For much of my life, I struggled with a bad relationship with myself. I had a negative self-talk that was judgmental, judgmental, and petty. my perfectionist tendencies made me feel like I was never good enough. I was often completely disconnected from myself and instead trapped in endless patterns of external struggle and search. punished and controlled my body. I held back love because I didn’t think I deserved to receive it.
but in recent years a lot of this has changed.
My relationship with myself has now become a solid foundation on which everything else rests, and I know that when it becomes unstable, everything else around me begins to wobble as well.
Over the years, I have learned to release my critical self-talk and tune in to my deeper loving wisdom. I have practiced acceptance, forgiveness and unconditional self-love. I have come to love and adore who I am, the body that has been given to me, my flaws, my weaknesses and everything that makes me unique.
As I draw my awareness more and more inwards, away from the noise of the external world and the chaos of my mind, I have found a safe, warm and loving space in which I am supported, guided and at peace. .
Like any relationship, it takes time to build the one you have with yourself. It needs to be cared for with love and patience. and it’s going to take some work.
so today I am sharing with you 21 practices that you can take into account to strengthen this precious relationship between you and you.
1) pay attention to your needs (and meet them)
Ignore what you need, dismiss that nagging feeling in your stomach, or let go of your dreams? instead, start paying attention to what you want and need in each moment. check in with yourself regularly and ask yourself “how am I feeling?” or “what do I need right now?” or “what do I really want?”. find out what it is and then love yourself enough to give it to yourself.
2) use your breath to draw yourself in
Your breath can help you ground yourself in your body and dive deeper into yourself. you can do this anywhere, anytime. simply bring your awareness to your breath and follow it with your attention. feel it moving towards your nose and follow your inhalation, all the way down to your belly. and then follow it all the way up and out. take 5 minutes to practice this as often as you can.
3) create a sacred morning time
Even if 5 minutes is all you can find, take some time in the mornings before you start your day to sit down and tune in to what you want to experience and create. visualize your day unfolding as you would like it to be. set some key intentions about how you want to feel, how you want to take care of yourself, or what you want to achieve. even this little practice will help your day unfold more consciously and deliberately.
4) consult before committing
how quick are you to say yes or make a commitment? do you stop, pause and sit with him? Instead of just reacting, automatically saying yes, or jumping into action, check inside yourself before saying yes or no to anything. ask: “is this what I really want?” “Am I saying yes out of obligation or necessity, or because I really want to?” Does saying yes feel supportive or exhausting? be sure to consult thoroughly before committing.
5) support yourself with loving thoughts
Do you knock yourself down and criticize yourself with your thoughts? what if you empowered and supported yourself instead? what if you stood up for yourself, elevated yourself and chose to love yourself deeply? ask, “what could I think of right now that would support and empower me?” then she starts to practice it.
6) move your body with presence and kindness
move your body as a form of self love and do it with kindness. ask your body how it wants to move, instead of forcing yourself to do what you want. dance, stretch, run, go to a class, do yoga, walk, jump, jump. let the movement feel liberating, fun and nurturing. and as you move, be deeply present and attuned to your body and feel all the sensations that come with that movement, instead of rushing to complete it.
7) make time for your ‘little loves’
what makes you smile, warms your heart and fills you with joy? Is it watching the sunrise or putting your toes in the ocean? Take a hot bath or curl up with a book? eating a piece of our favorite chocolate or painting? write a list of all the little things, practices and activities that you love and that make you smile. See if you can make time each day for one of these little things you love to do.
8) be intimate
There is nothing more intimate than staring into someone’s eyes. it creates connection, closeness and deepens your bond, and the same applies when you practice it with yourself. To do this, sit in front of a mirror and look deeply into your eyes. choose one eye to focus on and hold the gaze for at least 5 minutes, or even longer. being fully present with yourself, feeling love for yourself, and allowing yourself to sink into a deeper connection with yourself.
9) harness the energy of your heart
your head will always try to get you out of yourself and distract you with endless thoughts. but your heart will lovingly draw you in. To connect with your heart space, place your hands on your heart and take 5 deep breaths into your heart and ask yourself “what guidance do you have for me today?”. then, close your eyes and listen.
10) explore your spirituality
Open yourself to the idea that you are simply a spiritual being having a temporary human experience and delve into this part of yourself. start learning about this part of you with books that open your mind and bring you closer to your soul. my favorite spiritual authors are gabrielle bernstein, wayne dyer, marianne williamson, eckhart tolle abraham-hicks, neale donald walsh, and sanaya roman.
