Self-love is paramount to your overall happiness. It is defined as a state of self-appreciation that stems from actions that help your physical, mental, and spiritual growth. It means respecting yourself and caring about your happiness and well-being. Unfortunately, many of us underestimate the importance of self-love and fail to dedicate enough time to practicing it. This article presents 25 of the best self-love challenges so that you can learn to truly embrace and love the most important person in your life: you!
1. Read enriching material to help you reach your goals
A fantastic way to gain more love for yourself is to work on self-growth and attain your goals through reading educational content. The more successful and productive you feel, the more appreciation, accomplishment, and satisfaction you will have for yourself. A great tool to do this is the Headway app.
Our app lets you customize your own growth plan based on your goals. For instance, perhaps you want to work on having a more successful career, building a happier family, or improving your mental well-being. Once you have selected your growth plan, the Headway app provides essential knowledge from the world’s leading non-fiction titles to help you attain those goals. We provide 15-minute audio and book summaries, challenges, daily insights, and more so you can learn key information in simple, bite-sized chunks.
The Headway app also rewards you with achievements as you progress through your growth plan so you can appreciate all that you accomplish. By thinking about your goals and working towards realizing them, you will feel more fulfilled and satisfied. Download the Headway app today to begin your seven-day free trial and embark on a life-changing journey of self-growth and, ultimately, self-love.
Top tip: Check out our blog article on ways to successfully achieve your goals.
2. Write down positive affirmations and say them aloud
Affirmations help you to love and believe in yourself and find value in who you are and what you can achieve. When writing affirmations, keep them short and in the present tense (such as ‘I am happy’ rather than ‘I want to be happy’). And remember: say them aloud to reinforce your confidence and positivity. Examples of positive affirmations include ‘I am special’ and ‘I deserve happiness.’
Top tip: Tape your affirmations where you often see them, such as on your bedroom ceiling.
3. Feel okay with saying no
It is also important to feel okay to say no to things you don’t want to do. For instance, are there people in your life always asking you to do things they may not do for you? Creating boundaries is critical to protecting your happiness. Learning when you should say no is a great practice for self-love.
Dedicating time to meditation is a great way to lower stress levels and increase self-esteem and happiness. A great self-love routine is to spend 10 minutes a day meditating, such as by:
trying guided meditations;
listening to relaxing sounds;
completing breathing exercises.
Putting time aside for meditation allows you to prioritize your needs and work on self-care.
5. Improve your sleep routine
It is well-documented that insufficient sleep can affect our physical, mental, and emotional health. Therefore, a great self-love activity is to work on getting a better night’s sleep. Some ways you can do this are:
turn off social media an hour before you go to bed;
avoid drinking caffeine in the evening;
go to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual;
read a book before you go to sleep;
take a relaxing bubble bath.
6. Create a vision board
Creating a vision board helps you realize your life’s goals and envision your dream life. You may wish to create a board for long-term goals, such as your five-year plan, or make a more general one. By building a physical visualization of your goals, hopes, and dreams, you can better work toward making them a reality and feeling more fulfilled in life. Ensure you put this vision board where you will regularly see it, like with your affirmations, such as next to your bathroom mirror.
7. Show gratitude
Learning to express gratitude is a valuable habit to implement in your life. By showing gratitude, you will enjoy the following benefits:
a more positive mindset;
appreciation for the small things;
a renewed respect for your life and those within it.
By taking a minute to be mindful and appreciate your life, you will enjoy a deeper love for yourself and everything around you that matters.
8. Wear your favorite outfit or clothes accessory
Doing something as simple as putting on your favorite outfit can do wonders for lifting your mood. By wearing clothes that make you feel good, you will feel more self-confident and be in a better mood for the day. Consider the clothes you are wearing and include one item or accessory that brings you more confidence and joy.
9. Start a self-love journal
A self-love journal is where you write things that you love about yourself. In your journal, you can:
write about a joyful moment you have experienced;
write down ten qualities you love about yourself;
explain what makes you unique.
By starting a self-love journal, you can support your emotional well-being and reflect on the best aspects of yourself and your life.
Top tip: If a journal sounds too daunting, try writing yourself a love letter.
The power of exercise cannot be underestimated. This activity does not have to be an intense workout, as it shouldn’t feel punishing. Avoid focusing on hitting a certain weight or reaching a certain goal; instead, do it to get your endorphins flowing, your heart pumping, and your body and mind feeling good. If possible, do this exercise outside, as experiencing fresh air and being in nature can be truly invigorating. Great examples include yoga, bike rides, and a relaxing walk.
Top tip: Try some light-sitting exercises if you cannot walk.
11. Forgive yourself
From time to time, we all make mistakes. It’s important that you can accept your mistakes and forgive yourself, or you will struggle to move on from them. For this self-love exercise, also ask yourself:
What negative feelings or memories am I holding on to?
Do I have regular self-deprecating thoughts?
By tackling these questions head-on and confronting them, you can resolve any grudges you may have against yourself and let go of negativity.
12. Do an act of kindness
By doing an act of kindness, you will feel great about yourself as you are selflessly helping others and making the world happier. Great examples for this activity include:
volunteering at a homeless shelter;
donating to charity;
planting a tree.
Even something as simple as smiling at someone on your commute to work can brighten their day, spread happiness, and make you feel good.
13. Take yourself on a date
Going on a date with yourself is an excellent way of putting yourself first, enjoying your own company, and practicing self-love. Many people get little alone time, and when they do, they spend it doing housework or general chores. However, you must take time to reflect on how special you are, and by going on a solo date, you learn how to do things alone and have fun without depending on others. Here are some great date ideas:
have a spa day;
go to a coffee shop;
go for a hike;
go to the movies.
