body. Find a fitness regimen that fits your life and your interests. If you love to dance, find a dance class – love to place a sport, find a place to play recreationally. There is literally something for everyone as long as you prioritize fitness just like you do other things.
5. Get More Sleep
Being well-rested is essential for feeling empowered and ready to go. I know, this seems like such a nuisance coming from me – but trust me, I do sleep!
It’d be unrealistic to recommend 8 hours to everyone, especially in a time when we are trying to build our families, careers, and frankly – our empire. I am creatively intuitive at night. Since going full-time with my business, I’ve been attempting to get more work done during the day and leave my evenings to relax and recharge (like a normal job) – a year and a half later? It’s not going too well.
As much as I try to change my habits, I find myself only able to write at night. Maybe it comes from spending a decade working at my full-time job during the day and creatively at night, that retraining my schedule is tough. Or maybe it’s just fundamentally who I am as a person.
On nights that I stay up till 2, I usually wake up around 9 AM the next day. I almost always get 6-7 hours of sleep and recommend that to everyone. If you’re a few hours short, I’m a big fan of Sunday afternoon naps on the couch.
6. Walk Away
It wouldn’t be a complete list if we didn’t talk about detoxifying your life. Be comfortable enough to walk away from unhealthy relationships with boyfriends or even best friends. Surround yourself with positive influences that challenge you, support you, and care for you. If you want to get started with self-love, you need to cultivate a support system of people who empower you and feel confident to pull the plug on a bad relationship.
7. Say “NO”
Don’t get me wrong, FOMO is real – but a sign of lower self-acceptance is the undeniable need to say to everything and everyone. Being super agreeable allows you to win positive points with friends, coworkers, and even your boss – but at what cost? Being over-extended and exhausted will allow less time for you to truly care for yourself. Learn to be okay with saying “no” and be comfortable in your ability to prioritize yourself. Remember this post with things you need to start saying “No” to?
8. Stop Apologizing
Women are so guilty of this, and I am too. As this Op-Ed piece in the NYT brilliantly explains, somehow for a woman their politeness is somehow correlated with their ability to apologize profusely for things that are outside of their control. Even this 2014 Pantene Ad shined a light on the fact that it’s ingrained in our vocabulary. “So we should stop. It’s not what we’re saying that’s the problem, it’s what we’re not saying. The “sorry” are taking up airtime that should be used for making logical, declarative statements, expressing opinions and relaying accurate impressions of what we want.” – NYT
Final Thoughts on Easy Habits To Get You Started With Self Love
Self-love is so important and it’s time to prioritize you for a change. Test out these tips for a more self-empowered life. Remember, you are your own best friend!