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16 Ways to Love Yourself

Life after college is rough! And here at Post College Journey, we believe that self-care plays a huge role in the job-hunting process. Which is why I wanted to create this blog post 16 ways to love yourself. I suggest integrating some of these into your routine during your job hunt.

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This isn’t just any list blog post! Each section has information on the benefits of each method of self-love and how you can implement it or where you can learn more.

1. Create a skin-care ritual

How this is a method of self-love

Your skin is the largest barrier against infection. And when your skin is healthy:

  • It’s comfortable – As I sit here typing this, I have dry, itchy skin on my collarbone (thanks, New Mexico) because I made the great decision to not moisturize my skin when I went to a dry climate that is taking a ton of effort not to scratch.
  • Heals quicker –
  • Prevents illness – Skin that isn’t trying to heal itself can focus on protecting you from things that would make you sick.
  • Keeps you looking great – If you feel you look your best, you’ll have an added boost of confidence.

Give your skin some love and keep it healthy by keeping it clean and moist.

The basics of a skincare routine

You’ll need to do some research and see a professional to determine your skin type and the best skin care regimen for you. To get you started, the basic skin care routine consists of:

  • Cleansing
  • Toning
  • Moisturizing
  • Protecting

2. Start a gratitude practice

How this shows you love yourself

According to this blog post, a gratitude practice can:

  • Open the door to more relationships
  • Improve your physical health
  • Enhance empathy and reduce aggression
  • Help you get a good night’s sleep
  • Grow your self-esteem

And from personal experience, I can say that it:

  • Helps you stay positive
  • Makes you feel happier
  • Doesn’t take as much time as you think

How to start a gratitude practice

There are a ton of gratitude practice methods out there. Here are a few:

  • Write down one thing you are grateful for every day. This is the method I use and it takes less than five minutes a day.
  • Write a thank you letter to someone you are grateful for. You don’t have to send it to them. But I’m sure they’d love to receive it.
  • Say thank you more often. For example, you can say thank you to the person cleaning a public restroom.

3. Set aside at least one hour a week to do something you love

How this is a method of self-love

It’s easy to get stuck in the rat race. Especially when you’re just starting out in your career. But this is a quick way to burn out. Spending a little time doing something you love will help you recharge.

How to make time for things you love

  1. Find something you love doing
    • Some people already know what their go-to hobbies are. But if you’re not sure what you should be doing, here are a couple of ways to find out:
      • Ask your family members what you enjoyed doing as a child
      • Trial and error. You can try hobbies like reading, painting, scrapbooking, jewelry making, baking, knitting, sewing, writing, etc. See what works for you
  2. Block out one hour a week on your calendar to do this activity

This can also help you with your job search because after setting aside time for yourself, you’ll be more ready to keep moving forward in the job hunt. And don’t forget do get your free copy of the productive job-hunting cheat sheet here so you don’t have to worry about going in circles.

4. Use positive affirmations

How this is a way to love yourself

Positive affirmations are statements that help you overcome negative self-talk. Some people use positive affirmations to change a negative belief they have about themselves. I use them to replace negative self-talk.

Positive affirmations you can use and when to use them

Here are a few positive affirmations I use and the circumstances I use them for. You can either say these out loud, write them down, or repeat them in your head.

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  • Yes. I can.
    • I mainly use this when I’m working out.
      • When I’m running on the treadmill, I’m tired, and I only have a few more minutes left, I repeat this in my head until the time is over.
      • Or when I’m reaching for a PR (personal record) and my muscles are screaming at me, I use this to get in one more rep.
    • Saying this affirmation in my head doesn’t always get me through those last few minutes or last few reps, but it’s better than any negative self-talk.
  • I am exactly where I need to be
    • Like I said earlier, it’s easy to get caught up in the rat race. So when you work hard and don’t see the results you were expecting, use this affirmation instead of saying negative things like “I don’t deserve that promotion” or “I didn’t work hard enough.”
  • I am worthy
    • There’s being humble and there’s believing that something good happening to you is sheer luck. If you got a promotion, it’s because you deserved it. Not because you got lucky.
  • The Universe has my back
    • We don’t always get what we want. But we always get what we need. Use this affirmation as a reminder that everything works out the way it’s supposed to.
  • I have all the time I need
    • When you’re overwhelmed by your to-do list, use this affirmation to remind yourself to prioritize your tasks and that the world will keep spinning if you can’t get to all of your tasks.

