As a mom, it is so easy to neglect your own needs at the expense of caring for others. Not only does this come naturally but it’s reinforced by well-meaning people who tell you how amazing you’re doing when you’re caring for everyone else. This comes at the cost of your own fulfillment, joy, and well-being. The good news is there is a better way—a way for you to show up as the mom you want to be AND take care of yourself. The way to do it is to practice self love.
How To Practice Self Love: 6 Categories
The way I teach self love makes it doable. I break it down into six specific categories:
- Know yourself
- Accept yourself
- Like yourself
- Treat yourself well
- Grow yourself
- Date yoruself
Inside the Mom On Purpose Membership, I teach a class that gives you the specific practices to use to apply each of the six categories. CLICK HERE to join and get the Self Love Practices Class.
In this post, I’m breaking down the elements of self love so it’s not so vague and not just another “to do” but instead a real way to care for yourself.
With that, let’s dive in! Here are the six elements of self love.
1. Know Yourself
In the whirlwind of motherhood, it’s easy to lose sight of the person behind the mom role. Yet, understanding and embracing yourself is fundamental to practicing self love. So, this part is all about getting to know yourself!
Take a moment to reflect on your likes, dislikes, and preferences. What activities bring you joy and fulfillment? What are the things that make you cringe or feel drained? Identifying these aspects can help you carve out time for activities that nourish your soul. Whether it’s indulging in a good book, pursuing a hobby, or simply enjoying a quiet cup of tea, recognizing and honoring your preferences can bring a sense of balance to your hectic mom life.
Acknowledge and celebrate your strengths as a mom, but also be gentle with yourself about your weaknesses. No one is perfect, and embracing your imperfections is a powerful form of self love. Recognizing your strengths allows you to leverage them for personal growth and in your role as a parent. Conversely, understanding your weaknesses helps you set realistic expectations and seek support when needed.
Cultivating self-awareness is a cornerstone of self love. Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and reactions in various situations. Mindfulness practices, such as meditation or journaling, can help you connect with your inner self. By being present in the moment, you become more attuned to your needs and desires. This awareness empowers you to make conscious choices that align with your values and contribute to your overall well-being.
2. Accept Yourself
Once you’ve delved into the realm of self-discovery, the next crucial step in your journey towards self love is to wholeheartedly accept yourself. This element is all about self compassion.
Self-acceptance starts with unconditional approval. Understand that you are a unique individual with a distinct set of qualities, experiences, and perspectives. Embrace your quirks, peculiarities, and even the aspects you might perceive as flaws. Give yourself permission to be imperfect, recognizing that imperfection is an inherent part of the human experience. By approving of all facets of yourself, you lay the groundwork for a more authentic and loving relationship with your own being.
Mistakes are not failures but opportunities for growth. Challenges are not roadblocks but stepping stones toward resilience. Weaknesses are not shortcomings but areas for potential improvement. Embrace these aspects of yourself with a mindset of learning and development. When you view mistakes as lessons, challenges as opportunities, and weaknesses as areas for growth, you cultivate a mindset that fosters self love. Remember that every stumble is a part of your unique journey, contributing to the strong and capable person you are becoming.
Extend to yourself the same compassion and understanding you readily offer to others. Treat yourself with kindness, especially in moments of difficulty or disappointment. Practicing self-compassion involves acknowledging your own suffering without judgment, and responding with empathy. Remember that being a mom doesn’t mean being infallible, and it’s okay to experience moments of vulnerability. By treating yourself with compassion, you build a reservoir of emotional strength and resilience, fostering a more profound sense of self love.
3. Like Yourself
While accepting yourself is a crucial step, liking yourself takes it a step further by fostering an inward-focused appreciation. It involves making a conscious decision to stop being your own critic and, instead, choosing to be a genuine friend to yourself.
Liking yourself is an internal shift, a conscious decision to turn your focus inward. Instead of seeking external validation, look within to recognize and appreciate your qualities, accomplishments, and inner beauty. Shift your perspective from how others perceive you to how you perceive yourself. Understand that your worth isn’t determined by external opinions or societal expectations but by the value you inherently hold as an individual. Cultivate a positive relationship with yourself by acknowledging and celebrating the qualities that make you unique.
