6 Self Love Exercises That Will Skyrocket Your Self Esteem on the Road

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One of the biggest reasons I started traveling in the first place, 8 years ago, was to practice self love. I had listened to what society wanted from me for too long. I wasn’t listening to me. As a result, it was hurting my self-esteem.

Because self love is about being true to who you are – no matter what.

It was only at the point where I had studied the ‘right’ degree, got the ‘perfect’ job, met the boyfriend I could safely take home to my parents and become the hipster London would be oh so proud of that I was like ‘Whoah…this isn’t ‘it’ at all. I gotta get out of here asap for my own critical personality development!’

You hear me?

Self Love Exercises

And getting out of there wasn’t running away from my problems. In fact, it was running towards my problems and fears head on so that my self confidence could thrive!

Because I was desperate to see who I REALLY was; what I could do and what I was fully capable of. My self worth!

I’m STILL doing it! I love myself and freaking love life allowing me to explore my soul’s purpose.

What is self love?

Learning to love yourself is accepting and being proud of who and what you are. You appreciate, support, respect and care for yourself so that you get to the top of that freaking mountain…physically and theoretically!

Self-love, like most skills we have in life, can be practiced so that we become a master at it. Are you ready for some radical self love?

Why self love exercises are so important

Life is tough and solo female travel is a wonderful challenge. If you’re building confidence and belief in yourself, you’ll have the strength to take on any challenge you’re presented with on the road. Because oh boy, I’ve had some challenges.

Self love helps keep your mind, body and soul totally kickass. And by becoming a warrior woman, you can embrace your time with others you meet along your way.

Better relationships. Happier moments. Awesome resilience. These are just some of the lovely things you’ll get by spending some quality time on yourself.

Self Love Exercises to increase your self esteem and confidence
Love yourself

How to love yourself?

Firstly, allow yourself to travel. You’ll feel uncomfortable facing your fears full on but ultimately, you will discover YOU.

Secondly, you can pop some of these self love exercises I’m going to show you right into your traveling pocket.

What makes me qualified to even tell you this

I used to work as a therapist for the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK using CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) techniques. If you were feeling sad, stressed, anxious or not getting enough sleep, your doctor would send you to me for 8 sessions. From one-on-one to massive group sessions, I have worked with thousands of people to help them improve their mind difficulties.

And I used to be very socially anxious! However confident I was on the outside, and however much I loved socialising, I was still fretting on the inside about what people thought of me.

Self Love Exercises

Try out these self love exercises, with patience and determination, and you will start to see changes

1. Do all the things your mamma told you to

You know what I’m talking about. Brushing your teeth, eating your fruit and veg, getting enough sleep, having time out and relaxation instead of being on the go all the time. These simple self care exercises can start to slip when you’re on the road. You need to keep your body happy and healthy, so that your mind is like a tiger rawr!

2. Find routine in an unpredictable world

Travel can be fast-paced, especially if you’re on a tight schedule and want to make the most of a destination. This can mean changing locations, routines and even time zones quickly. And that, wrecks havoc with your inner compass. Yikes. To combat this, wherever I am, and whoever I am with, I make sure that the first thing I do in the morning is my morning routine.

By doing the same thing everyday, this creates familiarity, structure and strength for my day ahead. I am building confidence within myself every morning, so I am ready to succeed!

You can mix things up so that they suit your lifestyle and what feels good for you. Here’s just some of the things I love to do in the morning to get you started:

Drink a big glass of water

Self-love Meditation

Give myself some self love affirmations

Plan my day out so I have discipline and focus

Visualise myself achieving my activities successfully


3. Keep that devil on your shoulder in order

Daily, regardless of how much you currently love yourself, you’re going to be tackling that ‘devil on your shoulder’. You know, that mean voice, that tells you you’re not good enough, are stupid to have made that mistake, aren’t capable of doing that activity because you’re not confident, brave or capable enough.

Sometimes, we get so used to this devil talking to us like this, that we just let it get along with it. Want to know how to build confidence? You need to whack that devil and show this meanie who’s boss. Because on your other shoulder, is your angel. And oh my, she is powerful.

The angel answers back to the devil and questions its statements every time, like Detective Sherlock on double time. For every mean thing you find yourself hearing from the devil; question it. Question it methodically, like a true detective.

You can ask, ‘What factual evidence do I have to support this statement?’ ‘Is there any evidence that contradicts this thought?’ ‘What would my best friend say in this situation?’ There are lots of kickass questions you can ask yourself, with the help of your angel, to keep the devil in check. Because let’s face it; he is most likely talking bull.

And just like you can keep your mental luggage in check, it’s also good to release the physical baggage you may be carrying around with you on your travels. There’s plenty of places you can store your luggage around the world for the day, so that you can explore freely and easily, including this Seattle Luggage Storage.

My love for Britain - Kayak Love Letters
I love you Great Britain

4. Say no

Setting boundaries and protecting yourself whilst traveling is incredibly important. This can involve learning how to say no.

I understand that saying no and being assertive can be really difficult, especially when we’re in an unfamiliar culture and don’t want to make any faux pas. Yet, saying ‘yes’ when you really mean ‘no’ leads to stress, resentment and anger. And no one wants that.

Personally, I’m still working on saying no. I love seeing people being happy and environments being harmonious. I’m a people pleaser.

I have however, got so much better at it.

