Sometimes you're too tired to get up and apply a face mask and sometimes you're just not in the mood to get your nails done. That's fine! Despite what the internet might be telling you, self love can be practiced in various small ways that don't involve your appearance. Here are a few:
Don't beat yourself up
So, you forgot that you were meeting your friend? It happens, they'll understand. So, something came up and you couldn't help out a friend like you promised. It's OK, these things happen. So you've been doing not-so-well lately and it shows? You're human, we all go through rough times that affect our performance and daily life. It's okay! Chances are, the things you're beating yourself up for are minor things that happen to literally everybody. Save that energy for when you do something actually wrong and actually problematic.
When you do something wrong, you owe it to yourself to not only acknowledge your mistake, but to do your best to learn from it too. You are the only one responsible for your growth and the best thing you can do for yourself is grow.
Notice negative talk/thoughts/behavior
You know what I mean, those thoughts you have when you're taking your makeup off before bed and thinking to yourself, "Good God I should never take my makeup off." Or when you drop or forget something and say, "I'm so stupid!" Things like that seem minuscule but when they become a habit, they turn problematic because you start to believe them. They're so normal to you that they subconsciously become your reality. Notice these things and stop yourself.
Take time off
It doesn't necessarily have to be from work. It could be from friends, your hobby, or your daily responsibilities altogether. I'm not saying don't pick up the kids from school or forget to feed the dog, but who are you really hurting if you skip laundry today or cancel Saturday brunch?
End toxic relationships
This might sound harsh, especially if you're someone who is usually forgiving and the normal version of "kind." But believe it or not, you can be forgiving and still not accept people walking over you. Forgive mistakes if apologies are sincere and the person really is working on their problematic behavior. Apologies aren't meant to be used as a reset button. Apologies are acknowledgement of mistakes and promises to do better. The question you should be asking yourself isn't "Are they good people?" The question should be, "Are they making an effort in bettering themselves for the sake of our relationship?" This applies to every relationship, from your siblings to friends, colleagues, and partners. You deserve people who will actively try not to hurt you. You don't deserve people who say "Sorry" and mean "Deal with it."
Set boundaries and say no
You don't like it when someone jokes about your weight (good, because that's rude). Tell them that. You don't have time to help someone. Tell them. You don't want to go out after work with colleagues. Tell them. You don't want to give him your number. Say no, and say it again, louder this time, when he asks again. You don't like to be interrupted (who does?). Say "I wasn't done talking." When someone is disrespecting you or crossing boundaries or making you uncomfortable, or just downright not treating you right, say something. No one will defend you or speak up for you like you would. And you can never expect poor behavior to stop if you don't acknowledge it.
Find one thing you like about yourself
And focus on it. Maybe you don't like your hair, but you have beautiful eyes. Maybe you're not the funniest one in the group, but you're the kindest. If you just find one thing about yourself that you like and focus on it, you can start a pathway to accepting yourself for who you are.
Self love doesn't come overnight and it's never forever. It's an ongoing process that you need to work on for the rest of your life, because our insecurities and bad thoughts never go away. You just have to get better at living with them.
And remember, “In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.”