Challenge the inner critic that may be quick to judge and be harsh on yourself. Make a deliberate decision to stop being mean to yourself. Negative self-talk can be detrimental to your self-esteem and overall well-being. Instead, practice self-encouragement and replace self-criticism with positive affirmations. Treat yourself with the same kindness and support you would offer a dear friend. By consciously choosing to be gentle and supportive, you pave the way for a healthier self-perception.
Liking yourself is not a passive sentiment; it’s an active choice. Decide to appreciate the qualities that make you unique, whether it’s your sense of humor, resilience, or creativity. Focus on your strengths and the positive aspects of your personality. Celebrate your achievements, both big and small. By actively choosing to like yourself, you cultivate a positive self-image that contributes to a more profound sense of self love.
4. Treat Yourself Well
Practicing self love as a mom involves not only internal shifts but also external actions that prioritize your well being. Treating yourself well encompasses positive self talk, surrounding yourself with positive input, and prioritizing the care of your health and body.
The way you speak to yourself matters. Replace self critical thoughts with positive affirmations and encouraging self talk. Acknowledge your accomplishments, both big and small, and be your own biggest cheerleader. Challenge negative narratives and replace them with statements that uplift and empower. By cultivating a positive inner dialogue, you create a supportive environment within yourself that contributes to increased self confidence and overall well being.
Surround yourself with positivity. Be mindful of the media you consume, the people you engage with, and the environments you immerse yourself in. Seek out sources of inspiration and encouragement that align with your values and aspirations. Positive input can significantly impact your mindset and outlook on life, influencing your ability to practice self love. Choose relationships and environments that contribute positively to your mental and emotional well being.
Prioritize self care practices that contribute to your physical and mental health. This includes regular exercise, proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and stress management. Listen to your body’s needs and respond with kindness. Carve out time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation. By taking care of your health and body, you not only enhance your overall well being but also send a powerful message of self love to yourself.
- 10 Mindset Mantras (download)
- Top Podcasts For Moms (blog post)
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- How To Find Glimmers In Motherhood (blog post)
- Mom On Purpose Membership (coaching)
5. Grow Yourself
It’s an act of self love to work on your own personal goals, habits, and growth. This is because it’s human nature to want to change.
To do this, set goals that you truly want to achieve for yourself. These goals can range from professional aspirations to personal hobbies or self improvement projects. Break down larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks to make progress more achievable. Whether it’s learning a new skill, pursuing a passion, or advancing your career, setting and achieving goals not only fosters a sense of accomplishment but also fuels your journey towards self discovery and self love.
Habits play a significant role in shaping our daily lives. Identify habits that contribute positively to your well-being and happiness, and work on incorporating them into your routine. Similarly, be mindful of habits that may hinder your personal growth or well being, and take steps to replace them with healthier alternatives. Cultivating positive habits is a powerful way to invest in your future self and foster a continuous journey of self-improvement.
Personal transformation involves a willingness to evolve and adapt to new circumstances. Embrace change as an opportunity for growth rather than a source of fear. Be open to learning, unlearning, and relearning as you navigate the various roles and responsibilities of motherhood. Transformation is an ongoing process, and by actively engaging in it, you not only become a better version of yourself but also deepen your connection with the person you are becoming.
6. Date Yourself
Amidst the demands of motherhood, it’s essential to prioritize a relationship with the most important person in your life—you. Dating yourself is a delightful practice that involves self-admiration, sweetness, and expressing love to yourself in your preferred love language.
Extend sweetness and kindness to yourself as you would to your partner. Treat yourself to small indulgences, whether it’s enjoying a favorite treat, taking a relaxing bath, or simply spending quality time doing something you love. Being sweet to yourself involves acknowledging your efforts, showing compassion in challenging times, and creating a nurturing environment within your own being.
Discover and understand your preferred love language—the ways in which you best receive and feel loved. Whether it’s words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, or physical touch, actively engage in practices that align with your unique love language. Speak affirming words to yourself, engage in activities you love, or pamper yourself with a thoughtful gesture. By giving yourself love in the way you best understand it, you nurture a deeper connection with yourself.
A Final Note
In the whirlwind of motherhood, it’s easy to forget about your own needs. However, the journey of self love is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity for your well-being!
To get the full course on how to implement these categories in your life (with 25 Self Love Practices) join Mom On Purpose Membership today.