10 Ways to Practice Self Love

10 ways to practice self love
Photo by Bilimama Photography

Hi friends!

February is often thought of as the month of love. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to give you some ideas for simple ways to improve your relationship with the most important person in your life… yourself!

Self love is the key to having every single relationship in your life flourish! Quite simply, you cannot give what you don’t have, so it is vital for you to love yourself first, so that you are capable of giving love to the people around you!

When we do not love ourselves, we go looking for outside sources to fill up our love tanks. This leads to self destructive behaviors and codependent relationships. Happy, healthy relationships consist of two people who feel complete by themselves. It is from this place of wholeness that we are able to attract relationships that complement our lives. It all starts with loving ourselves first.

I know what you’re thinking… “That sounds really great, Ambar, but HOW do I learn to love myself more?”

Here are my top 10 ways to practice self love:

1) Start a gratitude practice.

Start a daily ritual of stating 5 things that you are grateful for each and everyday before you get out of bed in the morning! You can write them in a gratitude journal that you keep by your bedside, or even say them out loud! Showing gratitude instantly puts us in a positive mood and attracts more good things into our lives.

2) Start a daily self care ritual

Do one simple thing each day to show yourself a little extra love and attention. Wake up early to sip your coffee in peace. Give yourself a hand or foot massage. Light a candle and meditate. Start each morning with yoga. End each day with journaling. Choose something simple and doable and commit to doing it daily! This will show you that you deserve to be well taken care of.

3) Use affirmations

The ways in which we talk to ourselves matters. They become a self fulfilling prophecy. One of the quickest ways to change our inner dialogue is by using affirmations. An affirmation is a statement that is phrased in the positive tense and often starts with the words “I am…”. Create a self love affirmation such as “I am worthy.” “I am perfect exactly as I am today.” or “I treat myself with loving care.” Repeat your affirmation to yourself 10 times each morning, 10 times before bed, and 10 times each time you think of it throughout the day. For an extra boost, you can set reminders on your phone to remind you of your affirmation, and you can even start writing it down ten times daily for extra impact!

4) Eat more vegetables

I don’t care who you are or what your typical diet consists of, chances are, your body would love you a little bit more for feeding it more vegetables! Veggies are so good for us. They are detoxing and nourishing and make us feel healthy! Instead of restricting yourself by trying to cut out junk food, instead try adding in more vegetables.

5) Drink spa water

On the same note as eating more veggies, most of us could benefit from drinking more water! A really loving way to fuel yourself with H2O is to make a pitcher of spa water. Slice up some fruit or vegetables and throw them into a pitcher with distilled water. Some great options are cucumbers, lemon, and/or berries! Every time you get thirsty, drink a little spa water. I promise you it will feel like a treat!

6) Dress up

It might sound silly, but making an effort to get dressed everyday is a fun way to show ourselves some love. Take time to adorn yourself. Wear jeans instead of yoga pants, blowdry your hair, make a little extra effort with your makeup, put on your favorite sweater, and/or wear red lipstick! When we feel good about our appearance, this positive attitude radiates outward.

7) Surround yourself with people who love you

The people that we surround ourselves with make a huge impact on our lives. Take a look at your inner circle and make sure that it is full of people that are loving, encouraging, and supportive. Spend more time with the people that treat you well and less time with those that bring you down.

8) Nurture your spiritual connection

Take some time each day to tune into your connection with God, the Universe, angels, or whatever you believe in. Trust that there is more to life than what meets the eye and do whatever you can to nurture this connection. This will go a long way towards helping you feel loved and supported, which will in turn help you feel more loving toward yourself.

9) Move your body everyday

Find a movement practice that you love, and do it as much as possible! Go for a run, take a challenging exercise class, go for a daily walk, have a dance party in your kitchen! It doesn’t matter what you do, all that matters is that you get moving and have fun while doing it!

10) Thank yourself

Take some time each day to thank yourself for all that you do for yourself. The fact that you made it to the end of this list shows that you have the desire to take good care of yourself, and that’s something to celebrate! Stop whatever you’re doing right now, sit comfortable, and close your eyes. Place one hand over your heart, and the other hand over that hand. Silently say to yourself “Thank you, ______ (insert your name here). I love you ______ (insert your name here.” Do this for a few moments until you feel the love and gratitude spreading throughout your body.

I hope that you find these tips helpful, and that they encourage you to give yourself a little extra love this week!

Wishing you a week full of self love.

Be well,
Ambar

8 Ways to Love Your Beach Body (Regardless of What it Looks Like)

How to Love your Beach Body

Hi friends! I have a little bit of a personal and somewhat vulnerable topic this week. If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you may know that I live in a beach town and I ADORE the beach; it is my happy place. Now that summer is getting into swing, my little beach town is livening up and my family and I have a lot of beach days on the agenda. One of the perks of living in a beach town is that we often get visitors dropping by during the summertime to get together with us and go to the beach.

