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Self-love – 7 Steps to Start Loving Yourself!

Love yourself, even your imperfections
Learn to love yourself, even your imperfections – Photo by AndYaDontStop

Most days, it seems you can rarely spare a moment to take a minute for yourself.

Everybody else needs you to meet their needs: your boss, your mother, your spouse, your friends, your responsibilities, the mortgage, the environment, the gas prices … the list never ends.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you feel that all you do is give and give and give … until all you want to do is give up.

What happens when your personal reserves are depleted? What will you do when your “giving account” finally gets overdrawn?

Here’s an eye opener: If you don’t start giving to yourself the love and care YOU need, you will eventually burn out. Your soul will feel as brittle as burnt paper, and you will crumble from the weight of everybody else’s needs.

The truth is that we can only give away to others what we ourselves possess within. If you are empty on the inside, how will you ever meet everybody’s needs?

What do you do to ensure your giving account stays out of the red?

You take small action steps every day to honor and care for You.

Self-love is a choice you have to do every day. It’s sort of like brushing your teeth. You don’t do it once and then forget about it. You get up every morning and go through the steps. Every day.

To help you get started on a routine of Self-care, here are a few action steps you can start doing right now:

#1. Follow the breadcrumbs to joy

What things make you smile or light you up?

Get curious and find out.

Make a list of the things you like to do, treats that delight you, simple pleasures that make you happy.

Ask yourself: What small things can I do today that will make me feel joyful, honored and valued?

#2. You deserve a break

All of us are imperfect.

We screw up. We forget birthdays. We let the other shoe drop. We are late to important meetings.

So what?  That’s life.

Think about a time when your best friend or your own child messed up or was struggling with a problem. Did you berate her? Call her worthless and no good?  Of course not!

You most likely offered support, advice or a shoulder to lean on.

Give yourself the same love and support.

Being imperfect doesn’t make you horrible – it makes you human. Embrace your quirks as part of your individuality and get over it.

#3. Play a little! Get creative

Locking up your creativity and throwing away the key leads to unhappiness.

I believe all of us long to make, bake, sew, or grow something, but we block the urge because we are afraid. We fear we will “get it wrong, mess it up, feel stupid.”

That’s limited thinking that gets you nowhere. There is no wrong way to create. There are just opportunities to experiment, stretch and grow.

#4. Live healthy

Take time every day to take care of your body and mind.

Rest when you are tired; nourish your body with good food, water and exercise.

Go outside and marvel at the sky. Take a walk in the woods; go to the park.

Make a choice to honor your health.

#5. Practice mindfulness

Be inspired by the simple pleasures in your life. You truly don’t have to look far to find miracles all around you.

Magic and truth wait in the small, everyday moments that you can so easily take for granted.

Notice the way your senses react in a hot shower or when you pull warm cookies out of the oven.

These things only happen in the moment.

#6. Write down a Stop Doing list

Notice the patterns, habits and activities that no longer serve you.

Write them down and eliminate them from your life.

If something blocks your happiness, then it is probably time to let it go and leave it behind.

What can you stop doing today that will help you honor and love your Self more fully?

#7. Seek out Support

One of the best things you can do for yourself is build a system of support to help you reach your goals.

If you find talking to your friend isn’t enough, then seek out books, iPod interviews, classes, e-courses, workshops, retreats or coaches whose sole purpose is to help you and support you.

Take advantage of the help that’s available. Don’t try to do it alone.

Remember, every choice you make is an expression of your priorities. Your choices reveal what matters most to you. Choice is your greatest power.

By choosing to be kind, loving and caring to yourself first, you ensure your giving account is always full so that you have plenty of You to give away to everybody.

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This article was contributed by Glad Doggett, a Truth Seeker, Wayfinder and Joyologist who spends most of her time on the blog Best Laid Scheme. She is the creator of the e-course re: Turn to You. You can also find her on Facebook.

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