By Amy Wood – PsyD, Nina Savelle-Rocklin – PsyD, Brooke Campbell – MA, LCAT

How To Practice Self-Love

“How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.”

~ Rupi Kaur

The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely Carl Jung Quote
Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin

I define self-acceptance as loving and appreciating yourself no matter what flaws may exist.

Self-acceptance refers to balancing different facets of yourself, holding onto the features you like about yourself, along with those you’d like to change. 

How you define our “self” is an important piece of this concept. When you hear the term “self-acceptance” what self do you think of first?

The self in the mirror? There is more to you than meets the eye.

One key to accepting yourself is to balance all the qualities that make you the unique individual you are.

Not long ago, I found some old journals from high school and sadly, nearly every page of every journal was about my weight.

I thought if I reached some magical number on the scale, then life would be perfect. I believed I could change the way I felt about myself by changing my appearance.

I was wrong. I had to figure out what was eating “at” me, instead of focusing on food.

I learned that if something’s wrong, you can’t starve it away or stuff it down, and no amount of make-up in the world can cover it up. You cannot measure your true value on a bathroom scale.

A range of qualities make you the unique person you are – intellectual, creative, playful, relational, spiritual, and more. When you identify, embrace and nurture all these parts of yourself, you will feel better about yourself.

I doubt you’ve ever said, “I love my friends because they’re so…. thin.”

Of course not. You love your friends because they’re nice, fun, supportive, warm, great people. What if you saw those same qualities in yourself?

If you’re waiting to be “perfect” before you consider a romantic relationship, change jobs, go back to school or leave your marriage, you’re defining perfection by a number on a scale.

Often, that definition of “perfection” changes as you near your goal, the finish line moving farther out of reach, along with your willingness to take risks.

When you accept imperfection, it’s easier to start now.

Self-acceptance also has a direct impact on the quality of your relationships. If you feel good about yourself, it’s easier to believe that other people will, too. When other people accept, admire, respect and cherish you, believe them!

Conversely, if you judge yourself, you’re susceptible to accepting criticism from others and even staying in unhealthy relationships.

When you give up an idealized view of perfection – in terms of your appearance, your achievements and more. – you will find a lasting sense of self-acceptance, and with it, greater happiness.

Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin –

Dr. Amy Wood

If you want to take good care of yourself, you absolutely have to learn how to be alone and like it.


Because if you don’t like being alone, you will spend time with just about anyone – even people who aren’t good for you — to avoid it. 

Learn to enjoy being alone and you will be much more discerning about the company you keep, which means you will only socialize with people who are positive, supportive, fun and otherwise add rather than take away from your life.

It’s impossible to take good care of yourself if you don’t feel comfortable enough with yourself to choose being alone over social options that don’t completely resonate with you. The very foundation of self-care is protecting yourself from social situations that are anything less than healthy.

The best way to learn to enjoy being alone is to practice.

The first step is to ask yourself honestly whenever you have a social opportunity if you really, truly want to participate or if you’re tempted to say yes just to fill time on your calendar. 

If the opportunity really does sound good, then go for it; otherwise, turn the invitation down and challenge yourself to use that time to strengthen your courage to be alone with you.

Wondering what you can do by yourself?

Start with these ideas: watch a movie, read a book, cook your favorite meal, take a walk, listen to music, sketch or paint, write in your journal, catch up on emails, put everything you no longer want and need in a pile and take it to Goodwill.

Like everything else in life, the more experience you get at occupying yourself, the more natural it will feel. 

And I promise you, the more you choose yourself over a lukewarm or worse social option, the more confident and well cared for you will feel.

Dr. Amy Wood –

Brooke Campbell

We now live in a society focused on the “Bigger, Better Deal”. 

We have grown accustomed to not being satisfied with ourselves and our lives, and as a result we’re always seeking out more.

Always wanting more leads to depression, anxiety, and feeling like we’re not enough “as is”.

One way to immediately shift from a mindset of lack to abundance is by accepting our imperfections.

Dr. Brené Brown shares her research findings in her talks and in her books about vulnerability and “accepting our flaws as being the birthplace for creativity, innovation, and connection.”

By accepting our imperfections we begin to live a life of authenticity and truth.

Living with transparency brings others closer to us, leaving us feeling connected and accepted.

Brené Brown discovered from interviewing thousands of people, that the only criteria which distinguishes people who are living bravely and “whole heartedly” are the ones who believe they are worthy of love and belonging.

By accepting our flaws as parts of being human, we can better connect with ourselves and with others, thus leading to a more fulfilling life.

The first step is to identify what I like to call your “circle of care” or the people in your life whom you trust and feel safe with.

These are the souls you can reveal your imperfections to because as Dr. Brene Brown states: “they have earned the right to hear your story”.

At the end of the day, we all want the same thing: to be loved, accepted, and to feel like we belong.

By avoiding our imperfections and flaws, we lose parts of our humanity which results in people not connecting with us.

Self-love is about accepting all of ourselves, even the parts we wish to hide. 

After identifying the people in our support network, we can begin to take the mask off and reveal our true selves. Living truthfully fosters love, acceptance, and connection in our lives.

Be brave. Be you. Be vulnerable. Accept yourself as is. It’s the only way.

Brooke Campbell, MA, LCAT –

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