5. Drink more water

How this is an act of self-love

60% of your body is water and research shows that as little as 1 percent dehydration negatively affects your mood, attention, memory and motor coordination.

When to drink water

  • Whenever you feel hungry
  • Right when you wake up
  • Before every meal
  • Anytime you feel tired
  • When you feel thirsty

6. Spend less time on social media

How this is a way to love yourself

This study shows that people feel depressed after spending time on Facebook because they ended up comparing themselves to others.

To prevent any comparing and negative self-talk that inevitably comes along, take time away from social media.

How to do this

  1. Take a look at how much time you spend on social media
    • Some smartphones show you a breakdown of how much time you spent on your phone and which apps you spent the most time on. If your smartphone doesn’t do this, download an app that does this for you.
  2. Try to spend one less hour a week on social media
    • The easiest way to do this is to put your phone away the last hour before bed. You can use this time to:
      • Clean your apartment a little
      • Get everything ready for tomorrow
      • Do an evening skincare routine
      • Read a book

7. Unfollow people on social media who make you feel like you aren’t enough

How this is a method of self-love

It’s easy to forget that social media is a place where people document their life highlights. On the one hand, this is really great. On the other hand, it’s easy to compare your lows to their highs. If there are people you follow that make you feel jealous or that you aren’t good enough, unfollow them.

Curate your feed so scrolling through it will lift you up.

Positive Instagram accounts to follow

8. Write down everything you’ve ever accomplished

Why keeping a list of accomplishments is a form of self-love

We make a lot of to-do lists and once we’ve checked off an item, we tend to forget about it. Then when we haven’t reached our goal, we feel as if we’ve gotten nowhere.

But when you take a moment to pause and reflect, you’ll be surprised by how far you’ve come.

How to create a reverse bucket list

  1. Think back on the past month/quarter/year
  2. Write down all of your wins (no matter how small you think they are)

This is also super helpful during your job-hunting process! People face a lot of rejection when job hunting and it can often feel like you aren’t making any progress. But after creating a reverse bucket list, you’ll see all of the awesome work you’ve done and feel ready to move forward.

Tip: Get your free copy of the productive job-hunting cheat sheet here so you always know what step to take next in the job-hunting process.

9. Go for a walk

How this is a way to love yourself

Not only do you get the physical benefits of being active, but you also get the mental benefits of taking a break and time away from a screen.

What to do on your walk

I totally get that you don’t always have time to go for a walk. So here are a few ways to sneak it in while still being productive:

10. Buy a bath bomb and draw yourself a bath

How this is a method of loving yourself

Baths are a great way to unwind, soothe sore muscles, and improve your sleep. More on the health benefits of bubble baths here.

How to do this

  1. Clean your tub
  2. Buy a bath bomb
  3. Draw your bath
  4. While the tub is filling, grab the necessities:
  5. Drop the bath bomb in the tub
  6. Hop in and enjoy

11. Say “no”

How saying “no” is an act of self-love

How many times have you:

  • Agreed to go to an event because you felt obligated to
  • Do a task even though you don’t have time because you didn’t want to say “no”

If your first response isn’t immediately to say “yes,” then you should say “no.” Because whatever it is doesn’t align with your life priorities. And by saying “yes,” you end up saying “no“ to you and your priorities.

Life is too short to spend your time doing things that don’t help you create the life you want.

