This is a question I ask myself when I first wake up in the morning, as well as any time I am feeling bored, anxious, or anything less than excited or joyful: What is the most loving thing I can do for myself in this moment?
Sometimes the most loving thing is to watch Netflix and go to sleep. Sometimes it is to make myself, and perhaps one of my family members, a cup of tea or a meal. Sometimes it might be to brush my teeth and wash my face. And yet other times it might be to leave a difficult situation, to set a boundary with myself or someone else, or to get some work done that I have been holding off on doing. Sometimes the most loving thing isn’t the easiest, but it is the thing that will do the most good for myself and for others in the grand scheme of things.
Self-love is a never-ending practice, but a good way to begin the practice is to ask that question to yourself throughout the day, beginning when you wake up. I might even recommend setting an alert on your phone every few hours to check in with yourself to ask yourself that question. In a mindfulness class I took, the teacher recommended we do something similar—to set an alert on our phone throughout the day to check in with ourselves and ask ourselves how we were feeling in that particular moment. That’s also a good practice, but I want to add action to that practice by asking, “What is the most loving thing I can do for myself in this moment?” and then doing it. You might even want to make a list of self-care ideas for yourself to look at and choose from when you ask yourself this question.
It’s these little actions spread throughout a day that can bring more joy and compassion into your life where these qualities may have been lacking. The love that you give to yourself radiates out towards others, attracting them to you and allowing you more opportunities than you might have had prior to practicing mindful self-love and self-compassion. People are attracted to authentically joyful people, so cultivating joy and love throughout your day is an important practice.