This post contains some of the best self love exercises to help you grow in self-love.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
What Is Self-Love?
For many people, self-love sounds indulgent and luxurious.
Some people don’t feel like they have the time for self-love when work and family demand so much of their time and energy.
But self-love is more than getting a manicure or soaking in the tub.
Relaxation and nurturing yourself is important, but true self-love involves more.
Self-love is about connecting with our own feelings and thoughts, identifying our values, and creating an authentic life that is in line with those values.
Related: How To Start A Self Love Journey? Top 10 Powerful Ways to Love Yourself More
Self Love Exercises
#1. Put Yourself First & Make Time For You
Putting yourself first may sound counterintuitive, especially when you have so many responsibilities or when you’re the one constantly giving to and nurturing others.
But even five minutes every day can be a big step.
Work on finding ways to set aside 5 or 10 minutes every day to journal, listen to meditation music, uninterrupted, or even drink a cup of tea while watching the sunrise.
Related: Top 45 Self Care Day Ideas at Home To Kickstart Your Self Care Ritual
#2. Get To Know Yourself
Self-love work involves getting in touch with yourself, including your feelings, thoughts, needs, and desires.
The following are journaling prompts to help you get to know yourself better:
- Describe yourself using the first 10 words that come to mind.
- What do you appreciate most about your personality? What aspects do you find harder to accept?
- What do you fear most about the future?
- What excites you most about the future?
- What is something you would love to do, but you’re not sure you can?
- What are your goals moving forward in life? How do they match up to your goals from 5 years ago?
- Do your goals truly reflect your desires? Or do they reflect what someone else (a parent, partner, friend, etc.) wants for you?
- What values do you consider most important in life (honesty, altruism, loyalty, compassion, authenticity, etc.)? What changes can you make to be more in line with your personal values?
- Describe a choice you regret. What did you learn from it?
- What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
- What secrets are you holding onto? What harm are they causing?
- What are some things that you like about yourself that others seem to criticize you about?
- What limiting beliefs do you have that’s keeping you from reaching your dream life?
Related: Best 30 Day Self Love Challenge (+FREE Worksheets PDF)
#3. Talk To Yourself In A Kind And Supportive Way
Self-love can’t grow in the context of shame and self-criticism.
Speaking to yourself in kind and loving way every day can help you change how you feel about yourself.
Oftentimes, you find it much easier to show compassion to others than to ourselves.
If you find it difficult to come up with something encouraging and compassionate at times, think about what you would tell a friend who is in the same situation and say it to yourself!
Related: How To Stop Self-Critical Thoughts Using These Top 10 Techniques
#4. Work Toward Cultivating Body Neutrality
The term “body neutrality” gained popularity in 2016 when counselor Anne Poirier started leading workshops that help participants acknowledge that loving their bodies isn’t always a realistic expectation.
The goal here is to step back from our self-talk about our appearance and allow ourselves to exist within our bodies without judgment, which helps free us to focus on things that matter most to us.
We may not always like the way we look, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
#5. Use Self-Love Affirmations
Affirmations are a great tool to change our feelings and habits.
The following are some self-love affirmations you may find helpful:
1. How I view myself is all that matters.
2. I am becoming the person I want to be. I work toward authenticity.
3. I am capable of anything I put my mind to.
4. I am deserving of good things, happiness, and joy.
5. I am enough.
6. I am here, and that matters.
7. I am in charge of my life.
8. I am letting go of my worries.
9. I am not my feelings. This is temporary.
10. I am reclaiming my power.
Related: Top 100 Self Love Mantras To Practice Daily
How to use affirmations?
Say it. Say the affirmation confidently and with conviction at least twice a day.
Write it. Write your affirmation over and over again.
Post it. Write your affirmation on sticky notes and place them when you can see them every day (bathroom mirror, car dashboard, desk, refrigerator, etc.)
Hear it. Record yourself saying the affirmation and play the recording when you’re sitting in silence or driving in your car.
What If My Mind Doesn’t Believe Affirmations?
Our minds can resist unfamiliar ideas including positive affirmations.
When you tell yourself, “I am amazing,” your mind jumps right in and starts arguing that you’re not.
When you state your affirmation as a question, such as “Why am I so amazing?” Your mind will jump in to answer the question, looking for reasons why it is true.
Apply this method to your existing list of affirmations. Add “why” at the beginning and notice how you feel when you ask those questions.
Every day is a new opportunity to practice self-love.
Even if you struggled the day before to make yourself a priority, you can still try again.
With daily practice, self-love becomes ingrained.
FREE Self-Love Resources
- The Gifts of Imperfection By Brené Brown
- Self-Love Workbook for Women By Megan Logan
- Self-Love Workbook for Black Women By Rachel Johnson
- Self-Care Worksheets: Download PDF
- Self-Compassionate Statements: Download PDF
- Self-Esteem Worksheets: Download PDF
- Say yes to you : a guide to self-love | Lily Zhao
- Self-Love: If You Do Only One Thing, Do This! | Frankie Côté
- Self-Love, be Intentional | Caitlyn Roux
- Mary’s Cup of Tea Podcast: The Self-Love Podcast for Women: Mary Jelkovsky’s podcast explores the depths of feminism, body positivity, self-worth and much more.
- She’s All Fat: A podcast described as ‘radical self-love’ hosted by Sophie and April.