Self-love is a huge buzzword right now. Yet it’s easy to be confused about what self-love actually looks like in daily life. No worries, we have 5 simple ways to show yourself a lot more love each day.
1. Sleep. You’ve heard this one before. The National Sleep Foundation says we need 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. Don’t fool yourself into believing this doesn’t apply to you. Health and happiness suffer when you don’t get enough sleep, and so do relationships. Researchers at the Ohio State University found that couples who shorted themselves on sleep fought more. Love yourself (and everyone else) by sleeping more!
2. Move. Exercise for the human body is sort of like changing the oil in a gasoline-powered car. If you don’t change your car’s oil, it’s not going to last. This doesn’t mean you have to join Cross Fit, though. You can show yourself some love by simply moving often. Park as far as you can away from work, walk three times around the mall before you go shopping, do lunges while you brush your teeth, or pushups against the kitchen counter while your morning coffee brews. Run in place for 15 minutes or walk around your house for a half hour while you listen to your favorite podcasts. Each time you move a little more than you have to, you’re saying, “te quiero” to your bod.
3. Say, “Yay me!” a lot. This tip comes from Christine Carter, author of The Sweet Spot. Humans are motivated by reward because a reward gives us a burst of the feel-good brain chemical, dopamine. Simply saying to yourself “Yay me!” after you do something super tiny, but positive can trigger a little hit of dopamine – just enough to tell your brain to repeat the behavior. Try it after you drink water, order a healthy lunch, walk twice around your cubicle, say nice things to a client, floss your teeth, anything! In fact, say it so often that, “yay me!” comprises most of your mental dialog and edges out any self-criticism that taken its place.
4. Ditch the heels (hear us out). We know you don’t want to hear this, but it’s important. Since the late 1990s, gait researchers have been warning women who wear high heel shoes regularly that heels place an exceptional amount of pressure on the knees, hips, back and other joints. While this may not seem like a big deal when you’re 25, we guarantee you won’t like the results down the road. Show yourself some love with a daily dose of cute flats or a low-heeled boot and save your super high heels for special occasions.
5. Be honest with others (and yourself). People often dedicate a large part of their lives to taking care of and pleasing others, women in particular. But if you’re not being true to yourself, you’re stressing out your brain and body. Sometimes we need a refresher on how to know if we’re really telling the truth or just saying what we think those around us want to hear. Try saying something you know is blatantly false and see how that feels in your body (for example, “I love to get strep throat!”). Now, say something true and see how that feels (like, “I love my dog.”) The idea is to practice saying what you really feel (the truth) and becoming familiar with that feeling. A big part of self-love is confidently knowing how you feel in a situation and being able to clearly express those feelings.