What’s self-love? According to clinical psychologist Deborah Khoshaba, it means “a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature us.”

Self-love isn’t about huge gestures, nor is it a constant state of being. It’s about the small everyday things we choose to do. It’s something to practise, perhaps fail at, and try again. Like any other habit, start with something small, do it consistently and reap the long-term benefits.

“When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept our weaknesses better, as well as our strengths,” writes Khoshaba, “have less need to explain away our short-comings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, and are more centred in our life purpose and values, and expect fulfilment through our own efforts.”

Start small: focus on the tiny everyday things you can do. Here are 20 simple acts of self-love you can try out. A little goes a long way—even doing just one helps!

1. Start your day with a good breakfast. (And eat well—good food boosts our mental and physical wellbeing.)

2. Take your time when having a bath if you find it relaxing. Simply showering is itself an act of self-love because it impacts your mood.

3. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for every day. (Go a step further and write down 3 things you appreciate about yourself.)

4. Turn the tables on negative thoughts. For example, instead of worrying or doubting, ask yourself, “What if this works out?”

5. Plan to meet friends and loved ones. We each know how much social activity we need for our wellbeing.

6. Say no when you want to.

7. Say yes to one thing you’ve always wanted to try. Do it with a friend if it helps.

8. Invest in great pillows and bed sheets. It’s worth it—we spend a third of our lives sleeping! Plus, research shows that good sleep is essential for our wellbeing.

9. Spend time with yourself. Meditate, create a mini evening retreat to de-stress, whatever works for you.

10. Whenever you feel like beating yourself up, ask yourself how you’d treat a friend who is in the same position. Give yourself the same compassion.

11. Hang out only with people who energise you. (Don’t feel obligated to say yes to people who don’t. See point 6.)

12. Trust your gut. It usually knows what you need.

13. Get that manicure you want.

14. Get moving. Dance! Exercise! Even just walking in nature does wonders for our mental and physical wellbeing.

15. Enhance your environment in a way that makes you feel good.

16. Learn something new. Podcasts are a great free resource.

17. Whenever you fail at something, celebrate with a friend. You just gained a lesson you wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else. Great job!

18. Laugh. Watch funny videos or hang out with people who make you laugh.

19. Take the day off if you need to. It’s okay to do absolutely nothing.

20. Ask for help or support.

21. Schedule time every day for what you love, whether that’s playing with your pet, hanging out with friends or a hobby.

Which one did you try? How did it impact you? Share your story with us at [email protected]

– The Mindful Company Team

Originally published at www.mindful-company.com