Numerous wellness authorities and pundits in self-care have advocated for the practice of writing a love letter to yourself.
It may sound silly on paper and it certainly might not be for everyone. But if you’re willing to give it a try, it’s a simple, quick and easy way to boost your mental health. And at a cost of nothing more than a little time and effort, there aren’t many reasons not to give it a try.
If writing a love letter to yourself seems absurd, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to know where to begin, especially for those who’ve never written a love letter to anyone because these days, let’s face it: who has?
Follow these tips, and writing a love letter to yourself can become a fun and helpful activity.
1. Go easy on yourself.
It’s worth repeating the old adage that you’re your own worst critic. It’s easy for us to find flaws in ourselves that we might not see in other people, or worse, things that we think are flaws but are actually our best qualities.
Write to yourself as cordially as you would to someone besides you. Don’t blow faults out of proportion or find fault where it doesn’t exist. You’ll quickly see that things might not be as bad as they seem.
The people who really love you overlook what you think might be your biggest flaws and the people who don’t can’t see them to begin with. When you write your love letter, be like the people who really love you.
2. Find a silver lining.
If you do find yourself fixating on a specific fault or flaw, do your best to find the good in it. Remember that nobody is perfect. Maybe you have trouble waking up in the mornings.
But maybe it’s because you stay up late reading or thinking about the mysteries of life. Not bad things. Or maybe you have trouble staying organized. But organization is relative. You can have your own system of organized chaos.
If you were really writing a love letter to someone else, you’d find a way to find good in every part of them. Do yourself the same courtesy.
3. Be thankful.
It’s rare that we receive thanks just for being ourselves. But often that’s all we need and that’s what you can provide. Thank yourself for everything that you do, every day, to make you who you are. Thank yourself for the best and worst qualities that you possess, and for the bravery it takes to go out into the world and carry on. You may be the only one who can.
4. Be loving.
It is a love letter, after all. Show some love. Write the kind of love letter that you yourself would want to receive from a secret admirer, full to bursting with affection and praise.
Make it personal. Dig deep to find what it is you really love about yourself. Is it your smile? Your laugh? The expert way you can separate a cherry pit from the fruit in your mouth and spit out the pit? It may seem a little ridiculous at first, but who’s going to read it besides you?
Don’t see it as a one-and-done exercise either. Hold on to your letter. Write more if it helps. Become your own secret admirer and fill your world with love for yourself.
5. Keep going!
Don’t stop at just the love letter. The love letter to yourself is not a panacea for all your wellness troubles. But it’s a start. Write more. Take yourself on a date every now and then. Love yourself.