Like any relationship, self-love requires constant attention and consistent re-evaluation to ensure you are giving yourself all the care and kindness you need.
But what happens when self-love gets put on the back burner? Maybe you have a stressful and demanding week at work. Or maybe you’re dealing with some family drama. Or you’re just in a funk, for whatever reason.
So many things are vying for our attention that it can be easy to focus more on something else and less on yourself.
And how do you get back to your strong, peaceful, loving self, especially when circumstances around you may not have improved? Work may still be stressful, family stuff may not be resolved, you may just have a lot going on.
The key is finding a solution while that’s all happening so you’ll be less likely to fall out of self-love when life gets hectic in the future.
Here are a few tips for you to try when you want to strengthen your self-love or if you’re just feeling off balance.
Get to the root of it
Before you can truly solve any problem, you first need to uncover the root cause. What is it specifically that throws you off balance?
If a busy week at work threw you off your self-love game, why? Maybe busyness turns into anxiety and you don’t have your anxiety under control (reflecting on myself right now).
There’s always a deeper reason so challenge yourself to dig for it. When you think you’ve found the root cause, pause for a minute and see if you can figure out what even causes that.
Be gentle with yourself
It can be easy to get frustrated or start up with negative self talk for falling out of self-love but that just sends you further down the rabbit hole. Acknowledge that you slipped a little and do your best to not let yourself fall any deeper.
Stopping the decline is the first step in starting the incline.
Being gentle with yourself also extends to how much force you use to improve your self-love. Some people will be able to snap back into their self-love practice very easily. For others it may take more time.
If you’re the latter, allow your body to naturally tell you what it needs and give it only that. Don’t try to force more growth than you’re ready for.
Make small adjustments
It can be easy to make a list of all the things you want to do to improve your self-love. Start meditating every day, and journaling every day, and self affirmations every day, and…But trying to commit to doing so many things on a regular basis can set yourself up for failure.
Making small adjustments each day will bring you to a stronger, more sustainable place of self-love. Eventually you may work up to doing everything on that list regularly but if not, that’s ok too.
While making those small adjustments, take time to find joy in the little things. Look for anything that makes you smile.
Maybe it’s a butterfly flying by, or a baby laughing, or cuddling with your spouse/pet. Smiling for even a second can boost your mood.
This one is all about tricking your brain. Find a comfortable seated position as you would for your regular meditation. If you need beginner meditation tips, check this out.
Turn on ten minutes of meditation music. Close your eyes. Then smile. Don’t be shy, show some teeth! For the next ten minutes, keep smiling as big as you can. Don’t worry about what it looks like.
The act of smiling sends a message to your brain, causing it to release happiness chemicals (dopamine, endorphins and serotonin) even if the smile is fake. Those chemicals spread throughout your body, actually making you happier.
Once your ten minutes are up, you’ll be surprised at how your mood has improved. You may even find yourself with a genuine smile stuck on your face.
Whatever your reason for falling out of self-love, there’s always a way back. In true self-love fashion, be caring and accepting toward yourself as you get your groove back.