10 Easy Ways to Practice Self Love (Even When You Feel Like Shit)

Woman sitting outside wearing a skirt

Show a Little (Self) Love

Have you guys watched Bo Burnham’s recent Netflix special, Inside yet? If not, you really, really need to. It’s pure comedy gold, but in it Bo also expresses some serious self-deprecating feelings along with an honest peek into his own depression issues.

One song in particular really stands out to me, the aptly titled “Shit,” in which Bo sings:

Wake up at 11:30
Feeling like a bag of shit (oh no!)
All my clothes are dirty, so I'm smelling like a bag of shit
Go to pour my coffee, and I miss my cup
OMG, that is just my luck
Look in the mirror say: "What's up you useless fuck?"

If you haven’t seen the special, then just reading the lyrics in black and white probably makes it seem much less funny than it really is (and, good god is it catchy!)

But I think part of the reason that it’s stuck with me so much (besides the fact that it can easily gets stuck in your head after hearing it) is just how damn relatable it is.

I think we’ve all experienced moments in life where we just straight up feel like a ‘bag of shit.’ And while having a sense of humor about our own shortcomings can be helpful, it’s also important to make sure and practice self love, especially on days when it’s hard.

Image of an outdoor patio space with words Self Love on wall

10 Easy Ways To Practice Self Love Today

I know you’ve probably seen a whole bunch of blog posts about the topic of self love – and, as much as I love these kinds of posts, a lot of them say the same things: Get better sleep, Eat healthier, Exercise more.

All great tips, of course, but when you’re in the midst of feeling depressed and unmotivated, it can be really difficult to try and hit the gym or eat something other than chips and ice cream.

Instead, here are 10 easy things you can do to practice self love today.

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1. List 10 Things You Love About Yourself

Take out a piece of paper and literally write down 10 things you love about yourself. These can be physical traits, personality characteristics, achievements – anything you can think of that makes you feel good about yourself.

Personally, I love my lips, my sense of humor, and my writing skills. Now, it’s your turn!

2. Practice Forgiveness to Yourself

I’m in my 30’s, divorced, and I’m not nearly as professionally successful as I’d hoped to be by now. But that’s perfectly fine! It’s all part of the journey.

So, forgive yourself for your past mistakes, for not being where you want to be in life, or for your perceived flaws. While it can be healthy to recognize your faults, it’s also really important not to dwell on them.

3. Give Yourself Permission to be Selfish

Your boss asks you to work overtime and even though you can come in this Saturday, you were really looking forward to that lazy afternoon with Netflix.

Or your friend invites you to a night out but you’re just feeling spent.

Many of us feel a sense of obligation to agree in these kinds of situations, but remember that it’s OK to say “No” to things once in a while.

You might think that cancelling plans or declining that get-together with a friend is unacceptable if you’re not actually busy, but taking a rest day for yourself IS a plan.

Definitely don’t do this all the time (otherwise you’re sure to piss off some friends and family members), but if you need a mental health day, it’s perfectly fine to take one every so often.

4. Accept Compliments

How many of you instantly demure when you get a compliment? 🙋‍♀️ Someone tells you that you look really pretty today and the first thing you say is, “Ugh, no I really need a haircut.”

STOP doing that! Just smile and accept the compliment (and better yet – allow yourself to actually believe it!)

5. Take a Day off Social Media

I recently went on a week-long vacation, which meant I also had a week-long hiatus from social media. And while I wasn’t totally off the grid (I may have checked twitter a time or two), the break was incredibly refreshing and noticeably lifted my mood.

The problem with social media is that it’s all too easy to start comparing yourself negatively to other people – as a blogger, this has been even worse because I’m constantly comparing my likes/comments/follows to that of my peers.

Also a big problem with social media? Exes – because, let’s face it, they’re still out there with an Instagram account that’s just begging to be looked at. And as much as we know we shouldn’t, most of us are only human (but, see this post on the dangers of orbiting after a breakup for a pep talk!)