If I don’t want to go to the club, I don’t. If I don’t want to eat that duck’s head, I don’t. And most importantly, when I feel I’m in danger, I whip out my full assertiveness skills, because saying yes could be detrimental to my travel safety #truth.

Want to know how to say no?

There are many ways; the first being the simplest. Just say ‘no’. No reason, no being apologetic. If someone is really pushing you to do something that makes you uncomfortable, just flat out say ‘no’.

If they are not listening to you, go for the ‘broken record’ approach. Yep, you got it: whatever they say to you, stick to your guns and keep on saying ‘no’. Repeatedly.

There are of course situations where you do not have to be so direct.

5. Take time to be grateful

Traveling allows you to experience so many fantastical things in one day. This also means that you’re learning a lot about yourself and the world around you. If you’re not keeping a travel journal, I highly recommend you at least write down 3 things you’re grateful for at the end of each day.

Did you meet someone who said an inspiring quote? Did you see something which triggered a feeling within you? What did you accomplish today that has taken you one step further in building confidence? Take time to be grateful…and record it.

6. Acknowledge how awesome you are

You will achieve so much on your solo travels. Don’t let your accomplishments and personal growth be left unrecognised. One of the things we can do to give ourselves a well-deserved confidence booster is to sit down and list our awesome qualities. Here are some sentences you can note down and complete to help you get started…

I thrive when __________

This week, I have discovered that I am __________

I gain strength from __________

I am proud that I __________

What do you do to take care of yourself? Comment Below!

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33 thoughts on “6 Self Love Exercises That Will Skyrocket Your Self Esteem on the Road”

  1. This is a fantastic post, Alice! I’m all about the self love at the moment – finding stability in routine and practicing positive affirmations each morning are definitely things I need to do more of :)

  2. So glad you highlighted the basics that are key to happiness on the road: sleep, water, good food, reflection. Good ideas here for even when you’re not traveling.

  3. Great post! I think for me, two key elements of self care while travelling are knowing when to say yes and when to say no and having the confidence to do both without guilt. Yes to adventures, or opportunities that might be out of your comfort zone but which really call to you. No to anything that makes you uncomfortable, anything that your instinct tells you not to do, or which simply doesn’t appeal to you! Own your choices!

    • SO TRUE Kavita. Saying yes and saying no are so important and incredibly powerful – having the confidence to say either and be sure about your decision can actually be quite a skill that we need to learn!

  4. Wow, in depth about happiness and certinaly got me gribbed (fantastic read btw). Never even heard of the term ‘self-love’ before but by the looks of it , I need to self-love a bit more and take on board some of these ideas.

  5. Thanks for this great post. It is important to take care of yourself first or you will have little to give others. For me the most important was learning to say “no”. Now I have more time for the important things. But gotta fight that devil on your shoulder that tries to guilt you when you say “no”.

  6. Ahh — such a topic on my mind recently! Thank you for taking the time to help others with it. I didn’t realize you used to work as a therapist for the National Health Service) in the UK, but that certainly qualifies you — among other reasons, too!

  7. Very well put, and the fact that you were working as a therapist at NHS shows that you have enough experience with people and the authority to put these points across. I do have to agree with all of them, I think many of us might have struggled with the challenge of loving ourselves at times and overcoming that challenge, keeping that devil on our shoulder in check, is very important. Solo travel (after 7 years of travelling only with my husband) taught me a lot. It is intimidating but liberating at the same time!

  8. I especially agree with #5. Being grateful is so important because it keeps you focusing on what is good. Just taking the time to think about what you are grateful for can power you up for a great day!

  9. Fabulous tips Alice, I had no idea that you were previously a therapist! I totally agree with what you said about travel not being about running away from your problems, but about facing them head on. Because travel, especially solo travel, I’ve found anyway, has a way of stripping you down to your very core, and you can focus on improving yourself from that point. I really grew during my years of solo travel, and although already a confident person, it really cemented my levels of self esteem, knowing I could survive on my own, and tackle anything in life. I love your tip on writing down 3 things you’re grateful for – this really has a powerful way of turning around a crappy day. You kind of realize, oh, well maybe my life isn’t so bad afterall when I have these things to be thankful for :)

  10. All great tips especially keeping the devil on your shoulder in check. But to me, and as you point out, learning to be grateful for the gifts we have each day and practicing that is one of the most important lessons in life. Thanks Alice, awesome post!

  11. Such a wonderful and encouraging post. I personally feel self and self-esteem is must and for that travel especially solo travel is a wonderful option. It helps you overcome your fears and take a decision. Being grateful is must and it helps you forget so many other problems and situations. Lovely post.

  12. I am so with you on this and recently started on the path of going back to what my mum used to constantly say to me; eat well, be healthy, do more. Those are currently my mantras for the year and it is a struggle to keep on that path, but it has to happen

  13. Finding a routine and exercising are the two hardest ones for me. I go in such spurts with both and its hard to keep up when traveling. I think they are all great tips and found it a bit amusing that the world we live in makes you declare that you know what you’re talking about when giving solid advice. I’m glad that you are qualified to teach me self love but even if you weren’t I love all these tips!

  14. Self love is so important. This is something that I am trying to keep reminding myself of daily. It seems like I have been so busy taking care of everyone else that I forget about making time for myself. These are some great tips that I will be using for sure. Thank you so much.


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