In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to focus your attention solely on productivity and your long to-do list. Many of us sacrifice our own well-being in order to tend to our responsibilities and care for others, and we may even feel guilty for taking time for ourselves. It turns out that setting aside some time for self-love in the morning can start the day off on the right foot and help you to tackle whatever awaits.
What Self-Love Is and Why It Matters
Sometimes, self-love has a negative connotation, as people may associate it with narcissism or selfishness. In reality, self-love is anything but malicious; it is simply the act of caring for yourself, giving attention to yourself, and having a sense of peace with who you are. When you’re trying to juggle numerous demands, you can forget to tend to your own needs. It’s also easy to get caught up in a cycle of negative thinking about yourself.
Self-love offers you an opportunity to counteract negative thinking and tend to your own needs, which ultimately improves psychological health. In fact, self-acceptance, which is a core component of self-love, has been found to be strongly correlated to psychological wellbeing.
Starting Your Day With Self-Love
Beginning your mornings with an act of self-love can ward off stress and mental health problems like depression and anxiety. If you’re wondering how you can incorporate these acts into your day, explore the suggestions below.
Try Some Light Movement
Exercise doesn’t have to be intense to be beneficial. Beginning the day with some yoga or stretching can help you to ease achy muscles and get your body moving for the day. Light exercise also offers you the opportunity to be mindful of bodily sensations, and to remind yourself how grateful you are for everything your body does for you. This can be especially beneficial if you’ve been struggling with negative body image.
Taking time to make note of what you’re thankful for can reframe your entire day. Maybe you wake up feeling worried about an upcoming task, or stressed about the day ahead. Instead of focusing on these feelings, think about one thing for which you are grateful. You might even consider keeping a gratitude journal so you can document the positives in your life. Gratitude-focused writing has been found to be beneficial for decreasing stress and negative emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic, so it can be especially helpful during uncertain times.
Cross a Small Chore or Task off Your To-Do List
Starting the day with a quick task or chore, whether it’s unloading the dishwasher, dusting the blinds, or simply making the bed and tidying the bedroom, sets you up for success. You’ll feel accomplished, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about later in the day. Taking a few minutes to declutter and tidy your living environment can go a long way toward improving mental wellness. In fact, studies have shown that decluttering is uplifting and reduces stress.
Use Positive Affirmations
Starting the day with positive self-affirmations, rather than self-criticisms, can really change your mindset. Using these affirmations can help you to cope with negative events and emotions throughout your day, and set you up to tackle whatever you’re faced with, whether it’s a standoffish coworker or some sort of setback. You might start your day thinking about your strengths and values, such as your ability to be creative or the importance that you place on putting family first.
Take Five Minutes to Meditate
Beginning your day with meditation helps you to focus on the present moment rather than worrying about things happening later in the day or things that might have gone wrong the day before. A morning meditation quiets your mind and helps you to start out with a clean slate for the day.
When It’s Time to Reach Out
Creating positive morning routines that allow you to practice self-love can be beneficial for increasing your self-esteem, reducing stress, and improving your overall wellbeing. If you’ve been implementing these self-care activities into your daily life, and you still find yourself experiencing symptoms like fatigue, low self-esteem, anxiety, and difficulty coping with stress, you may be living with a mental health condition that would benefit from treatment.
If symptoms have begun to interfere with daily life and make it difficult for you to engage in activities that you enjoy, it may be time to reach out to a mental health professional. In counseling or therapy sessions, you can learn to change unhelpful thinking patterns and develop the tools for coping with stress in healthy ways.
Mission Harbor Behavioral Health provides services to the Southern California community, with locations in both Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. We offer a range of treatment tracks, including partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programming for adults, as well as an adolescent outpatient program. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to begin the admissions process.