My Self Love Journey

Suggestions for practicing self love, self care, and acceptance.


Graphic by Francine

Falling in love with yourself can be more difficult than falling for someone else. But as the saying goes, if you need to love yourself first before you can truly love others. However, loving yourself isn’t only important so that you can have meaningful relationships with others, but it is important simply so that you feel good about yourself.

The road to self-love often has numerous challenges. It is a journey that has no definite start or endpoint. You can give yourself as little or as much love as you can, it isn't something you can quantify. There is never a right or wrong way to practice self love and get to self acceptance, because everyone has their own unique journey of falling for themselves. 

Until recently, I constantly felt sad and disappointed with myself. I've even been angry at myself for choosing to be in friendships or relationships with the wrong people. There was a time when no amount of achievements or accomplishments could make me feel happy about myself. No amount of appreciation from others could stop me from crying myself to sleep. 

Realizing I was stuck in a loop of resentment compelled me to take action, for no one's benefit but my own. It was very important to me to start finding happiness in the little things around me and retrieve all the love for myself that I had lost over the years.   

It took me almost a year to fall in love with myself and enter into a sustainable cycle of satisfaction and happiness. I eventually saw results and developed routines that now help me lead a better life and become a better person. Here is a list of strategies, both easy and difficult, that helped me fall in love with myself. I hope they help you, too:

Forgiving myself and correcting my mistakes

Forgiveness is the most important first step in the process of loving yourself. Unless you forgive yourself for all the wrong choices you’ve made or the wrong things you’ve done, you won’t be able to move forward. Instead of carrying the baggage from your past mistakes, it is important to realize where you went wrong and fix it so that you can become a better person. Learning from your mistakes can help you make better and more careful choices in the future.

Accepting myself 

The second most important step towards loving yourself is accepting yourself and all your flaws. It is about identifying your strengths and weaknesses and owning them up. 

Not being too hard on myself

The process of being a better version of yourself is delicate. You will still make mistakes as no one is perfect, but it is necessary to be kind to yourself during the whole process. Pushing yourself is great, but being too hard on yourself might just dampen your self-love. Your high expectations should not make you feel stressed about achieving perfection, they should give you the motivation to do better. Don’t be a tough critic of yourself!

Self-talk and appreciation

Self-talk in the mirror (and a ton of mirror selfies) proved to be very healing for me. I would vent out all my feelings to myself by simply talking to myself in the mirror. Oftentimes I would be surprised to see that so many solutions lay within myself, they just need to be looked for. You just need to give room to your feelings through self-talk and soon you’ll start understanding yourself better than anyone else!


Doing things I love 

Taking the time to do things I love, such as reading, helped me spend more time with myself and grow the love I have for myself.

Enjoying my own company

I never fear being alone simply because I enjoy my own company. I enjoy grabbing a coffee alone, going to the mall to shop alone, and even going to the beach alone. This doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy the company of others, but rather I am comfortable enjoying time with myself. 

Not sacrificing my self-respect

This one is extremely significant! Valuing yourself as an individual is a very crucial form of self-love. I would never trade my self-worth or self-respect for anything or anyone, because I know that I am worthy of being treated well. We are all worthy of respect and we should never let that be negotiable. 

Celebrating myself

Show appreciation for both your small and big accomplishments, just like you would celebrate your loved ones. Celebrating yourself is a great way of expressing self love. For instance, I occasionally treat myself to a nice meal whenever I feel accomplished or whenever I am simply happy!