Let’s face it—for some of us, loving ourselves is a lot harder than others might make it seem. If you’ve been struggling on your journey to self-love, or maybe struggling to appreciate your life, I come bearing good news.
It’s okay if you have a hard time loving yourself sometimes. We all do. Whether it’s just a few bad days or a constant uphill battle, you’re not alone.
I’ve had days where I would look at myself in the mirror and pick apart every aspect of my appearance, be it my hair, my eyebrows, the shape of my body, or even the slope in my shoulders. Other times my personality would be at the receiving end of my critical thoughts. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been an expert in finding faults with myself and with my life, which has done nothing but make me unnecessarily sad.
I will admit though, that as of lately I’ve been working hard to silence my inner critic and appreciate who and what I am. Throughout my journey, I’ve come to learn that even the smallest acts of love towards yourself can go quite a long way. And self-love can come in many forms.
In an effort to help make your self-love journey a bit easier, here are five ways to love yourself a bit more.
5 Ways to Love Yourself – and Your Life – A Bit More
1.Embrace Self-Care—and Not Just the Pretty, “Shareable” Parts of It.
Self-care is a huge part of showing love to yourself. And just like self-love, it comes in many forms. Quite often it can include things you might not expect.
Self-care isn’t just about the bath bombs, the face masks, and the scented candles that you see plastered across social media. It’s much more than that. And that’s why it’s so important that you take some time to sit down and ask yourself, “What does my self-care look and feel like?”
It doesn’t always have to be pretty and “shareable”. Self-care can include anything from taking your medication and vitamins, to making sure you eat fruits for the day, to simply sitting outside or going for a run.
Self-care doesn’t even have to be physical. A lot of the time, we give all our attention to the physical aspect of self-care and neglect the mental and emotional. Practicing self-awareness, meditating, and taking time to better understand yourself are also huge parts of self-care.
2.Don’t “What If” Your Life Away
I’ve spent way too much time looking back at my life—the decisions I’ve made, the paths I’ve chosen, and everything that I did not get to do—and asking “what if?”
Rather than sit and ask “what if I had done that?” or “What if I were more like this?” take the time out to enjoy where you are now. You cannot change the past.
Look to the future and think of what you can do and what you can become. And, even more importantly, embrace your present, including what and who you are now.
3.Accept Who You Are
“Comparison is an act of violence against the self.”Iyanla Vanzant
Comparing yourself to others, wishing you were more like them, is an utter waste of the amazing human being that you already are.
It’s okay to admire others. It’s okay to be inspired by the people around you and the people you see online. But if you find yourself wishing that you were those people, then it’s a sign that you need to work on self-acceptance.
It is something that I have struggled with for quite some time—something that I still struggle with on occasion. But being able to accept yourself for who you are—quirks and so-called flaws included—is one of the greatest acts of self-love out there.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to grow as a person. Without growth, there is stagnation. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to become a better you—as long as that desire to grow and to change doesn’t come from a place of self-loathing.
- Allow Yourself to be Flawed. Make Mistakes.
No one is perfect. It’s a cliché. But it’s true. Don’t beat yourself up too much over mistakes that you’ve made. Life is one big learning process, and there’s no learning without failure.
4.Set Boundaries for Yourself
It wasn’t until I truly began to love myself that I realized the importance of having boundaries.
Having boundaries extends way beyond knowing how to say “no” sometimes.
It’s being able to put your needs – and your feelings – forward, and ensuring that those needs are met. It’s protecting your space from negative and draining energy, which can come in the form of people as well as certain environments.
5.Let Yourself Live
Let yourself enjoy things.
Many times on my quest to “becoming a better me” I’ve ended up becoming my own drill sergeant – and not in a good way.
I would scold myself every time I indulged in something I thought I wasn’t supposed to, or every time I didn’t feel up to exercising. I would make myself feel ashamed for spending a little frivolously once in a while. It wasn’t until my sister pointed out to me that I was being extremely and unnecessarily hard on myself that I realized what I was doing. And even then, it took me quite some time to accept that as the truth.
It’s okay to let yourself live – to do whatever makes you happy or makes you feel good, and to enjoy it.
We are all human. It’s a simple statement, but it’s still something that many of us tend to forget. We are all deserving of love, kindness, and compassion – especially from ourselves. Accepting this might not be as easy for some of us as it is for others, but I can assure you that it is possible.