14. Have a detox from social media
While social media is a great way to be social and connect with friends and family, it can also damage our mental health. It is easy to fall into the trap of scrutinizing and comparing your life to the seemingly perfect snippets of others you see online. And spending too much time on social media rather than connecting with people in real life can be isolating. Turning off social media, even for one day, can feel like a huge weight off your shoulders and allows you to spend valuable time in other aspects of your life.
15. Revisit your childhood hobby
Hobbies are fantastic for our psychological and physical well-being. They bring greater enjoyment and fulfillment to our lives. Furthermore, the older you get, the more joy you get from tapping into your younger self. Returning to a childhood hobby can bring back feelings from when we were young, providing deep comfort. Many people feel guilty as adults for taking time out for themselves, but this is critical to our happiness.
Top tip: Revisit a childhood hobby, such as completing jigsaw puzzles or playing the piano.
16. Clear out your closet
For this self-love challenge, clear out your closet of clothes you no longer like or do not fit. Decluttering your closet can feel liberating as you remove clothes that no longer bring you happiness. Plus, you can donate unwanted clothes to charity and feel great about doing a good deed. Ultimately, you will be left with a closet full of items you like, and you will feel productive and organized.
17. Buy yourself flowers
Doing something as simple as buying yourself some flowers can work wonders for your mental health. Flowers brighten up your personal space, boost your mood, and help you feel self-worth. They can help to reduce stress and inject some color into your surroundings. If flowers aren’t your thing, a fresh, green plant (even a fake one) can work wonders. Buy yourself a flower or plant and remind yourself that you are special and worthy of love.
18. Eat healthy food
Healthy eating is beneficial not only to our physical health but our mental health too. Browse online for popular healthy recipes that look delicious and inspire you. Some suggestions for healthy foods include:
It can be easy to think of healthy eating as a punishment. However, you should look at it as loving your body and mind through nourishment (and healthy doesn’t necessarily mean boring). Being mindful of what you eat is an effective way to show self-love.
19. Schedule 30 minutes of self-care time a day
Putting at least 30 minutes aside a day for yourself is an important self-care practice. During this time, you should do something that brings you true happiness. Making time to do what we love is important for rejuvenating our bodies and minds and boosting our overall happiness. Good suggestions for activities include:
listening to your favorite album;
reading a great book;
watching a movie.
20. List five things you love about your body
This challenge involves loving your body and avoiding putting yourself down. Many people struggle with body image, which can significantly damage mental health. Therefore, it is key that you face yourself in the mirror and list five things you love about your body aloud, such as your eyesight, hair color, or muscle definition. Then, whenever you catch yourself in the mirror, repeat them to yourself. Positive self-talk can completely transform how you feel and view yourself.
21. Set a big financial goal
Money can be a concern and stress point for many people. Setting a big financial goal helps you stick to a budget for your desired outcome. Financial goals give you improved focus, motivation, and discipline. Getting your finances in order, and considering your goals, can be a big weight off your mind and give you a renewed sense of purpose.
22. Plan an outing with a loved one
Nurturing friendships and connecting with people you love is a surefire way to feel great. Plan a social outing with a friend or significant other and do something with them that you both love, such as going to a restaurant, visiting a park, or going for coffee. Spending time with people you love and those who love you is invaluable to our emotional and mental health. It can remind you of the happiness you bring to others and make you feel the love you deserve.
Top tip: Spend time with people you respect, love, and who genuinely value you as a person.
23. Declutter your offline and online environment
It is often said that a messy room equals a messy mind. Clearing out the clutter in your personal space will make your mind clearer, and you can focus better on practicing self-love. Start with one corner of your room and spend a few minutes a day clearing out unwanted items and tidying up. Decluttering can also be applied to social media. Toxic social media accounts can damage your mindset and your opinion of yourself. Consider unfollowing accounts with the following:
constant negative opinions or mocking of others;
seemingly idyllic lives that make you feel inferior.
Top tip: If a social media account triggers or affects you negatively, unfollow them.
24. Treat yourself to something small
Showing appreciation and rewarding yourself is an important step towards self-love. Buy yourself that video game you’ve been waiting for, that book your friends keep raving about, or even something as simple as a cupcake or a hot bath. Treat yourself to something that brings you happiness and helps you feel special.
25. Try something you have always wanted to
What have you wanted to do for a long time but have never got around to? There is no time like the present. By trying new things, you can become more aware of your capabilities and feel empowered to try new things in the future. This is a great way to boost your confidence and have more fun. Perhaps you have always wanted to skydive, learn the guitar, or go abroad. Take that step to accomplish your desires and enjoy more of the world.
Reach your goals and nurture self-love with the Headway app
This list has given you 25 self-love ideas, such as meditating, eating healthy food, and decluttering your environment. One of the most effective ways to nurture self-love is to understand your life’s goals and work towards realizing them, and there is no better place to do this than the Headway app.
Our fun learning app helps you set up a growth plan for your goals and provides essential information to help you crush them. With our service, you can reach your goals, accomplish more, and become the best possible version of yourself. Get started with the Headway app today and begin your seven-day free trial to embark on your life-changing journey.
How do you develop strong self-love?
Strong self-love comes through practice, habits, and constant work. Time must be put aside to appreciate yourself and reflect on your positive attributes.
What activities can I do for self-love?
There are many ways that you can practice self-love, as mentioned in this article. For instance, you could start a self-love journal, buy yourself flowers, or declutter your personal space.
What are some affirmations for self-love?
Examples of affirmations for self-love include:
I am worthy;
I am special;
I deserve love;
I am strong.