7 Ways to Practice Self-Love When You’ve Had a Bad Day
Here is how you know it’s time to intentionally practice self-love:
-You’ve had a tough day and you feel unworthy, unlovable and not good enough
-Work has been overwhelming and you feel unappreciated
-Social media has left you feeling jealous and sad
-You’ve been arguing with a loved one and you feel unheard and lonely.
Sound familiar? Difficult challenges and tough days can leave you feeling undeserving of self-love, which is why it’s even more important to practice it intentionally.
What is self-love?
Self-love is showing yourself kindness, understanding and care. It’s about consciously choosing to value your own wants and needs and fully appreciating your self-worth.
Being self-loving means that you trust yourself, believe in yourself and treat yourself with respect.
At the same time, self-love can involve gently pushing yourself to learn from difficult experiences and owning your mistakes.
When you truly love yourself, you can acknowledge all your strengths and shortcomings, without judging yourself for those things. Instead, you embrace all that you are and encourage yourself to grow.
Why is self-love important at the end of a bad day?
When tough days happen and challenges arise, it can be even harder to show yourself love.
Instead, you might want to:
-Beat yourself up over mistakes
-Regret things you did or said
-Deny yourself pleasure and enjoyment because you feel like you don’t deserve it
-Bottle up your feelings
-Engage in negative self-talk
This is why it’s so important to intentionally practice self-love. Often, when we feel like we don’t deserve self-love is when we truly need it the most.
Not only does this allow you to be kinder towards yourself when you’re going through a difficult time, but it might help you learn and grow (rather than just beating yourself up) and move forward in positive and meaningful ways.
7 ways to practice self-love
1: CONGRATULATE YOURSELF
Even when it’s been a tough day and it seems like you did everything wrong, find something to congratulate yourself for.
Maybe you smiled at someone, even though you felt tired and irritated.
Perhaps you stuck up for yourself and used assertiveness skills.
Maybe you ticked a few things off your to-do list.
Sometimes, it’s enough to congratulate yourself just for getting through a tough day.
It might feel strange to give yourself a pat on the back for small reasons, but it’s important to know that you deserve it – even when things haven’t completely gone to plan. Even when you’ve struggled. Even when you’ve made mistakes.
You’re still worthy of congratulations at the end of a bad day… maybe, even more so.
2: ENGAGE IN SELF-CARE
If actions speak louder than words, then it’s important to actually do things that epitomise self-love.
For example, if you feel tired and drained then go to bed early and listen to relaxing music. Take a bath and read a good book. Make your favourite meal for dinner. Go for a long, mindful walk in your favourite place without your phone.
For more self-care ideas, click here to read 10 Unique Self-Care Ideas for Mindfulness and Relaxation.
3: ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEELINGS
After a difficult day, it can be helpful to acknowledge how you’re feeling. We are so often encouraged to put on a brave face and just move on, but bottling your emotions up can trigger unhealthy coping mechanisms and cause more stress.
To acknowledge your feelings, it might help to:
-Go somewhere you feel safe so you can think and reflect
-Talk to someone you trust
-Write about your thoughts and feelings
Once you’ve acknowledged your emotions, you could also find a healthy way to express those feelings or to look after yourself with self-care.
4: TAKE POSITIVE ACTION
When you feel ready, it might be helpful to take action in a positive way.
For example, if you had an argument with someone you might decide to apologise and agree to disagree. If your to-do list is overwhelming you, try delegating a few tasks. If posts on social media are triggering feelings of jealousy, sadness, or regret, you could do a social media detox (by taking a break from all social media for a day, a week, or a month) or unfollow people who don’t make you feel good.
Taking positive action is a great way to practice self-love because it allows you to creatively problem-solve so you can take better care of yourself.
5: FORGIVE YOURSELF
It can be easy to fall into the trap of shouldering the blame for things that go wrong, but a more self-loving choice would be to forgive yourself. Remember that you’re a human being without a roadmap to life – you’re just doing your best as things unfold. You don’t need to be perfect and you don’t need to make all the right choices.
Acknowledge how you could improve, forgive yourself and keep moving forward.
6: PRACTICE GRATITUDE
A wonderful way to express self-love is through gratitude.
Experiencing gratitude is a great self-love practice because not only does it help you feel good, but it allows you to appreciate different things about yourself and cultivate a positive mindset.
Try to notice your qualities, the things which make you unique and your strengths. Appreciate your body and all the different things it can do. Be thankful for your good deeds and the good deeds that other people do for you. Try keeping a gratitude list or journal, so you can read over it when you’ve had a tough day.
7: ENRICH YOUR LIFE WITH THINGS YOU ENJOY
Especially after you’ve had a bad day, make sure you:
-spend time doing your favourite hobby
-engage with people who love you
-be creative, just for the fun of it
-spend time in nature
-relax and unwind
I hope you enjoy trying these self-love practices for yourself!
Here are some episodes of my podcast, The Mindful Kind, you might also like:
Looking for even more ways to engage in self-love and self-care? Below, you can enter your email to receive a free copy of my beautiful guide, featuring 15 self-care practices for getting through tough times! Enjoy:)