6. Treat Yourself

As women, we often have a serious love-hate relationship going on with our bodies – should I have that second scoop of ice cream, or do I want to look good by the pool?

But you can appreciate your body while also having your favorite desert.

Other ways to treat yourself can include watching a favorite movie, taking a bubble bath, buying a cute new outfit.

Whatever it is you’re into – go ahead and let yourself indulge a little!

7. Set Goals for Yourself

It’s perfectly fine to give yourself a break for not being where you want to be in life, but it’s also a good idea to set goals for yourself. Just the act of planning out what you want to accomplish can help give you some motivation.

And if you’re struggling right now, go ahead and start small with simple goals like, I will take a short walk today, or, I will read a chapter of a book today.

8. Learn Something New

This doesn’t need to be anything HUGE like learning a new language, but aim to learn something new as a quick mood booster.

Read a new blog, google something you’ve been curious about but haven’t gotten around to yet, or just watch the local news.

9. Practice Journaling

Putting your thoughts down on paper is a really helpful way of practicing self love.

For one thing, if you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, seeing things in black and white can help change your perspective.

Plus, the act of journaling in itself can be really cathartic.

If you’re not sure where to start, try writing down how you feel about this blog post. Do you think these tips are helpful? Which one(s) will you try?

10. Allow Yourself to be Proud of Your Achievements

Whether they’re big – like graduating from college or getting that new job you wanted – or small, be proud of whatever it is you’ve accomplished.

Even if you just gave yourself a goal of going for a walk today, if you’ve done it, let yourself feel proud! No achievement is too minor to celebrate.

Conclusion: Practice Self Love Daily

It’s easy to show yourself love on the days when you feel great – the days when everything seems to fall right into place – but, on those days, it can be equally easy to forget to actively put it into practice. By trying to make practicing self love a daily habit, it’ll be easier to do on the days when you really need it.

What do you like to do to practice self love? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

xx
Katie

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30 Thoughts on 10 Easy Ways to Practice Self Love (Even When You Feel Like Shit)
    Unwanted Life
    12 Aug 2021
    3:59pm

    They all sound like good self care strategies, but my problem is when I feel like shit, I either don’t have the motivation to do anything to make myself feel better or nothing works because I’m incapable of feeling any kind of happiness

      datingbitch
      12 Aug 2021
      4:14pm

      That’s so relatable – I totally get that. I think that by trying to make it into a daily habit, it can become easier over time, but it’ll still be hard at times.

    Alicia Thompson
    12 Aug 2021
    10:41pm

    Hello! I love this post as I can totally relate to feeling like shit sometimes! Treating myself and journalling is my favourite things to do when I want to self-care. Thanks for sharing a great post! Alicia

      datingbitch
      13 Aug 2021
      11:24am

      Yess! Treating yourself is always a good thing!

    Biren
    13 Aug 2021
    4:52am

    Wonderful post, Katie! All of the pointers are very nicely described and worth it! Self-love is something which is most needed to everyone but more importantly it should be realized first! Your post truly justifies all of them by the listed tips! I enjoyed reading it thoroughly! Thanks for sharing!

      datingbitch
      13 Aug 2021
      11:24am

      Thank you Biren!! Self love is so important

    Sam | Smarter and Harder
    13 Aug 2021
    9:16am

    Treat yo self two thousand twenty one!

    Thanks for sharing these – this definitely speaks to a number of things that I still struggle with constantly. I’m a chronic self-doubter that struggles to let myself accept the good things that are going on in my life. So I’m going to give these some practice, ESPECIALLY #2-4.

      datingbitch
      13 Aug 2021
      11:25am

      Yes, I’m so bad at accepting compliments and definitely need to get better at that.

