5 Ways Help You Love Yourself Better
Self-love: (noun) the instinct by which one's actions are directed to the promotion of one's own welfare or well-being. The definition says self love is you acting in a particular way, but I think a huge component is thinking in a particular way as well.
Self-love seems to be one of the hottest topics these days in the media, as companies like American Eagle have created body positivity campaigns and fitness/foodie bloggers all over the place are preaching it. So YES, here I am, jumping on the bandwagon, because, having finally reached a place where I can truly say I love and accept myself, I see too many people not being able to say the same.
Loving yourself is the first step to being treated correctly by others, from friends to significant others to professors to just about anyone you meet in your life. If you don’t accept and love yourself and realize your own worth or radiant uniqueness then you betcha no one else will either.
Last year at my sorority’s spring retreat (shout out to any Alpha Phis out there!) we had to go around in a circle and pretty much let it all out. Out of all of the girls that chose to share, a huge majority of them mentioned something about struggling with their confidence and seeing their own self worth, including myself. So here we all were, a room full of amazing, vibrant, smart, beautiful, kind, caring women, yet probably 80% of us didn’t see that in ourselves. Then when it came time for one of my friends to share she talked about how much she loved herself. I remember being a little shocked. People actually 100% loved themselves? It was an unimaginable concept to me at the time.
Fast forward to today and I can honestly say I love myself. And I don’t mean that in a cocky way. I love myself for overcoming countless struggles in the last year, I love myself for realizing what my body is capable of when I treat it right, I love myself for being driven and passionate and motivated. I love who I’ve become and I love that I finally know who I am and what I stand for. I wake up every morning with a true jolt of excitement when my alarm goes off at 5:15, which, sadly, I think is rare. Trust me, last year when my alarm went off I would always think “here we go, another day…” but now I’ve switched that attitude and I am genuinely STOKED for what every day will bring and how I can continue working towards my goals.
When you love yourself, you are allowing yourself to open up to others who will show you this same love.The first step to being loved by others, is loving yourself. Your friendships and relationships will be stronger because they aren’t rooted in insecurities. By not loving who you are, finding that love from others is nearly impossible and that’s something I was finally able to realize.
This school year has already been so incredibly amazing because I truly found myself and learned to love myself over the summer. My friendships are so much healthier and full of laughter and I’ve found a boy that makes me happy beyond belief and I truly don’t think I would have been able to let these relationships grow if I hadn’t worked on being 100% secure in myself first.
I barely had enough love to fill up that ocean last year, let alone have any spill over, but this year I feel like it’s constantly flowing over. This may sound cheesy, but it makes me feel like my heart is going to burst each day because of the immense amount of positivity and love in my life this year.
That’s truly the most incredible feeling in the world and I hope one day everyone in my life would feel this way about themselves and see their true worth because it’s life changing.
Of course, this change didn’t happen overnight. Finding true happiness in yourself takes time and energy just like anything else. I’ve compiled a little list of 5 ways that helped me on this journey:
Put yourself on your to-do list: I just read an article about the “disease of being busy” and it got me thinking. We all claim to be so busy all of the dang time and I think a lot of us use that as an excuse to not put ourselves first. No matter how busy you are you NEED to put yourself first. If you’re always running yourself ragged doing this and that, you won’t be able to fully appreciate yourself. Just like you would anything else, schedule in time for yourself. Whether this be time spent alone relaxing, getting your nails done or working out, do something each day for YOU.
Positive self-talk: I think this one is pretty obvious, but even though it seems like everyone knows the importance of positive self-talk, few people actually practice it. Way too often I hear the people around me putting themselves down, over and over and over again. They aren’t skinny enough. They look like crap. They aren’t smart enough for their classes. And I just want to scream STOP IT RIGHT NOW. What does “skinny enough” even mean? Who decides that? You’re wearing a sweatshirt and have no makeup on? Who cares!!! Your looks don’t define you. You don’t feel as smart as everyone else? Well you aren’t them, you’re YOU, and if you’re feeling that way just work hard and accept that you’re trying your best, because that’s pretty damn impressive in itself. Even if so many of us say these things jokingly with our friends, it’s still damaging to our confidence. Change your mindset and you’re outlook on yourself will start to change too.
Congratulate yourself, even on the little victories: Don’t float through life without giving yourself credit for all of the incredible things you do each and every day. It doesn’t have to be big things either; even small accomplishments are impressive. When I started really focusing on everything I was doing every day, it was a total game changer. I let myself be proud of how many miles I ran each day and how much I lifted, rather than simply focusing on how I might’ve ran faster the day before, or how I should lift heavier the next day. I tell myself good job even when I don’t get the best score on a test because I still know I tried my best. A huge proponent of this is being okay with where you are right now. Obviously it’s good to have goals, but while you’re working towards those goals, whether they’re goals in the classroom or in the gym or simply goals to be kinder or more thoughtful, be okay with yourself at each step in that journey and be okay making slow improvements.
Surround yourself with positive vibes: Negative self-talk is somewhat of a cycle. One friend starts bashing herself/himself and then the next friend, then the next, and on and on and on. DON’T PUT UP WITH THIS. If you’re friends start talking badly about themselves, shut it down. Try to spin the conversation in a positive direction, or break the cycle. If this still doesn’t change the way your friends act, try surrounding yourself with people who are naturally more positive and fuel your love of yourself. Throughout the last few years I’ve distanced myself from a lot of people that simply weren’t positively impacting my life. By doing this I’ve been able to find my people who help me see the good in myself, make me laugh at situations I would have otherwise beat myself up over and who boost my confidence. THESE are the type of people you want to be around on a daily basis.
Find your core: I think it’s important to note that loving yourself goes so much deeper than simply accepting your body or appreciating your own beauty. YES, both of these are aspects of self-love, but you have to truly love yourself at your core, not just how you appear. You must love who you are, what you stand for, the decisions you make, how you make other people feel… the list could go on and on. I’ve finally found my passions and my core values and that helped me on my journey to self-love immensely because I felt that I had a direction and I felt like I was sure of who I was.
Even if you feel there isn't that much to love, I promise you there is. Make it a goal to dig deep and find out what it is so you can love yourself better. :)