We hear this often: love yourself.
We get it as a concept - it's self-acceptance, honoring yourself, respecting yourself, etc., etc.
But what does it exactly look like? And how can we practice this self love in action?
So here are some small practical tips you can apply to "loving yourself" in action right away.
1. Essential oils
Sniffing (or diffusing) essential oils is one of the simplest things you can do to instantly uplift your mood. And did I tell you it's like heaven? It'll surely make you go "ahhh..."
I really love doing this and it really does shift my mood. Some of my favorite oils are: lavender, eucalyptus, wild orange, and peppermint, just to name a few.
Make sure you get high quality, organic or sustainably sourced essential oils. My favorite ones are from Young Living, doTERRA, and Enfleurage. Ones with added chemicals and synthetic ingredients can give you a headache if you are sensitive, and you certainly don’t want to put toxic chemicals into your body.
I used to use a burner for the oils but I found out from my essential oil savvy friends that was a no no. Burning them kills the amazing properties they possess. Not only do they smell good, they also offer therapeutic and medicinal benefits.
You can either sniff the oils straight up from the bottle or put a few drops in your hands (make sure it’s not the kind that burns like oregano oil) and bring them to your will-be-delighted nose. This is such an excellent and easy way to feel bliss, especially if you are on the go or at the office. (You can whip it out whenever you're feeling yuck!)
You can also get a diffuser for about $40 like this one to fill up your whole room with sensual delight. Many of the oils are antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal so it can make your room smell good and get rid of unwanted pathogens at the same time. A win win.
Make sure to take in your essential oil with a slow, deep inhalation and pause for a second at the top to let it be absorbed into your whole being; then, exhale out softly and slowly in the most relaxed way.
You will experience a high (but it's legal and good for you!).
2. Rub Yourself Up.
Love yourself up with your own loving touch! You don't have to wait for someone else to do it for you. You can do it for yourself.
Instead of feeling resentful that you're not getting a massage from your partner or feeling sad that you don't have a lover to rub you up, you can take the matter into your own hands, literally.
You may not be able to give yourself a full backrub but there are plenty of other places in your body that can use your loving attention.
Your feet for example are an excellent choice for a self massage. They have thousands of nerve endings, and they sure feel good to be rubbed. So are hands. You can also massage your legs or your head or your neck. Lots of places to love!
Be sure to make this massage session a very special one. After all, you’re giving this massage to a very special person - you!
Dedicate at least 10 minutes (or longer) of your time without being disturbed. Turn off the phone and other electronics. You want to have a special alone time with yourself.
To create a wonderful atmosphere, you can light some candles and also diffuse some essential oils. (You can actually massage the oil onto your skin as well - just make sure you dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut oil if you do.)
Once you set up a mood to treat your body like the sacred temple that it is, sit comfortably and set an intention.
You can say something like this: "I take this time out to give myself the loving care that I deserve and need. I give this gift to myself. And I receive this gift from myself."
Then, you can proceed to knead, press, and rub - however you like - but do it with care, as if you're pouring out love out of your fingers onto your body. Take your time and don't rush. Pay attention to every little sensation that you feel and fully take in the deliciousness of it.
Give yourself permission to feel pleasure fully. You have the right to feel pleasure! It's your birthright!
End with gratitude for your body and gratitude for the loving attention you gave yourself.
3. Take Yourself Out on a Date.
Do you wait for someone to take you out on a date to go to nice places?
You deserve to give yourself delightful experiences with or without someone! You can be the special someone taking out a special someone - you!
You are most certainly important enough for you to spend a couple of hours of dedicated time with.
It's all about you and your pleasure!
What is your idea of a great date? Which places do you wish to go that you haven't gone to? A fancy restaurant? An opera? A walk at the beach?
It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive necessarily. It can be as simple as having your favorite ice cream while walking around your favorite part of the city or town.
It can be a picnic at the park with your favorite picnic wear.
It can be super simple or super fancy. Just make sure it's something you can do on a regular basis, so you don't put it off because it feels too big.
And make sure to pull out your favorite outfits for your dates with yourself! Don't save them for a "special occasion." This is the time to wear them! Wear what makes you feel good.
And remember, you’re not dressing up to potentially meet someone when you're out there (though it might happen) - you are meeting yourself to experience your own delight and discover things about yourself.
Also, you can do this even if you are married or with someone. Instead of waiting for your partner, you can fill your own cup for self-nurturing. And don't be surprised if your partner start to want to do more things for you once you start feeling abundant from your own self-care. It happens!
And when you’re out on a date with yourself, be sure to give yourself your full presence like you would to an amazing date. Treat yourself like a special person that you are.