    Mind Beauty Simplicity
    13 Aug 2021
    11:22am

    that parks and rec meme got me hahaha
    loved everything about this post. i need to learn how to forgive myself better. i’m always so hard on myself.

      datingbitch
      13 Aug 2021
      11:26am

      Yes, that’s a really hard one to get better at for sure

    JEMMA
    14 Aug 2021
    3:04pm

    I loved this post! Like you said, it’s so hard sometimes to practise self-love when all you want to do is shove your head into a tub of Ben & Jerry’s! I try to find one good thing I liked about myself every day – just to help with my journey of self-love and body acceptance 🙂

      datingbitch
      14 Aug 2021
      5:14pm

      I love that idea! It’s such a good practice

    Her Digital Coffee
    14 Aug 2021
    5:29pm

    It can be really hard to feel great sometimes and I love how realistic this list is. Practicing forgiveness and allowing yourself to be selfish are important things we have to allow ourselves to do. I’ve been meaning to watch Bo’s special, I will be doing that tonight! Thank you for the wonderful list!

      datingbitch
      15 Aug 2021
      12:19pm

      I loved his special! Hopefully you enjoy it

    alita pacio
    14 Aug 2021
    11:29pm

    I love journaling. It’s had positive impact in my pwrsonal growth and my journay of loving myself

      datingbitch
      15 Aug 2021
      12:19pm

      It’s SO good for personal growth!

    mia
    15 Aug 2021
    8:15pm

    These are such practical, useful suggestions. If I’m ever having a low day, my partner reminds me to list 10 things I’m grateful for and that always cheers me right up x

    mia

      datingbitch
      18 Aug 2021
      9:45am

      That’s so great to hear! And it’s great that your partner is reminding you to love yourself when you’re having a bad day.

    I'm All Booked Up
    16 Aug 2021
    7:34am

    Love the idea forgiving yourself. It’s so simple, but hard to do at the same time.

      datingbitch
      18 Aug 2021
      9:45am

      Absolutely! I think it’s something that goes a long way towards just loving and respecting yourself in general.

    Victoria St. Michael
    18 Aug 2021
    11:43am

    It’s so refreshing to see a self-love list that doesn’t say “eat healthier and exercise more.” Not that those aren’t great tips, but on the “ALL DAY, ALL SHIT” days (thanks, Bo! Haha) it can be so hard to muster up the energy to cook a healthy meal or do a workout. Especially if you suffer from clinical depression. These are all things that are easy to do, even on low energy days! Thanks for this.

      datingbitch
      19 Aug 2021
      7:10am

      That was exactly my thought too! I see those tips all the time and you’re right, it IS important to exercise and eat healthy and drink more water. But some days, just getting out of bed is a struggle, so having simple tips can make a huge difference. Thanks for your feedback and readership! xx

    Brianna Stryker
    22 Aug 2021
    3:51pm

    This is a solid list! I have to admit, I am rubbish about showing myself self-love. Even though it is so important, I struggle with seeing myself as worthy of it. Nevertheless, a lot of these tips are helpful for general bad mental health days (journaling and staying off social media specifically) so I can see why you included them as being helpful for self-love. Great post!

      datingbitch
      22 Aug 2021
      4:06pm

      Social media is probably the biggest thing I’ve found to be harmful if I’m already struggling. Taking a break now and then really goes so far!

    Simply Alex Jean
    24 Aug 2021
    11:50am

    Love this post – it is packed with lots of awesome ideas! My favourites are taking time off social media, treating myself, and taking some time to be out in nature! It’s so important to take time with yourself and practice self love – thanks for sharing this awesome list.

      datingbitch
      24 Aug 2021
      5:36pm

      I totally agree! If I’m feeling burnt out, taking a day or two off of social media really does wonders.

    Nons Mshengu
    30 Aug 2021
    5:15am

    I love this post! I think tapping into anything that makes you feel good is key when you’re having a bad day! Putting on a mask, playing my self care playlist and dancing all around my room is my fave thing to do!

      datingbitch
      30 Aug 2021
      8:47pm

      That sounds like such a healthy and fun way to decompress!

    Elle
    16 Sep 2021
    1:28pm

    Really love this post. I need to take some of these tips myself. It’s hard to love yourself but it’s something I’m practising everyday! Thank you so much for sharing Xo

    Elle

      datingbitch
      17 Sep 2021
      9:52am

      I’m so glad you found it helpful! xx

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