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Loving Yourself Tattoos: Self-Care Tattoo Ideas

Our busy lives require a lot of energy and mental fortitude. We sacrifice ourselves for our work, our friends, and our families. But more and more, people recognize that a fully realized life means, first and foremost, giving ourselves the time we need for self-love and self-care.

As these messages are propagated on social media and in our daily lives, they have led to a new genre of tattooing around self-care. Proudly displaying these images or getting them tattooed in places only we can see can be a powerful call to make space and time to care for ourselves.

These ideas are a great starting point to help you collaborate with an artist to make a self-love tattoo design that is both a personal and universal reminder to love yourself and prioritize self-care.

Simple Messages and Inspirational Quotes

In the world of self-care tattoos, text plays a big role. Quote tattoos can be simple messages, quotes, or even individual words that resonate with the wearer. 

For people getting tattooed for the first time, a simple text love yourself tattoo is a great entry point into the world of being tattooed, as it can be discreet and takes up little real estate on the body. Plus, you don’t need an entire paragraph to make a point and design a small tattoo — a minimalist tattoo is enough.

Here are a few ideas to help you on your way. 

You Are Beautiful

These three little words are much more than the sum of their parts. 

Society and social media constantly feed messages that make us feel pressured and in competition with others to fit the highest standards of beauty or achievement — sending us messages that we are not perfect. This fine-line tattoo can remind you that you are beautiful and capable exactly as you are.

Love Yourself

This one may seem obvious, but think about how often we get down on ourselves and become our harshest critics. The world is tough enough without us adding our own voices into the mix.

Although there is no right or wrong placement for this little tattoo, some people choose to place it in a prominent spot like the wrist, the side of a finger, across the forearm, or as an ankle tattoo as a reminder to go easier on themselves. 

It can easily be enhanced into a more elaborate design — a flower tattoo with the words inside or a heart tattoo with the words bannered across. These meaningful tattoos can make a daily difference in your mental health and self-esteem.

Breathe

In our nonstop culture, it can feel like we need to always be “on.” Social media, the news cycle, work, social obligations — the list of things fighting for our attention is seemingly endless.

Sometimes self-care can be as simple as slowing down for a moment and focusing on our breathing. Anyone experienced in meditation knows the importance of breath and always returning to the cycle of “inhale, exhale, relax.” A simple tattoo with the reminder to “just breathe” can make a world of difference.

Let Go

We all have attachments to things that weigh us down; things in our past, obsessions over things we can’t control, and negative messages we tell ourselves. Even with effort, breaking ourselves away from these patterns can be hard. 

The beauty of this tattoo is in the simplicity of its message. Maybe these words could help you start the journey of distancing yourself from these thoughts and embracing yourself with love.

I Am Enough

Anyone who has been on social media in their lifetime, or existed out in the world for that matter, will know what it is like to be made to feel “less than.” From ads to the algorithm, it can feel like a grind to constantly perform and impress.

This tattoo can be an affirmation against the self-doubt and insecurities that creep in and can overwhelm us. 

Still Growing

We are all a work in progress. In fact, this is one of the biggest messages of the self-care movement. Although we all want to succeed sooner than later, self-care is a lifelong journey.

This tattoo can be applied simply with text alone or integrated into a larger design. Some common design elements for a more embellished tattoo may include plants, flowers, a silhouette of a person, or a watering can.

This Too Shall Pass

When things are difficult, it can feel like they might never get better, especially when we haven’t prioritized caring for ourselves.

This classic adage, adapted from Persian poetry, is a powerful self-care reminder that everything is in flux; bad times won’t last forever. 

Line Drawings

Much like text tattoos in the self-care genre, line drawings take their power from their simplicity. Their delicate presence on the skin makes them another great option for first-time tattoo clients and a great way to convey self-care messages.

These are a few of the many great images out there to choose from.

Self-Hug

What’s more simple than the physical gesture of a hug to convey love and care? Using just a few lines, an artist can create a self-portrait or image of a person embracing themselves. 

This design is a great starting point with plenty of opportunities to make it your own by incorporating text elements or other images.

Meditation Pose

A major part of self-care is taking the time to hit the stop button on the fast-moving treadmill of life. Many people have embraced meditation as a powerful practice to drown out the noise of our daily lives and focus on the present moment.

These tattoos typically show someone sitting in a lotus pose with a serene demeanor, occasionally accompanied by words of affirmation.

Body Positive Silhouette

Embracing ourselves as we are can be challenging, especially when faced with unrealistic expectations of beauty in society. But we are all beautiful as we are. 

Body-positive silhouettes are often designed as self-portraits to honor your individual beauty.

Body With Flowers

This is a popular self-care tattoo with infinite possibilities to make it unique to you. One of the most common motifs is a simply outlined body silhouette with flowers growing from the head.

You can't go wrong with this format, whether roses, peonies, chrysanthemums, or whatever flower you connect with.

Watering Can and Plant

Going off the “still growing” text tattoo, this can be a fun opportunity for a unique image. Although there are as many variations as there are people drawn to it, these tattoos feature common design elements. 

They usually incorporate a plant or flower with a watering can watering it. The message behind this one is simple: a properly watered plant is a happy plant.

Self Love Club

A self-love club tattoo can show your solidarity with the self-care movement. Even a simple text tattoo is a good choice. 

But placing the text in the center of a heart, alongside stars, or surrounded by laurel, lavender, or other flora can make it an even bolder statement. The message of self-love will be apparent. 

Tattoos with Shading

Shaded tattoos stand boldly in the skin and pop out to the viewer. They combine the power of self-care messaging with the design language of American traditional and other forms of tattooing.

Some people new to getting tattooed might not feel as comfortable as experienced clients to jump right into designs of this kind, but those who are ready can heighten the core self-care messages.

Here are a few classic starting points.

Hearts

Hearts are a motif throughout the American traditional tattoo style. Often chosen to honor friends, family, or a significant other–they also make for a great basis for a self-care tattoo.

Many of the text tattoos in this article would be perfectly paired with a heart, whether written alongside, inside the center, or flowing across a scroll wrapping the heart.

Flowers

Flowers are for far more than just Valentine’s day and don’t need to be a gift from someone else. Self-care is about having the courage to show yourself love of your own accord.

A vase with flowers, a bouquet, a bundle of flowering herbs, or a single rose is all beautiful images, each with its own unique meaning. You deserve this gift for yourself! 

Butterflies

Butterflies begin their life as humble caterpillars before transforming into butterflies. As we go through life’s twists and turns, we may go hard on ourselves for not being where we want to be. 

A butterfly tattoo can be a reminder to be patient and give ourselves love and care on the journey to our final form.

Remember to Care for Your Self-Care Ink

Through the often chaotic and distracting journey through life, prioritizing self-care can feel like a monumental task. 

Even the most focused people among us struggle to achieve it. But self-care tattoos can serve as physical reminders to put in our best effort. We hope these self-love tattoo ideas inspire you to love yourself more each and every day. Your relationship with yourself is the most important thing in your life at the end of the day. 

Mad Rabbit’s aftercare products can help you along the entire tattoo journey. Our tattoo Numbing Cream can make your time getting tattooed more comfortable for first-timers and veteran clients alike. Apply an hour before your session to reduce the response from pain receptors while you’re under the gun. 

After making it through the tattoo process and healing your ink, our Tattoo Balm and Daily Lotion can help keep your moisture barrier strong and preserve the day-one vibrancy of your new self-care tattoo.

Sources:

Five Popular Self-Care Trends | AMTA

Meditation Overview | Mayo Clinic

Our Work | The Body Positive Institute

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