Recently, I noticed that whenever friends would reach out wanting to get together at the beach, I wasn’t as excited about it as I usually I am. I started to get curious about this… clearly I love going to the beach, so what was the problem? I realized that my hesitation was because I’ve been feeling a little self-conscious about being out and about in my bathing suit.

I felt really disturbed to discover that I felt this way. You see, when I gave birth to my daughter two years ago, I started to really love my body and feel more empowered in it than I ever had before. I was in amazement that my body had been able to create my beautiful, healthy baby girl and continue to provide nourishment for her. I recognized my body’s true purpose and all of the feelings of self consciousness that I had carried with me for much of my adult life simply fell away. It was great!

At this time, I also vowed to myself that now that I was raising a daughter, I would never let her hear me speaking poorly about my body, or mistreating it in anyway, because I know that she will learn how to treat her own body by witnessing how I treat mine.

So, I was surprised to see that some of these old feelings have recently resurfaced. And I quickly decided to do something about it.

I am willing to bet that I am not the only woman who feels uncomfortable in their bathing suit, so I want to share the steps that I’m taking to learn to love my beach body, in hopes that it is helpful to you too!

How to Love your Beach Body

Prep Work

There are many things that we can do on a daily basis to start feeling more comfortable in our bodies. If you have a beach day planned, you can start using the following tips to build up your body love.

1. Take Good Care of Yourself

I find that when I am feeling the most self conscious about my body, it’s because I haven’t been taking very good care of it. Treat your body well by drinking enough water, making healthy food choices, and making time to move your body in ways that feel good to you, each and everyday.

2. Thank your Body

Think about all of the things your body does for you and begin to thank it for it. For example: “Thank you arms for being strong enough to hold my daughter. Thank you legs for allowing me to enjoy walks to the beach everyday. Thank you hands for letting me cook, write, type, and hold hands with my loved ones. Thank you body for sustaining a healthy pregnancy and feeding my baby. Thank you for letting me taste delicious foods. Thank you for letting me smell my husband’s cologne. Thank you for keeping me alive. I am grateful and I love you.” You can do this in a journal, in your head, or for an extra powerful exercise, try looking at yourself in the mirror and saying these words out loud.

3. Sleep Naked

There is something about sleeping naked that makes us feel more sensual and connected to our bodies and more at home in our skin. If you are not ready to sleep naked, invest in a silky or soft nightgown that feels luxurious on your skin. I promise this will be a gamechanger!

4. Treat Yourself

Treat yourself by getting a manicure and pedicure, a bikini wax, or a massage! These small treats feel great and pampering ourselves goes a long way to making us feel well cared for and relaxed.

5. Buy a Bathing Suit + Cover-up that you Love

There are tons of cute bathing suits for every level of modesty. I always liked wearing two piece bathing suits, but always felt like I had to be walking around sucking my stomach in! Once I made the switch to a one piece I haven’t looked back! I have so many nice cover-ups and cute strapless bathing suits in bright colors that make me feel happy and cover up the areas I’m most self conscious about. I suggest that you do the same! If you are feeling frumpy or like you need to hide in your bathing suit, that is not going to help you love your body! So buy a suit and cover-up that makes you feel good!

Bonus: Accessorize!  A fun hat and big sunglasses can show off your style and add a boost of confidence!

How to Love your Beach Body Now

The Day Of

Now that you have done your prep work it’s time to head to the beach! The following tips will help you enjoy your beach day without being consumed by what you look like.

6. Indulge in your Senses

When you get to the beach, take some time to really take it all in. Being surrounded by nature has been proven to decrease stress so make sure that you take time to appreciate your surroundings. Take some deep breaths and feel the warmth of the sunshine on your skin. Listen to the waves crashing and the sounds of children playing. Taste the saltwater on your lips. Feel the sand underneath your toes and look at the beauty of the ocean. Admire it all and soak it in with all of your senses.

7. Smile

A smile makes everything better. By having a joyful attitude, laughing, and smiling, you ensure that people will remember you as the happy woman enjoying herself instead of as the unhappy weirdo hiding underneath the beach umbrella! And let’s get honest… we are each our own worst critic, and no one is paying that much attention to you anyway!

8. Focus on Having Fun

Focus on having fun instead of on what you look like. When we are having good experiences, we get lost in the moment and don’t have time to feel self conscious! So make sure to have fun! Go swimming, play with your kids, make sand castles and toss Frisbees! A beach day is supposed to be fun, not stressful, so take the time to enjoy it and make some happy memories!

How to Love your Beach Body regardless of How it LooksI hope that you find these tips useful and helpful! I have started using them myself and can already feel my self consciousness starting to slip away.

There are so many women struggling with their body image and letting their self consciousness stop them from enjoying themselves as much as they could be. This is is such an important topic to talk openly about so that we can join together and know that we are not alone, and that we are committed to ending our body struggles.

Which of these tips will you be trying for your next beach day? I would love to know in the comments below!

Wishing you a week of body love.

Be well,
Ambar

P.S. Do you want more help learning to love your beach body? Sign up below to get the free Body Love Daily Planner!