Pretend you love yourself.

Most of us understand we should love ourselves. We know that self-love is integral to overall wellbeing. We are more mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthy when we treat ourselves with love.

Yet somehow, at least for many of us, that can feel like a stretch some days. We struggle with a positive self-image and with regular self-care.

Many of us have a good idea of what loving treatment looks like. We likely try to apply it to our family, friends, and pets. It just may not spring to mind in relation to ourselves.

If self-love doesn’t feel natural to us, we can fake it until we make it. We know what treating ourselves with love implies, we just need to perform acts of self-love now, knowing the accompanying loving feeling will grow with time.

So, we think kindly of ourselves. We’re gentle with our mistakes.

We eat and drink healthily—appropriate quantities of nutritious food and beverages.

We ensure we get adequate rest. We allow ourselves down time, as well.

We exercise to keep our bodies strong and make sure we get outdoor time for fresh air and rejuvenation.

We dedicate some of our time to pastimes that bring us joy. We engage in activities to foster our creativity.

We make sure we tend to our spiritual nature, too, through prayer, meditation, or contemplation.

If it’s hard to summon up the impetus for self-care, we can pretend that we’re the most precious and important individual in the world. How would we treat such a person? Then we can apply that understanding to our own self-love practices.

Eventually, we will begin to get the warm fuzzy feelings when we tend to our well-being. Meanwhile, we can imagine they are present and sense how they might feel to us.

Today’s message invites me to infuse my self-care with more than a sense of duty. When I actively love myself, self-care will feel more joyful.

Please reflect and share. Does your self-care routine bring you joy?