Tips on saying “no”

  • Stay organized so you know how much time you really have on your plate. Here’s how you can use a planner to do just that.
  • Compromise
    • If you don’t have time this week to go to a friend’s event, kindly let them know that you can’t make it and ask if you can catch up with them at a later time.
  • Be helpful
    • If you can’t help someone out with their project, you can still be helpful by pointing them in another direction. Maybe you know a quicker way to do something or someone who can help them with their project.
  • Keep your response short

12. Get enough sleep

How getting enough sleep is an act of self-love

According to this study, when you get less than 7 hours of sleep, a number of disorders begin to increase in prevalence.

Tips for a good night’s sleep

13. Meditate

How this is an act of self-love

According to this study, meditation can help reduce anxiety. It can also decrease self-reported depression.

How to meditate

  • You can find a free meditation class near you (link to what meditation taught me about life blog post)
  • So Hum meditation
    • Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed
    • Set a timer for 5-15 minutes
    • With your eyes open or closed, focus on your breathing. In your mind, say “so” as you inhale and “hum” as your exhale
    • When your mind starts to wander (And it will. This is normal and totally okay), note that your mind has drifted then go back to focusing on your breath.
  • Try out various meditation apps to see which resonates with you
    • My two favorites are Calm and Headspace

14. Get Some Sun

How this shows you love yourself

Vitamin D is produced by your body when you are exposed to the sun. It can help:

  • boost your mood
  • maintain your bone health
  • support your immune
  • brain
  • nervous systems.

What you need to know

  • Vitamin D is an oil-soluble vitamin which means that it is possible to have too much of it.
    • For more information on dosage, head here.
  • Ways to get some Vitamin D

15. Journal

How this is a method of self-love

Journaling is a great way to:

  • process events in your life
  • reflect on how far you’ve come
  • document good memories.

This study on the effects of journaling on students found that journaling helped students reflect and release emotions.

And if you’ve ever watched the movie Inside Out, you know how important it is to acknowledge all of your feelings.

How to do this

You can simply write whatever comes to mind. Or my all-time favorite thing to do is:

  • Write down everything that is making me feel uneasy
  • Crumple up the paper
  • Throw it away

For more journaling prompts, download this free 30-day journal.

16. Have a spa day

How this is a way to love yourself

Without your body, you wouldn’t be able to experience life. Having a spa day, whether you go to an actual spa or create your own at-home experience, is a great way to thank your physical self.

Tips & Tricks

  • At-home spa day
    • Prep everything you need the day before so that on your spa day, you can just relax
    • Pick out your activities
      • Books
      • Magazines
      • TV shows
      • Movies
    • Purchase your favorite snacks/drinks/foods
    • Decide on your services
      • Abhyanga – a type of self-massage
      • Mani/Pedi
      • Hand/face/feet sheet masks – perfect for a spa day at home with the least amount of effort and clean up
      • Dry brushing
  • Going to an actual spa
    • Find a day spa with saunas and hydrotherapy pools.
      Purchase a day pass.
      • This will give you access to the saunas and pools. It’s cheaper than booking a service. But still a great way to relax.
      • If you want to get real fancy, you can bring your own sheet masks for your face, hands, and/or feet. There will most likely be comfy seats away from the pool/sauna area. You can use these masks here.
    • Cut up some fruits and put them in a water bottle (make sure it’s not a glass water bottle) with some ice. Now you’ll have your own fruit infused water! The spa I go to charges $16 for fruit infused water in a plastic, reusable bottle.
    • Towards the end of the day, if there are appointment openings or last-minute cancellations, the spa may offer a discount on services. If this is available, they will put up signage around the inside of the facilities.

Now that you know of 16 ways to show yourself some love, I hope you feel inspired to prioritize self-care. And don’t forget to download the productive job-hunting cheat sheet so you can keep moving forward in your job hunt and quickly land that great, first marketing job!

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It’s possible you skipped a few steps in the job-hunting process. Get the free productive job-hunting game plan to figure out what you’re missing.

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