You know you need to make yourself more of a priority and treat yourself better.
But that inner voice keeps telling you that you’ll have more time once you get through this one big push – the thing that has you chained to the endless cycle of empty promises to yourself. The thought of cramming one more thing into your already overloaded schedule brings a wave of anxiety almost powerful enough to put you in the corner, curled up into the fetal position.
When you’re unsure what to do, it’s hard to move forward.
The good news is, you can easily bring order to the chaos by making small shifts that bring you back into your own life.
This will give you a roadmap so you can get started with a self-love routine and crack open the wall that’s been blocking you from being your own advocate.
What is the perfect approach for making yourself a priority?
In short, the perfect approach is the one you’ll actually stick to.
At Naturally You Wellness, we perceive self-love as a gentle journey inward, embracing you in your entirety—flaws, strengths, and everything in between. It’s about nurturing a compassionate dialogue with yourself, fostering a robust foundation of acceptance and respect. Self-love transcends mere self-care routines; it’s an evolving practice of recognizing your worth, honoring your needs, and moving through life with a heart brimming with self-compassion. It’s the cornerstone for cultivating a life rich in wellness, unveiling the serenity and strength that resides within, ready to navigate the ebbs and flows of existence. Through self-love, I believe you can truly harmonize the mind, body, and spirit, fostering a resilient, joyous being capable of holistic transformation and authentic self-expression.
The added benefit is that when you regularly perform your self-love regimen, you show up more effectively in all areas of your life.
#1 – Make Your Self-Love Regimen Intuitive
Making your self-love regiment intuitive means performing the self-love activities in a manner that they flow with your day-to-day routines, not fight them.
This is a crucial component because it’s been proven that making shifts in your life are more likely to stick when they aren’t disruptive1.
Many people who try to start incorporating self-love and self-care practices start out on the right track but then get stuck because the changes are too much, too soon. We live in a world of instant gratification – if it isn’t grandiose, it doesn’t feel like it’s making a difference.
And then they wind up feeling defeated and more stressed out than ever. The worst part… they’ve now created a self-fulfilling prophecy2, “proving” to themselves that taking time for self-love doesn’t work.
The key to creating a consistent self-love practice that sticks is to build it up slowly, giving yourself grace – there’s a good chance you’ll run into setbacks along the way, and that’s totally normal.
To get started here, choose one self-love activity that doesn’t take more than 5 minutes to do, that you enjoy, and do it in conjunction with a part of a daily routine that’s already solidly in place (for example, if you shower every morning without fail, start writing down 5 things that you’re grateful for in a notebook before turning the shower on).
#2 – Include Self-Love Activities You Enjoy
Make your self-love regimen rewarding. Even though you might not see the big changes throughout your life right away, choosing activities that you enjoy will give you a dose of instant gratification. This will light up those reward centers in your brain, making you crave more, and making it more likely that you’ll make it a permanent part of your day.
If you’ve spent hours saying affirmations to yourself in the mirror that make you cringe or have taken yourself out on solo dates, spending the entire time anxious that everyone around is assuming you got stood up – feeling anything but love for yourself in the process – this is likely the piece that’s missing.
Without this, you can try every self-love suggestion in the book and still not make it a regular part of your day-to-day life – not to mention feel even less connected with yourself.
What can you do?
This doesn’t mean that those activities aren’t meant for you, or that they’ll never work – it’s just a matter of creating a foundation to build them onto.
A really useful technique for discovering the self-love techniques that are best suited to you right now is to look at the activities that you already enjoy.
This might sound like a tall order if you’re already living in overwhelm and so engulfed in the responsibilities and obligations in your life that you feel like you don’t know what you actually like to do – but I promise, there are clues everywhere. A couple places you can start is by looking at what you enjoyed when you were a child, things like reading, drawing, or riding your bike. Another approach is to look at what you don’t enjoy now and working your way backward.
#3 – Don’t Be Afraid to Pivot
One size doesn’t fit all and what’s a life-changing self-love activity for someone else might not work for you, or even create a further disconnect. It’s okay to switch up your plan of action, whether it be when you’re practicing self-love, the amount of time you’re doing it for, or the activity (or activities) you’re practicing. The most important components of a self-love regimen are consistency and the way it makes you feel. There is no shame in tweaking your regimen to better fit you.
I’ll be the first to admit that it’s my first instinct to grind something to bone to prevent “failure” and make it work. There have been times in my life that my self-love regimen has been effortless and robust, but there have been other times where I’ve struggled to take a single moment out of my day to connect with myself. The first time I lost my footing in my practice, I fought tooth and nail to reclaim consistency through the same regimen that had worked so well in the not-so-distant past.
We are always evolving and changing, and that means our needs are too. What worked so effortlessly for me before wasn’t meeting those needs anymore – which meant trying to recapture it was a losing battle. Instead, I had to learn to pivot.
Here’s where you’ll really start to show up for yourself in all areas of your life. Being able to approach challenges in your self-love regimen without judgment is empowering and its effects cascade.
Of course, this will take some time and require trial and error. Remember, progress is rarely linear. Consider proactively approaching challenges.
An approach you can use to become proactive when you face these challenges:
- Reassess your self-love regimen regularly
- Be honest with yourself
Denial is a misguided protection mechanism3 that can keep you stuck. It’s vital that you look past what you want – whether it be to avoid “failure” or just really want to make a component of your practice work – and look at what’s working and what isn’t right now.
- Additionally, keep an open mind
Letting go of self-judgment can feel impossible, but something that works wonders for me is approaching a situation as if it was a situation someone else (my best friend or child) was telling me about. This gives me the space to naturally be more objective and approach it with love.
- Then, in order to solidify practice self-love consistently, don’t be afraid to pivot
Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to a burnout-proof self-love regimen.
Putting it All Together for Your Perfect Self-Love Regimen
It may sound like a lot, but like most things practice makes perfect. Just focus on adding one enjoyable self-love activity and slowly building from there. This will help you show up for yourself in all areas of your life and make burnout impossible by holding rock-solid boundaries that prioritize you and your well-being.
What’s next? Take the I Love Me Challenge
If you need help getting started, my I Love Me Challenge will help you place the foundational blocks of self-love into your life so you can stress less, experiencing more joy and fulfillment.
1 – Gardner, B., & Rebar, A. L. (2019). Habit Formation and Behavior Change. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190236557.013.129
2 – Stinson, D. A., Logel, C., Shepherd, S., & Zanna, M. P. (2011). Rewriting the self-fulfilling prophecy of social rejection: Self-affirmation improves relational security and social behavior up to 2 months later. Psychological Science, 22(9), 1145–1149. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797611417725
3 – Vaillant, G. E. (1992). Ego mechanisms of defense: A guide for clinicians and researchers (pp. xiv, 306). American Psychiatric Association.
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