For Rachel Molenda, a Toronto-based Intuitive Eating Nutritionist, self-love is also self-compassion. “When we come from a place of self-compassion in the way that we talk to ourselves and treat ourselves, we create a strong foundation based on self-respect and appreciation for the body that fuels continuous positive, healthy habits,” she tells HuffPost Canada.
Molenda suggests “defining what self-love means to you, and doing more of that,” whether it be adding more nutritious meals to your diet, getting some alone time, doing a hobby you love, long talks with a BFF, or getting exercise. Self-love can look like whatever you want it to!
Below, we’ve compiled some of our favourite free ways to practice self-love.
Make a personal mantra and repeat, repeat, repeat
Repeat your personal mantra on the daily; the more you say it the better it works! One of our favourite mantras is, “I am worthy and lovable.”
Catch a glimpse of your fabulous reflection in the mirror and make it a perfect opportunity to remind yourself of your worth!
In addition to saying a loving mantra, Molenda suggests you “say loving things to yourself and your body while applying lotion or oil after a shower (bonus points if you look in the mirror and smile while you’re doing it.”
Learn something new
Nothing says “I’m worth it” like prioritizing personal growth and empowering yourself through education.
We love this simple but significant tip, courtesy of Molenda: honour what serves you best and when possible, say no to things you don’t want to do.
Invite your mind to clear for 10 slow breaths. Notice how your body thanks you for this brief moment of loving kindness by softening and relaxing into the stillness.
WATCH: Practical pointers to help you start meditating. Story continues below.
Do more of what you love
Molenda suggests indulging in a living room dance party. Getting up on your feet goes a long way in making you feel confident and empowered.
Regardless of what it is that makes you feel happy, she says to do more of it.
Get out into nature
A walk in nature can boost your mood and help us feel connected to the earth. Breathe in the fresh air and know that you are a beautiful part of nature, too.
Nourish your body
We are what we eat, and we love Molenda’s suggestion to “put nourishing food into your body that makes you feel good.”
Download a free self-love workbook
We love a good download, especially when it comes with no strings attached. We found several workbooks online including these from Queen’s University.
Change your narrative
If you struggle with negative self-talk, Molenda suggests practising transforming the negative thought into a positive.
For example, say you find yourself criticizing how your legs look; turn that negative thought into a positive by saying, “I love that my legs move me from place to place and allow me to see and experience the world in front of me.”
WATCH: How I learned to love being short. Story continues below.
Your body needs it and while we get that it’s not always possible to log an optimal amount, see if you can choose one morning where you can stay in bed a little longer and enjoy the luxury of some R&R.
What have you done for yourself lately?
Write a list of ways your body has supported you — carrying groceries, running a marathon, playing with your kids (birthing your kids for that matter) — and stick it somewhere you can see it, like the bathroom mirror, to remind yourself of your own awesomeness!
Call a friend
Sometimes a chat with a good friend can remind us of how lovable we are. Pick up the phone or meet in person to get a little boost from a bestie.
Also on HuffPost: