11 No-Cost Ways to Show Yourself Love at Home, Whatever Your Relationship Status

published Mar 3, 2021
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Credit: Minette Hand

Whenever I think about self-love, I am reminded of a timeless Oscar Wilde quote: “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” But just because it’s worth doing, doesn’t mean that practicing self-love is easy all of the time. Let’s be real: Your relationship with yourself will have its ups and downs, but if you can mindfully remind yourself that you are awesome and deserving of your love in addition to anyone else’s, that compassion will go a long way.

And it might be easier to harness self-love than you think. According to clinical psychologist Aimee Daramus, “Self-love is like any other kind of love, but directed at yourself. You like and respect yourself, you believe that you’re worthwhile, you see your own good qualities. Self-love coexists with knowing that you have limitations.”

Whether you are married, in a relationship, single or somewhere in between, you can always benefit from practicing self-love. No matter your relationship status, you should be able to have a special relationship with yourself that is not dependent on others. Here are 11 ways to show yourself that you care, without leaving home:

Credit: Lula Poggi

1. Take time for yourself.

Slowing down and taking time for yourself is one of the best ways to work on loving yourself. As Healthline notes, not sleeping or resting enough can have serious effects on your body, including mood shifts and weakened immunity. Taking time for yourself can look like a lot of things: You can go to bed early, make yourself a cup of tea and read a book, or take a walk around your neighborhood. Whatever your habit, make sure you add pockets of time into your week that are dedicated to slowing down just for yourself. 

2. Use the good plates.

In the past year, I started using those gorgeous plates, utensils, and cups that I typically save for others. Yesterday, I made myself a whiskey sour and drank it out of a crystal glass! Why should you save using the best items in your house for guests only? You deserve to eat from the fancy china, too. So grab your porcelain bowl and eat your Kraft mac and cheese out of it. 

3. Buy yourself flowers.

Buying yourself flowers is not only one of the simplest ways to feel special, but also an amazing way to brighten up your home. Enjoy the colors, the smells, and the positive feelings that blossom with your new bouquet — they came to you, from you, with love. 

4. Have a movie night by yourself.

Doing date-night activities with yourself is a wonderful way to spend some enjoyable time alone. (If you’re in a relationship, just say, sorry, honey, I’ll invite you to the next one!) So open up a movie, and grab your favorite snacks and beverage of choice. I personally love watching “Notting Hill” while drinking a cup of earl grey tea with honey and milk. 

5. Set a Zoom date with your friends.

Especially now, social interaction has become somewhat of a luxury. While it is amazing to be comfortable being by yourself, hanging out with your friends is important. So set a time, send out a link, get dressed, and have a great hangout session with your friends. I always feel so good after these calls, and always remember how much I love being with people after spending so much time alone. 

6. Take a good shower.

Make your shower routine feel like going to the spa. Create a playlist so you can jam out while you are showering and keep track of how long you spend in the bathroom (the shorter the shower, the better for the environment!) Even if you have nowhere to go, it’s worth using your favorite body wash, shampoo, and moisturizer; applying a face and/or hair mask, and perhaps even pouring yourself a glass of bath time wine if you feel inclined.

7. Remember that the only person whose opinion of you really matters is you.

This is easier said than done, I know. But worrying about what other people will think is bound to stop you from going after what you really want. If you want to post a photo of your delicious dinner on Instagram, do it. If you want to get a daring new haircut, who cares what people think?

As Daramus told Apartment Therapy, keeping your opinion of yourself front and center is beneficial in a variety of ways. “Knowing your own physical and emotional needs can help you set up good boundaries,” she said. “Recognizing and celebrating your accomplishments can help you trust yourself. Once you know your needs and trust your judgment, you can listen to others’ opinions and decide whether to accept them or not.” 

8. Catch yourself when you compare yourself to others.

It is so easy to look at someone’s Instagram feed and think about all the ways they are better than you — and that’s precisely why it’s worth reminding yourself that everyone is on different points of their journey. As tempting as it may be to compare your friend’s living room to your own, it’s like comparing apples and oranges, and will get you nowhere. And as Daramus points out, what you see from the outside may not even reflect what this person is experiencing on the inside. 

“When you compare your complex thoughts and emotions to someone else’s perfect surface, you’ll feel insecure a lot,” she said. Instead, she recommends focusing on finding inspiration from other people: “Inspiration is when you’re learning from others in order to become your best self. Comparison often means that that person is genuinely better than you. You can be inspired to learn from someone without feeling inferior.”

9. Appreciate your small victories.

It is great to have big goals for yourself, but while you work towards them, make sure you appreciate the small victories. Applaud yourself for going over the hills that will eventually lead to the peak of the mountain, such as paying off your smallest credit card or cleaning even one room in your home.  

“Appreciating your victories helps you gain confidence,” Daramus said. “You’re recognizing your strengths, not just your weaknesses. Buy yourself a small present, take a break. Journal about the victory. What would you do for a friend who had the same victory? Do that for yourself.”

Credit: Cathy Pyle

10. Distance yourself from the people who make you feel bad about yourself.

One of the best things about growing up is being able to remove yourself from toxic relationships and situations that no longer serve you (or maybe never did). Surround yourself with people that uplift you, support you, and make you feel good about yourself — and if you’re related to someone who is constantly putting you down, talk to a therapist or a trusted friend about finding ways to implement boundaries and distance.

11. Don’t suppress your emotions.

If you’ve ever felt like a feeling wasn’t valid, or that your emotions inconvenience other people, it’s worth remembering that such thoughts are very far from the truth. Your feelings are valid, and it’s worth experiencing and expressing them. Rarely will any good will come from trying to deny how you feel or stop yourself from feeling sad. Acknowledging how you feel and working through those emotions is far healthier, and it’s what you deserve.