Autumn is all about transformation. As the leaves change to vivid reds and oranges, we are pulling our warm clothes out of the closet and planning holiday events. Although many of us love the changing of the seasons and prepping for the holidays, this portion of the year can tend to get a little stressful, right? For that reason, we must move more intentionally and stay mindful of our mental, emotional, and physical health during fall. A way to ensure you’re staying mindful and present with yourself is by taking steps to practice self-love. Let’s break it down!
Your Self Love Journey
What does it mean to love yourself? Treating yourself with intentional love and care can be a challenge, as self-doubt, comparisons, and some impossible expectations are definite roadblocks. Sometimes, it’s about changing your mindset and learning how to get past those roadblocks. Loving yourself means accepting and embracing everything you are, even the parts you struggle to appreciate.
There are many methods of practicing self-love, but the truth is, there’s no magic fix to learning how to love yourself. Self-love is a process and a lifelong journey that may have many ups and downs. It also looks different for everyone, just like self-care; however, intentionally putting effort into your self-love journey is already a great place to start. Exploring ways to put yourself first and doing things that encourage you to embrace who you are is essential. So, here are some practical tips to help you fall into self-love this autumn.
Tip #1: Journaling & Daily Prompts
Journaling can be a helpful tool in processing your emotions, managing stress, and evaluating your wants and needs. You can get creative with your journaling (colored pens and stickers add some fun), or it can be as simple as writing a few sentences every day about how you’re feeling. So, how does journaling support your journey to self-love?
Be intentional with your journaling: each day, try to make a short list that acknowledges specific positives about yourself. Externalizing positivity, even on difficult days, can be helpful in recognizing what you do love about yourself or your life; it can also be a helpful tool to look back on when you’re feeling self-conscious. Here are some simple, achievable ideas for self-love journal prompts:
- 3 things I love about myself
- 3 good things that happened today
- 3 personal affirmations (you can also use these positive affirmations for self-love vocally, by repeating each affirmation to yourself 3 times)
- 3 things I am grateful for
- 3 ways I can show myself more gratitude
- 3 people who love me the way I am and why
- 3 parts of myself I want to appreciate more
There are many excellent and more expansive journal prompt topics out there, but starting with small acknowledgements in list form is a helpful way to ease into journaling for those just starting out. Keeping a journal can become anything you want it to be, whether it’s learning to fall in love with yourself or writing down your goals and dreams. This helps you connect with yourself on an emotional level.
Tip #2: Disconnect
Easier said than done when technology is a huge part of daily life! Start by being cognizant of what doesn’t make you feel good while you’re online. Does scrolling social media and seeing unrealistic expectations make you feel down? Or are you burned out and exhausted from a lack of work/life balance? Whatever that roadblock is, it’s incredibly important to put your phone down and shut your computer often. Take a walk, read a book, or have a picnic in the park among the fall leaves! These seemingly simple ways of unplugging can actually go a long way: no comparing yourself to other people, no influx of advertisements, no doomscrolling. You only have to focus on yourself.
Spending time with yourself can help you learn more about yourself, and spending time away from screens is ultimately positive for your physical and mental health. It allows you to form deeper connections with yourself and others; additionally, you’ll be more present in each moment with no distractions. Unplugging also helps you sleep better, so you’ll wake up each day more refreshed. Take a day off every once in a while to do something just for yourself: indulge in a fun fall activity like apple picking or walking through a pumpkin patch.
Tip #3: Set Boundaries
Just as you set boundaries with yourself when you disconnect from technology, it’s also important to set boundaries with the people in your life. Boundary-setting can be scary, but it also can be deeply rewarding. Try a journaling prompt one day that allows you to reflect on your personal and professional relationships: is there anything you haven’t stood up for yourself about that you want to address? Is a friend or family member being overbearing about something in your life? Is your boss constantly asking you to work overtime?
Figure out which parts of your life are holding you back or make you feel uncomfortable: then, think of ways that these feelings could be prevented in the future by brainstorming boundaries you can present to your family, a friend, or your manager. Advocating for yourself is essential when you’re figuring out how to start loving yourself more, and taking these steps can increase your peace of mind and create a smoother pathway for honest communication in your relationships.
Tip #4: Pamper Your Body
An important facet of self-love is learning to appreciate and love your body. An easy way to show your body some love is with some pampering—a manicure, pedicure, or even just applying lotion to moisturize your body after your daily shower. Allow yourself to be present in your body and lean into what makes you feel relaxed. Spend time looking at yourself in the mirror and finding qualities about your body that you like; it’s easier to love yourself when you don’t compare yourself to anyone. As you start finding different areas of your body that you appreciate, it gradually gets easier to admire your authentic self.
Nourish your body with what it needs. For example, if you are self-conscious about having dry skin on your hands, consider a manicure or a moisturizing treatment you continually will keep up with. Adding a seasonal scent can make your self-love activity fun (we all know how amazing pumpkin smells). Taking self-care steps to address any concerns you have with your appearance can help you appreciate these parts of yourself more. When your body feels good, chances are you’ll think you look good too. Pick up self-care essentials to always have on hand on the VOESH website.
Exploring what works for you when it comes to self-care and self-love is essential to this process. Spend time this season thinking about what your goals are, life improvements you can make, and what steps you can take to embrace exactly who you are. Loving yourself first and taking your own wants and needs into consideration can be difficult, but you’ll find you will gain confidence in yourself and be more at peace with yourself and your life.