There is no one-size fits all approach for how to love yourself. Taking the time to love
yourself, for many young women and girls, has been thrown to the last place on the to-do list. We
tell ourselves we aren’t worthy until we’ve gotten an A+ in every class, beat our mile time, or
have 100 likes on Instagram. But you deserve your own love whether or not you check these
boxes off. Loving yourself is a work in progress, and requires a mentality change.
Rather than punishing yourself for what you couldn’t or didn't do, applaud yourself for what you have done. Practicing self-love opens the door to true happiness and success.
Self-Love: Why is it Important?
It’s important to love yourself, because that’s who you're spending every day with!
Self-love is absolutely essential for positive mental health and well-being. Being kind to yourself lowers anxiety and stress, as well as builds self-esteem and confidence. Studies show that when self-esteem is higher, less of the stress hormone, cortisol, is released (3). Additionally, self-love helps you discover your core-values and who you really are, rather than strive to be somebody you’re not. Self-love also helps you achieve your goals. Recognizing your strengths and acknowledging your weaknesses without negative self-talk will help you grow and be your best self (3).
Steps to Practicing Self-Love
The first step in practicing self-love is learning to accept your whole self, just as you are. Accepting all of your flaws and imperfections, because as you know, nobody is perfect. In order to fully accept yourself, you must learn to accept the parts of you that you may view as ‘negative.’ Additionally, it means accepting your strengths and positive attributes and not overlooking or downplaying them. Reviewing your goals and progress reminds you of your strengths. Instead of constantly comparing yourself to others, focus on yourself – ways you can better yourself for you, not for anyone else (1). Believe that you are enough, and work to shut down the temptation to compare yourself to others. “That person is beautiful and smart, but I am beautiful and smart too.”
Another important step in cultivating self-love is to be kind to yourself. Self-kindness is
about self-compassion. Treat yourself with the same compassion, respect, fairness, and honesty
as you would your best friend. Forgive yourself for your mistakes, and reward yourself for
your accomplishments! Be aware of the language and tone you use when you communicate with
yourself. Challenge why you think it’s acceptable to speak to yourself in a negative way, but not
to others (2).
In addition to being kind to yourself, it is essential to also take care of yourself,
physically and mentally. Nourish yourself, get enough sleep, and ensure time for rest and
relaxation. Even if it is just a few minutes a day, it is important to make time for yourself. Read,
write, spend time in nature, or even call a friend. Make sure that you are doing things that you
enjoy and make you happy.
In addition to the steps above, surround yourself with positive people. Spend time with friends and family members who make you smile and feel good about yourself. Surrounding yourself with
people who see you in a positive light, will help shift your view of yourself into a more loving,
appreciative lens. Therefore, it is critical to acknowledge people who you may need to take
some space away from, or set boundaries with, in order to prioritize yourself. Setting boundaries
with someone, or simply saying no, is not selfish, but actually rooted in self-respect and
awareness. Boundaries are an essential part of caring for oneself, and actually promote stronger
Lastly, one of the best ways you can practice self-love is to live in the moment!
How often do you find yourself thinking about yesterday, or everything you have to do
tomorrow? Don’t focus on the past or the future, enjoy your life and make the most out of every
moment. Spend quality time away from social media with friends, family, pets, and especially
yourself. This could even mean a social media cleanse, and replacing the time of scrolling
through Instagram, with hobbies and activities you enjoy.
Positive affirmations are statements that you can repeat to yourself, write in a journal or
phone, or on sticky notes posted on a mirror. Affirmations help use the power of words to help
shift your mindset, by eliminating negative thoughts and focusing on truth. Self-love affirmations focus specifically on promoting self-love and acceptance. Continue your self-love journey by believing that you are enough. Here are some daily self-love affirmations you can say to yourself!
● I love myself just as I am today.
● I choose to be kind to myself.
● I love each part of myself.
● I honor my life.
● I appreciate all the ways that I am unique.
● I accept my awesomeness.
● I love who I am.
● I choose calm today.
● I am loved unconditionally.
● I approve of myself just as I am.
● I am whole and wonderful just as I am.
● I trust myself and my instincts.
● I am courageous and brave.
● I am strong and resilient.
By: Ali Green, Social Media Intern
The Grove Counseling & Consulting, LLC
1. Waters, Shonna. “The Path to Self-Acceptance.” BetterUp, 5 Aug. 2021,
2. Simplicity, Balance Through. “How to Be Kind to Yourself.” BALANCE through
SIMPLICITY, 26 Aug. 2022, balancethroughsimplicity.com/how-to-be-kind-to-yourself/.
Accessed 5 Aug. 2023.
3. Therapy, My Online. “Why Self-Love Is Important.” My Online Therapy, 11 Feb. 2022,