Feb. 10. 2016
McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN


Rolling with our theme of the month, love, in all shapes and sizes this has been a requested topic for some time and one that personally hits home that I LOVE talking about. Self-love. Read on for the guide to self-love, how self-love isn’t selfish, the differences between the two and 10 amazing steps you can take today to increase the love in your life starting with you! p.s. share this with your bff, I have a hunch they’ll appreciate it too.

LOVE, self-love baby

SELF-LOVE (noun): regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).

SELFISH (adjective): of a person, action, or motive lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

I coach mostly women from college students, to young professionals, to young moms all with one common theme- they find themselves giving “too much” and not putting IN the same amount they give out… i.e. giving energy, love, compassion, time, and resources to their loved ones, to their work, to their communities and not taking the time to give back to themselves to recharge. When we make goals together about the concept of taking time for themselves, creating a routine, or doing something they love each day, etc.; 99% of them say “I can’t, that’s selfish” or “I shouldn’t”, “but I have other things to do [for other people]”, etc. I’ve been there before, have you? 2015 was a huge year of personal change and one of these changes resulted in me finally understanding self-love and what I need to do on a daily basis to feel whole, centered, and balanced. My challenge for you this month is to think about ways in which you give and share your energy and ways you can give it back to yourself- this is the true concept of self-love and recharging yourself from inside to give back to the people and things you love most in life. How are you showing up in your life? In your work, relationships, etc.? How can using these acts of self-love improve your quality of life which in turns improves the communities and others that you impact? Let’s take a look at my top 10 tips and ways to create radical acts of self-love in your life. I’d love to get the conversation started below and hear how you practice self-love on a daily basis.

No. 1

Do something every day that you absolutely LOVE.

What would that be like? It could be something as audacious as going to a spa for 2 hours, traveling, or it can be a beautiful simple activity like making a hot cup of tea, taking a walk, etc. My morning routine is non-negotiable and a huge form of something that I absolutely LOVE to do, but sometimes I need a little something extra like taking an entire day off work or social media to just “be”. My challenge for you: to come up with a list of things you absolutely LOVE to do, and do it.

No. 2

Be mindful

Be the watcher and the observer of your thoughts and actions throughout the day. Continually be mindful by checking in with yourself- my favorite way to do this is watching my breath. Whenever I feel my breath get short, shallow, and in my chest I immediately know I’m tense/stressed/or simply not being mindful. My challenge to you is to practice this breathing technique throughout the day, whenever you feel tense or notice you’re breathing only shallow breaths from your chest take a round of 10 deep belly breaths and feel the difference physically and mentally.

No. 3

Set boundaries

Boundaries come in the form of so many things, let’s dive into this one. They can be physical boundaries with certain people, places, situations that leave you feeling uneasy. It can also be setting boundaries from work/personal time. One thing my acupuncturist told me that I’ll never forget is to ask yourself, “how do I feel after I’m around this person– what is the aftertaste?”. I utilize this with every interaction I have and if that person or situation doesn’t sit well with me, chances are I don’t make an effort to engage in that relationship again. What are ways you can set boundaries with your energy and who you choose to be in your life?

No. 4

Make compromises, but never compromise your joy

Mhm. I love saying that one out loud- say it with me here. Life is about compromises and make compromises but never compromise your joy– joy as your innate needs and wants at your core. Only you know your core beliefs and values, stand up for what you need in relationships, with your life, with your work, etc.; you’ll feel strong and empowered. My challenge to you: make a list of what things are non-negotiable for you to experience joy, always remember them and never compromise.

No. 5

Good self care

Simple enough right!? Practicing the NS lifestyle of living whole and eating well emcompasses things you can do to practice good self care. From eating nourishing food, sleeping enough, having supportive friendships and a community, managing stress, exercising, your morning routine, and simple things that make you feel “good”.

No. 6

Cultivate your routine

This goes hand in hand with setting your boundaries and not compromising your joy– what routines can you develop and stick to that’ll help you feel loved, centered, and rooted? For example, my morning routine is paramount to making me feel like I have my self-love game on point + time in nature daily + a nighttime routine where I love making hot tea and reading a book- it’s a very small thing, but it means the world to me and something I do for me! My challenge for you: make a list of things you can incorporate into your routine to keep you on track.

No. 7

Take actionable steps

I’ve challenged you to make quite a few lists thus far, so now we gotta put them in action! Make goals that you can tangibly reach and accomplish. Write these out, do them. Let me say it again, DO IT. Loving yourself in any form and carrying out these routines and activities are the best ways you can connect with yourself so you can ultimately give others love and expand this amazing community and universe we live in. Right? You can’t give love to others in any form if you have nothing to give nor are taking steps to do it.

No. 8

Community and your tribe

Hang out with people who “get” you, who can respect your boundaries, your wishes, you personality and ultimately think about that ‘aftertaste’ I mentioned earlier! Are your relationships, community involvement, and friends, people you want in your tribe? Is there a mutual energy exchange? Do you challenge each other for growth or do you feel completely wiped out after being with them/this community? Ask yourself these questions as a way to cultivate your self-love environment.

No. 9

Let go

Let go of emotional baggage, of people, places, life situations that no longer serve you at your core. It’s a challenging road to initially take, but take it from my personal experience through the years, it’s beautiful and filled with so much more love on the other side. From an internal standpoint, what can you let go of? Behaviors, ideologies, pressure, comparison, the list can go on and on. Have that conversation with yourself and pinpoint those areas you can let go.

No. 10

Live with intention and with a greater purpose

As mentioned, self-love is not selfish, there’s a huge distinction between the two. Loving yourself 100% means that you’re able to “be” 100% present for others in your life and on a bigger scale, the world. I know it seems a bit massive when you think “how can I have that much impact on the world?”– you can and you do. Collectively if we all start to shift into practice self-love and self care, the more love, care, and compassion we can share to others and the cycle continues– a beautiful cycle! If you need a jump start, join me in the mountains for the Soulstice Retreat with Albion Fit. I’ll be doing nutrition talks, cooking demos, we’ll be eating, hiking, manifesting wellness, and hanging. Register here.

My challenge to you: what are ways you can live with more intention in self-love to serve a greater purpose? What acts of self-love do you do regularly? What challenges do you face in keeping these as routines and actionable steps? I want us to share these and help support one another in this! Leave a comment and let’s chat!


A Cornell study showed that we make more than 200 food-based decisions a day…what!? That’s about 195 more decisions you should make a day- your valuable energy is being lost to food.

xx McKel