Love yourself first.
It sounds easy enough, and we see it and hear it everywhere. Justin Bieber wrote a top hit about it. On an airplane, flight attendants remind us that in the case of an emergency, we should secure our own oxygen mask before attempting to help another. But what does that mean, really? The truth is, being a loving person doesn’t come from being in a relationship. And as any true Sex and the City fan already knows, “the most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.” After all, it’s one of the only ones we have for life.
So how do you tap into that relationship? How can you best nourish yourself, so you’re ready to put your best face forward when it comes to your family, friends and work? With ClassPass, you’re already off to a great start. When you live with intention, your life and the world you create for yourself mirror those positive vibes. Feeling ready for some self-love 101? Here are a few ways you can begin to incorporate self love into your everyday habits and mindset.
Figure out what makes you happy—and unhappy
Take a hard, honest look at your daily life: the activities, people and commitments you prioritize, and how you spend your time. Which of them make you feel like your best self? Which could you eliminate? Start by integrating more things that make you happy into your life. “This could be spending time with friends, engaging in a new hobby, or simply spending more time outside,” says Sage Rubinstein, licensed mental health counselor and primary therapist at the Oliver-Pyatt Centers in Miami, Fla.
Next, identify what is making you unhappy. “Are these things within your control? If so, make changes. If not, think about ways to make these items more tolerable,” Rubinstein explains. It’s kind of like that trendy Marie Kondo method for cleaning your house and creating a home you love: keep only those things that “spark joy,” and by decluttering your life, you can renew your mind.
Engage in self-care activities
What have you done for you lately? “Most of us float through our day-to-day lives going through the motions, not really focusing on what our needs are,” says Rubinstein. “Engaging in self-care can help improve your mood, cognitive ability and overall functioning.” Your to-do list, Instagram notifications and work emails will always be there, and sometimes they need to wait (no, really). Self-care looks different for everyone. What does it look like for you? Maybe it’s 15 minutes of morning meditation, followed by your favorite cup of tea, or unwinding after a long day with a relaxing bath and your favorite music. Even if it’s something small or only for 10 minutes, make it a point to spend that important time with yourself each day.
Practice mindful movement
AKA do some workouts that you actually like. You’ve got this one down, ClassPassers. “For many people, exercise in our culture has become ‘indulging’ in foods deemed ‘unhealthy’ by societal norms,” Rubinstein explains. “Engaging in mindful movement that you actually enjoy can be an amazing way to take care of your mind and body.” Does boot camp make you feel tortured? Try scheduling yourself a yoga class instead that still challenges you without making you miserable. Plus, you’re more likely to stay consistent when it’s a workout you genuinely look forward to.
Too blessed to be stressed. “Just one daily reminder of what makes you grateful can help you cultivate self-love, by allowing you to focus on the positive aspects of your life,” Rubinstein says. Try keeping a gratitude journal, which has been proven to help shift perspectives. Write down a few things you’re thankful for every night before bed to keep the good energy flowing. That amazing acai bowl you had for breakfast? A phone call from an old friend? The sunset on your drive home from work? Yep, those all count.
Surround yourself with positive support
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s a big one. Strive to fill your life with positive, uplifting people who make you better just by being near you. I’m sure you can recall a time when you felt hopeless and someone in your life helped you see the silver lining. “As humans, we are social beings, and we need others to lean on in times of joy and sadness,” explains Rubinstein. “We simply can’t do it alone.” Positive love and energy is contagious, and it’s what makes this world go ‘round.