When was the last time you wrote or received a love letter—from yourself?
By Martha Tesema
We often think of expressing love for others, but rarely take a moment to express some self-love to, well, ourselves. But it turns out, taking a moment for some reflective writing has proven benefits—like decreasing anxiety and increasing creativity and confidence.
When you throw in a bit of self-love into that reflective writing session, the results are even stronger—like helping you stay present and get closer to yourself, or increasing your self-awareness and emotional intelligence.
There are so many ways you can go about writing a love letter to yourself, and we rounded up some tips and prompts to help you get started.
1. Find Your Format
First, it’s important to find a format that works for you.
We at Shine are big fans of handwritten letters because of the amazing mindfulness benefits of handwriting. But obviously, handwritten cards can be easily lost.
Other options: Writing your love letter in the notes app on your phone, adding it to a page in your journal, jotting it down on a post-it, typing it out in a Google Doc—the options are endless.
Or, if you want to feel less alone, you can even write your self-love letter anonymously in the new Daily Discussion feature on the Shine app.
Regardless of how you choose to write down your love proclamations, remember: This exercise can be whatever you want it to be!
2. Find a Comfortable, Private Space
While you can totally write a love letter to yourself on the fly (ex. during that long commute), it can make it extra meaningful if you carve out specific time in a special location for it.
What that can look like: ●︎ Marking off a 30-minute block on your calendar for the exercise ahead of time ●︎ Heading to your favorite coffee shop solo with your writing materials ●︎ Setting boundaries with your partner or family so you can get 30 minutes uninterrupted in your favorite cozy spot in your home
Give yourself permission to be intentional about this exercise—make it feel like a self-love date rather than a chore.
3. Write in the Third Person
A key part of this exercise is writing to yourself in third person. What that sounds like: Dear (your name!), I love how you…
It might feel weird at first, but it’s an approach worth sticking with: Studies show that talking to yourself in the third person can help you calm your anxiety and other intense emotions.
4. Choose Your Approach
There are a lot of different options when it comes to writing a love letter to yourself. You can freestyle it and write from the heart. Or, you can choose to write to your past self, present self, or to your future self.
We love journal prompts, so we gathered a few that can specifically help you dive deep into uncovering your self-love.
I love how you… Whether it’s physical attributes or characteristics you value, make note of the different ways in which you unconditionally love yourself. Some examples to help your brain get roaring: The way you set boundaries, how you celebrate those you love, your handwriting!
I love how you’re passionate about… What lights you up? Thinking about what you’re passionate about and why you’re passionate about them is a good way to remind yourself of your values.
I’m proud of you for… Think back on your accomplishments, big and small. Which are you most proud of? Remember: The you who did that deserves all the praise. Take a second to show them some.
I know you feel loved when… We all have unique ways of being loved and showing love—so take a second to examine your own love languages and how you like to be celebrated. Once you’re done reflecting, don’t forget to put it into action.
Use these questions to guide your love letter or make some of your own.
Whatever you do, show love to you and the unique ways you want to be loved—today and every day.