40 Radical Acts of Self-Love

40 Radical Acts of Self-Love

In the age of crippling college debt and chaotic headlines, showing yourself love is harder than ever. It feels impossible to find inner peace in a world full of pressure.

Who can pursue passion projects when the rent forces many of us to have multiple day jobs? How can we appreciate our own bodies when society continues to support the idea that some of them are not good enough?

Capitalism sets us up to always want more, and this affects our mental well-being. We are not supposed to be satisfied with what we have and who we are; we must always try to be better, richer, known. If we’re not productive as possible, we’re useless. If our latest post on Instagram doesn’t get any likes, we are failures. It’s an endless loop that is exhausting.

Screw all of that.

In fact, I think you should screw that with a nice dose of radical self-love.

Practicing self-love in a significant way can be the ultimate middle finger to the societal constructs that aim to limit us, particularly for people of color, trans folks, differently-abled people, and women.

I believe that self-love is radical in various ways. It challenges the white patriarchal standards that define our culture. It empowers us to think about ourselves and other differently. It causes us to act out of kindness instead of fear or anger.

Don’t confuse radical self-love with basic self-care. This isn’t about brushing your teeth. Radical self-love is deeper. It is performing actions that are purely for your mind and spirit. It is selfishness that helps you own and celebrate yourself. This selfishness leads to you feeling your best in a culture that wants you to struggle.

I’ve been consciously practicing radical self-love for the past few months. It all started in March with a solo trip to Paris in the midst of heartbreak. That journey was a gift to a weary soul: it made me think differently about how I deserve to be treated by myself and others. It helped me believe that I have an inner-power that can guide me through dark times.

Since then, I’ve been striving to prioritize radical self-love. It isn’t always easy, but practicing it more consistently has continued to help me heal little by little.

I strongly encourage you, unique reader with lovely personal qualities, to consider how you treat yourself. What is the tone of your inner thoughts? Do you judge yourself? If you realize you’re kinder to strangers than you are to yourself, then maybe you should give radical self-love a try.

The best part about radical-self love is that it can be practiced in various ways. Acts can range from minuscule to grandiose. Your personality and interests will dictate what types of radical acts will be impactful for you.

Get inspired by this list of forty possible acts of self-love you can try. I’ve tried to include a huge range of activities ranging from physical to mental, free to expensive. Try one that immediately to speaks to you or maybe one that you’re afraid of. Practicing any of the radical acts of self-love could change your view of yourself and the world around you:

  1. Start a new journal and write down at least one good thing that happened daily
  2. Spend some time in nature, whether that be for a walk at your local park or a longer camping trip
  3. Compliment yourself every time you look in the mirror
  4. Prepare and eat your favorite meal
  5. Exercise with the intention of enjoying it instead of doing it because you have to
  6. Curate a list of your favorite inspirational quotes and look at the list whenever you’re feeling down
  7. Listen to your intuition and act on it – do what feels right rather than what is expected
  8. Turn on some up-beat tunes and dance
  9. Hang out with your pet or visit a friend who has a pet you can hang out with
  10. Express your feelings openly
  11. Sing with the car windows down
  12. Stay in bed when your body wants to rest – push that snooze button
  13. Book a solo vacation and do whatever you want once you reach your destination
  14. Meditate a little or a lot
  15. Visit a nearby beach, river, pool, or lake and take a swim – feel the water hold your body
  16. Say no when you want to and don’t feel sorry about it
  17. Donate clothes or items that have negative feelings attached to them – keep anything that brings you joy
  18. Sit outside when it is sunny and soak up the rays (with proper sun protection of course)
  19. Write yourself a love letter and read it
  20. Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers
  21. Turn off your cell phone for an hour, day, week, or longer
  22. Write down your regrets on a piece of paper and proceed to light that paper on fire in the safest way possible (or rip it into tiny pieces to avoid the pyro aspect)
  23. Give yourself a pep talk when you need one – think about what you would want a coach or mentor to say to you and say it out loud
  24. Pamper yourself with a massage, facial, or pedicure (maybe do all three if you’re feeling fancy)
  25. Stretch in the morning, in the evening, and whenever you want to in between
  26. Enjoy a favorite childhood movie or book
  27. Cuddle your pet or say hi to a friendly dog on the street (with permission from the owner of course)
  28. Talk to a therapist often or occasionally when you’re suffering, thriving, and existing
  29. Leave an encouraging post-it note for a stranger to discover and let the good vibes flow
  30. Cry unapologetically
  31. Learn a new craft and make art for yourself and others
  32. Buy yourself a scoop of your favorite ice cream and pay for the next customer’s order as well
  33. Look at old photos and feel the nostalgia
  34. Send a thank you letter to someone who has made a positive impact on your life
  35. Watch a comedy special or funny video online and laugh out loud
  36. Cease communication with someone who makes you feel bad
  37. Improve your sleep with a new pillow, mattress pad, or relaxing essential oils
  38. Give meaningful compliments to others and accept the compliments people make about you instead of shrugging them off
  39. Complete a nagging task that has been on your to-do list – feel relieved when it’s done
  40. Live in the present and do what you want now – not tomorrow, not this summer, not next year – now

 

Thanks for reading. Feel free to share your favorite acts of self-love in the comments – I’m always open to new suggestions to try!

 

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8 thoughts on “40 Radical Acts of Self-Love

  1. Pingback: 25 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self — Self-Care Season

  2. Tessa

    2,9,31, and 40 stood out most to me. I love the last one you wrote, because it is so important to do what we dream of now and not later. 🙂 Thanks for posting this!

  3. LiveArtisticLifewithAnchal

    I really liked your point number 20, 24 and 36. Really a helpful post. I am sharing this with my family group…Happy Writing 🙂

  4. CherishingFLo

    I like the idea of buying myself a bouquet of flowers! I also used to often speak to myself compliments in the mirror! It did a lot for my self confidence. Great post!

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