But what does “self-love” really mean? After all, it’s not something you can buy online, pick up like a fork or talk to like another person. Self-love is not a person, place or thing…

And this can make it a little difficult to wrap your head around it as a practice.

The concept of self-love is easy to grasp – just love ourselves! – but the action of loving oneself is something different altogether. We might try taking a bath as an act of self-love, but don’t necessarily feel an overwhelming sense of “love” while we’re relaxing in the warm water. Does that mean we missed the mark?

Without a doubt, self-love is fundamental to sustained health and happiness. It empowers us to care for our needs (and the needs of others) as well as make decisions rooted in our best interest. But no matter how many people try to define self-love or tell you what it is, it will ultimately be expressed differently through each person. And that is okay.

The only way to discover what self-love means for you is by exploring your hunches around it. It may take time, and don’t be surprised if it changes as you walk through different seasons of life, but it will positively chance you once you do discover it.

Don’t worry, we’ve still put together a quick list of ideas to help you get started just in case…

  1. Create a self-love ritual.

Turn off the TV and unplug from social media to get centered while self-pampering. My favorite way to do this is with our Bed of Nails Signature Mat and candle set. I lower the lights and ignite a candle, turn on some of our favorite softer tunes and lay on our mat for at least 15 minutes. I take a moment to thank my body for all that it provides (think of how much goes on in there all day long without us having to do anything!) and relish how fortunate I am to have a body that supports me so.

  1. Build a reliable, supportive community.

As much as we would like to think we can, we can’t do everything ourselves. You need the support and love from people around you to stay motivated and on track. Positive energy is contagious, so whether you’re building a network or planning to go to a fun event, it’s always important to have a community you value around you regularly.

  1. Make a “What’s Working for Me” list.

You always hear that to love someone else you must first learn to love yourself. But In order to really love yourself sometimes you have to recognize all the love you have around you. One of the practices I do when I’m feeling down is to go within and acknowledge what’s really working, then make a “What’s Working for Me” list. Once you see it on paper and accept all of the positivity in your life, it will make it that much easier to love yourself.

  1. Do something you’re good at.

If this isn’t the ultimate self-esteem booster, I don’t know what is! Self-esteem and self-love often go hand in hand, and participating in a hobby you’re good at will not only boost your endorphins, but will bring out the best version of you. If you love to cook, then cook! If you love to run, then grab those sneakers, head outside and run for your life.

  1. Build your letting go muscle.

We’re constantly holding on to things in our past, and it can tend to weigh heavy on our souls and even give us low self-esteem. The more blocks we clear, the more we can really live big in the area of self-love. Although we may do this as a way to protect ourselves from hurting, it’s really only holding us back from moving forward to reaching optimal self-acceptance and loving who we are.

We would LOVE to hear from you! If you have any self-love thoughts, tips or habits that you want to share with our community, please leave a comment below or post on Bed of Nails Facebook page.