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self love

The term “self-love” has been making its way into our conversations a lot more these days — but what does this buzz term actually mean? Essentially, self-love is all about prioritizing your own mental, physical, and emotional well-being for healthier relationships and a happier life. Any effort toward loving yourself can bring significant positive change both in personal relationships, your career, and how you’re able to cope with life’s challenges. But many women don’t know where to begin.

Ready to hit the road to self-love? Here are five foolproof strategies to get you started.

1.  Give daily props

It’s always nice to hear compliments from other people, but we love the idea of taking a moment to appreciate yourself, too. Every morning (or night), stand in front of a mirror for a minute or two, absorbing what you see. Next, grab a journal or your smartphone and jot down three things you love about yourself — whether it’s something physical, like your big eyes or your curvy hips, or a special skill/talent or personality trait.

Over time, noting these things about yourself will help you to develop a positive self-image, and over time, will build up your self-love. To boot, whenever you’re feeling down about yourself, you can whip out your list as a reminder of why you’re amazing.

2.  Watch your internal tone

Many of us have a tendency to be super critical of ourselves — and you’d be surprised how much those negative thoughts can bring down your confidence! The first step to making a change in this area is identifying when you have those thoughts (whether it’s about how you look that day or an error you made at work). Then, take a moment to alter the tone in your head to give it a positive twist.

For example: “I can’t believe you were late on that work project… you’re a terrible employee,” can become, “Good for you for wanting to make sure your project was thorough before submitting it… now you learned a realistic timeline so you can be more punctual next time!”

Related: This One Small Act Of Self Love Will Change Your Relationships

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3.  Be mindful with social media

While you may not be aware of it, social media can take a serious toll on your mental and emotional health. In fact, in one survey, 60 percent of social media users reported that these networks have negatively impacted their self-esteem. Another study showed that social comparison on these apps has not only wreaked havoc on users’ self-esteem but also led to depressive symptoms.

It’s no surprise: since we tend to compare ourselves to our peers, and most of them are only displaying the positive aspect of their lives on social media, many of us end up feeling inadequate, like we don’t measure up. So set some boundaries for when you can check Facebook, Instagram, etc. and for how long. Avoid looking at your feeds first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed. If you need to, you can even download an app like In Moment or AppDetox that will force you to limit your time on social media.

4.  Find time to breathe

Do you ever feel like you’re going about your day on autopilot, flitting from one task to the next and barely breathing? Our fast-paced lifestyles can leave us feeling pretty stressed by the end of the day. Be sure to carve out some time — even if it’s just 15 minutes — to relax, whether in the morning, at the end of your workday or right before bed. Meditation is highly effective at helping to bring your focus back to the present so you can enjoy the moment, and think more clearly about everything you do. Other ways to relax include Yoga, breathing exercises or reading a good book.

5.  Celebrate every win

You can’t always rely on others to pat you on the back for a job well done, which is why it’s so important to celebrate your own accomplishments! So next time you’re proud of yourself for anything from snagging that promotion to making it to the gym when you were tempted to bail, find some way to reward yourself — like a smoothie from your favorite spot, an especially long indulgent bath, or a phone call with your best friend to share the news.

Self-love is all about recognizing what you bring to the table — acknowledging even your smallest successes and accomplishments while forgiving yourself for your mistakes and shortcomings. Follow these simple steps and you’re sure to start loving yourself a little more every day.

Related: What No One Tells You About Self Love and Body Positivity

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Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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