Loving Your Physical Self: Looking After Your Body

These next few lessons help you learn to love yourself – all of you – through and through – starting with your body.
Your physical appearance and condition reveal so much regarding how you feel about yourself. Do you make special efforts to care for your body each day? When was the last time you spent extra time to improve your personal appearance? In regard to your health, do you regularly visit your doctor and take all medication as prescribed?

Hopefully, the answer to all of these questions is a resounding, “Yes!” If you’re on a road of personal growth and healing, you probably work to change unhealthy lifestyle patterns each day.

Here are some ways you can show self-love by tending to your physical body:

  1. Take more time with your appearance. Most of us could easily spend a few additional minutes during our shower, shave, makeup application, or hair styling.
    • Ask yourself: do you notice the condition of your skin each day? Or do you spend your brief minutes in the mirror thinking unkind things about your body? Maybe you could use the time you spend in self-critique doing nice things for yourself instead: a touch more make-up or a bit closer shave can go a long way toward feeling good about yourself.
    • If you want to demonstrate to the world that you love yourself, spend more time on the physical you. Take pride in yourself and in your appearance. You’ll be glad of your efforts and others will notice too.
  2. Make a change. Occasionally, do something different with your appearance.
    • Shave off your moustache or beard and see how you look.
    • Get a haircut and style it into that sassy hairdo picture you saved.
    • Change the color of your hair.
    • Consider trying out a new style of clothing.
    • You can even change your eye makeup. YouTube has lots of video tutorials for different looks.

When you alter something about your appearance, you demonstrate you’re worth the time and effort it takes to try something new. Plus, it’s refreshing. Even if you decide not to stick with a new look, trying one out for a day or a week can bring new zest to your life.

  1. Put energy into yourself. Knowing you’re worthy of your own energy is an important aspect of loving yourself. When you direct your attention toward something that’s just for you, even if only for ten minutes a day, the message you send to yourself is that you’re worth it.
    • Having a partner and a family can be a huge drain on your energy in an average day. Conserving at least some of your energy for yourself shows you care about you as much as you do your family.
  2. Notice your physical “positives.” Take a good, honest look in the mirror. Instead of focusing on what you’d change, draw your attention to what you like. Maybe it’s your handsome chiseled chin or how you smile with your eyes.
    • Acknowledge to yourself what you’re proud of physically. Maybe you’ve got long legs or a really strong core. Perhaps you like of the curve of your waist or your 6-pack abs.
    • Take plenty of time to do your physical inventory to find attributes to love about yourself. To feel even better, think about how you can enhance your best features. As you learn more about and augment your positive physical attributes, you’ll discover self-acceptance, and be well on your way toward self-love.
  3. Sleep more. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones, you’re most likely on the short end of getting enough sleep. Strive for seven to eight hours each night to show love to yourself.
    • Acknowledge that obtaining proper rest and sleep is on your priority list. And related to item #3, above, the more sleep you get the more energy you’ll have. And that means more enthusiasm and love to give to your family and to yourself.
  4. Brighten up. Wear a color you’ve never worn before. Something as simple as stepping up your wardrobe a bit indicates that you love yourself. Whether it’s a blazer in that new dark teal shade or a print shirt that looks fresh, break into a new color scheme to show you’re worth the effort to experiment with new ideas.
  5. Ask yourself what your body requires. Perhaps for the first time in your life, seriously ask yourself what type of nourishment your body really needs. If you don’t know, see a nutritionist. It’s worth the cost of one or two office visits to find out what your body requires to be as healthy as possible.
    • If you already know what your physical self needs, apply your knowledge. Feed your body what it requires. Making your body a priority is a wonderful and important way to show love to yourself.
  6. Consistently focus on your physical self. As long as your doctor approves, exercise in some form at least five days a week. Your body will feel better and better over time. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the flexibility of your limbs, the strength of your body’s core, and the shape and efficiency of your muscles.
    • Strive to perform well physically in some specific way, whether it’s doing calisthenics, yoga, weight-lifting, or jogging. Experiment with dance or try training for a triathlon.
      You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the feelings of pride, confidence, and care you feel for yourself when you consistently focus on your physical body.
  7. Acknowledge what your body does for you. One aspect of loving yourself is realizing everything your body allows you to do. Your mobility, your ability to use your hands to manipulate objects, and the energy that sustains you through a challenging day are all thanks to your body.
    • Your physical self holds up for you under plenty of pressure on any given day. Cultivate gratitude for how your body does pretty much everything you require. Love your body.
  8. Show commitment to loving yourself. Through your behaviors every single day, be dedicated to fully accepting yourself. The level at which you ensure that you meet all of your physical requirements helps illustrate how you feel about yourself. Commit to your own self-care.

Tending to your body is one of the primary ways of showing how much you love yourself. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to demonstrate that you love your body, and there’s no need to do all of them in any given day, though you’ll feel great if you do.

In the next lesson, you’ll see how you can love your emotional self.

Here’s what you need to do today:

In your journal, make a list of everything positive that you can think of about your body. Reflect on these positive traits. Feel grateful that you have them, because not everyone does!

Additional Resources