Five Ways of Showing Love to Yourself
Today, loneliness is an epidemic. In fact, despite living in a large city crowded with people, and although your presence and interaction on social media might be increasing, you may well feel alone. This is due, to a large extent, to the fact that you’re emotionally disconnected from others and immersed in an individualistic and competitive social dynamic. It’s also the consequence of a lack of connection with yourself. Therefore, in this article, we’re going to suggest several ways in which you can show yourself love and fill that void.
In reality, self-esteem is the key to happiness. That said, despite being a widely named and debated concept, it’s not always well understood. Moreover, it mustn’t only be addressed at a theoretical level. It must be accompanied by facts that really demonstrate and materialize the appreciation and consideration that you claim to feel for yourself.
As in any other bond, you must nurture your relationship with yourself on a daily basis with different gestures and actions. But, you might find yourself dedicating your time, effort, and energy to others and not to yourself. Here are some ideas to stop you from doing so.
How to show you love yourself
There are countless ways you can show yourself love, consideration, respect, and support.
One good way of classifying them is by following the five love languages proposed by Gary Chapman. According to this author, there are five ways of expressing affection and we all feel a greater predilection for one of them. They claim how we show our appreciation to others, as well as how we like to be loved.
You can use the same proposal for cultivating your relationship with yourself:
1. Physical contact
To express love to yourself in this way, here are some tips:
- Connect with your body and its needs. Start listening to it and pay attention to what it’s trying to tell you. For example, rest when you need to, drink enough water, and exercise regularly.
- Treat yourself to a hot bath or a self-massage with cream or oil.
- Choose comfortable clothes and pleasant textiles in your home.
- Hug yourself whenever you need to provide yourself with a sense of security and comfort. This can help reduce your physiological stress response during challenging times and make you feel better.
2. Words of affirmation
Schedule words of affirmation for yourself. For example, recite positive affirmations in front of the mirror each morning. Or, write small motivational notes and place them in visible places in your home. If you persist, this will help improve your self-concept and the assessment you make of yourself.
However, it’s more important that you know how to dedicate these words to yourself at key moments. For example, congratulate yourself on your achievements, encourage yourself to make an effort for the project you don’t feel particularly motivated about, or be indulgent and show self-compassion when you make a mistake. Adopt a positive internal dialogue that encourages you and supports you in a loving way.
3. Quality time
Many of us find being alone boring and uninteresting. Even silence and a lack of company are disturbing for some of us. While, for others, these moments of solitude might be complicated by daily obligations and the fact of living with family members, especially small children. Whatever the case may be, it’s always possible to find a space in which you can spend some time with yourself.
You shouldn’t spend this time passively watching television or reviewing your social media though. It should be quality time. For example, you could practice some of your favorite activities, such as dancing, going for a nature walk, or visiting your favorite coffee shop.
It’ll be even more profitable if you delve into self-knowledge and introspection. Practices such as meditation, deep breathing, journaling, or therapeutic writing are excellent options. In effect, they allow you to connect with yourself, as well as your emotions and your thoughts so you can give them the attention they deserve.
4. Acts of service
How many times do you go out of your way for others but can’t do the least little thing for yourself? Maybe you’re looking after your children, partner, and elderly parents and are able to cook the best dishes, run all kinds of errands, and schedule and organize appointments, but when it comes to doing something for you, you always put it off or make the least possible effort.
Showing love to yourself through acts of service includes doing everything for yourself you need to feel good on a day-to-day basis. This might range from cleaning and tidying up your own space, to cooking appetizing and eye-catching dishes, organizing your agenda, hanging a painting on your wall, or moving forward with that long overdue project. In short, it means you stop procrastinating and make an extra effort for yourself that’ll make your daily life easier and more enjoyable.
5. Gifts and giveaways
Finally, show yourself love by giving yourself objects and experiences that you like. This doesn’t mean squandering your savings, but paying attention to the little things.
For example, you can buy that bar of chocolate that you like so much or the shirt that caught your eye when you were walking down the street the other day. Or, you could treat yourself to a day at the spa, a cooking class, or a movie ticket to the latest premiere. After all, you’re often quick to spend on others but not yourself. Life shouldn’t be like this.
Showing yourself love every day improves your well-being
As you can see, there are many ways that you can show yourself love, respect, and consideration. Now, stop and think. How many of them do you currently practice regularly?
Remember that implementing these simple actions will help you connect with yourself. You’ll become your own greatest support and your main source of love and validation. This will dilute any feelings of loneliness, increase your life satisfaction, and even allow you to have better-quality relationships. That’s because you’ll no longer be searching for others to fill those gaps in your life.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Chapman, G., & Campbell, R. (2016). The 5 Love Languages/5 Love Languages for Men/5 Love Languages of Teenagers/5 Love Languages of Children. Moody Publishers.
- Dreisoerner, A., Junker, N. M., Schlotz, W., Heimrich, J., Bloemeke, S., Ditzen, B., & van Dick, R. (2021). Self-soothing touch and being hugged reduce cortisol responses to stress: A randomized controlled trial on stress, physical touch, and social identity. Comprehensive psychoneuroendocrinology, 8, 100091.
- Santa Fernández, L., Mota López, R., & Rubio Guzmán, E. M. (2022). Una aproximación a la soledad juvenil: ¿De qué hablamos?¿ Qué podemos hacer?. Educación social: revista de intervención socioeducativa. https://redined.educacion.gob.es/xmlui/handle/11162/225003