11) get in touch with nature
and not only be in nature, but feel it fully. take off your shoes and put your toes in the grass or sand. enter the water. run in the rain use all your senses to touch the plants and trees around you. get completely lost in a sunset. do everything quietly and pay attention to how you feel. immerse yourself in the full experience of what surrounds you and breathe it all in.
12) listen (lovingly) to your discomfort
connecting with yourself is not only about listening to your desires, but also about listening to your discomfort. your uncomfortable emotions have messages for you. listen to them. find the courage to immerse yourself in uncomfortable feelings, face your fears, and uncover your shady parts. when the pain arises, feel it. let the tears flow and use your breath to help you through whatever comes up.
13) get in touch with your body
a beautiful way to start this is to practice doing daily body scans. close your eyes and start at your feet, putting all your attention there. then move your awareness up through your legs, hips, belly, chest, shoulders, arms, head, etc. Do not rush. eat each point, stop and put all your attention on that part of your body. ask “how does this part of my body feel today?” “Is it tight or relaxed, heavy or light, free or restricted, comfortable or uncomfortable?” This simple practice will lead you to a much deeper connection with your body and with yourself.
14) nourish yourself with the good things
When we feel nurtured, supported, and physically vibrant, we naturally feel calmer and more supported. Simple things like a good night’s sleep, plenty of fresh air, several liters of water, and plenty of green leafy vegetables can do wonders to get you out of a negative mood and clear your mind. see these practices as a form of self-love and show deep respect for your body as the sacred home you are carrying throughout this life.
15) enjoy your own company
make time just for you and you, and allow yourself to do what you want with that time. make it a moment free from the phone, social networks, television and computers. just being with yourself and spending sacred, special, loving time with you. if possible, allow yourself to just sit and be and feel the intimacy of your own company. You can also use this time to pamper yourself and treat yourself or immerse yourself in something you love to do.
16) let the wisdom of your body guide you
Your body constantly communicates with you through its sensations and your feelings. when something is right for you, your body can soften, relax, and feel lighter. if something isn’t right, you may notice your body contracting, tensing up, or feeling heavy. ask yourself with each decision “how does this feel?” and tune in to your body to receive your response.
17) create a sacred space
Establish a space for yourself somewhere in your home that feels special and sacred to you. a space, just for you. you can have a sheepskin rug, pillows, or your favorite rug to sit on. fill it with candles, crystals, oracle cards, a vision board, your favorite trinkets, books, affirmations, a journal. make a little ritual of visiting this space every day to sit and be with yourself in stillness and stillness.
18) create a meditation practice
I started meditating by setting a timer for 5 minutes and that was it! learning to meditate will be your most powerful self-connection practice. now I can sit for an hour. you don’t have to sit quietly. try my meditation album if you want guidance and music to go with you.
19) explore the depths of yourself
Begin a journaling practice where each day you write about your thoughts and feelings and explore the inner depths of yourself. You can start this practice every day by simply writing about what is going on in your mind. This practice can also be used to explore what you feel is holding you back, your fears, your limiting beliefs, or the challenges you face. You may also want to explore your dreams, wishes, hopes, wishes, and what you really want for yourself. you may want to dig even deeper by reflecting on life’s big questions like “why am I here?” and “what is my purpose?” and see what responses flow into the page.
20) tune your eyes to your beauty
every time you look in the mirror, try to find something about yourself that you love or that you can appreciate as something that makes you unique, special and beautiful. Get used to recognizing your beauty and complimenting yourself on something every time you look in a mirror. when that negative voice comes up, stop it in its tracks and replace it with something loving.
21) treat yourself and pamper yourself
what makes you feel super special and totally pampered? be attentive to yourself and focus on the small details. Get a manicure, give yourself a coconut oil massage, or book a facial. buy yourself something nice or expensive. treat yourself to something you really love. put fresh flowers in your home and light your favorite scented candle. anything that makes you feel luxurious, decadent, and pampered is a way of showing love to yourself.
Would you like some kind of support to build a more loving relationship with yourself? In my 1:1 coaching programs you will work closely with me and receive practical and personalized guidance.
Read more about my training options or email me at [email protected] to book a complimentary discovery session.
now to you! Which of these are your favorites that you already practice? What new practices do you feel inspired to adopt now? share with me in the comments.