Learning to love ourselves is something which we should all strive to do in our lives, but many of us do find it much easier said than done. The act of appreciating and loving who you are on the inside and outside might seem like an impossible task and a waste of time, but it is much easier and much more rewarding than you think. If your physical, emotional and spiritual health and wellness are important to you, here are some of the ways you can feel good about taking care of yourself, owning who you are, and sharing it with the world.
1. Have Fun Alone
The true test of whether or not you love who you are is being able to have fun when you are completely alone. If you find yourself not knowing what to do with your time when you are alone, you may like to start making an effort to get to know yourself. If there is something you have always wanted to do, go and do it! Spend the day alone, smiling and laughing at yourself and the thoughts that come up, and have fun in your own company. You will come back feeling so much happier, and knowing you'll be just fine to do it again.
2. Travel Solo
Sometimes the only way to truly learn about who you are is to take yourself away from your comfort zone and try something completely new. If you want to get away from the noise of the rest of the world for a while, book yourself a trip to somewhere you know you can relax. It will be the ideal opportunity to explore (both yourself and the environment), enjoy the fresh air and really start to appreciate who you are. Anyone who has traveled solo will likely tell you just how much you can learn and love about yourself in doing so, and how proud they are that they did it!
3. Forgive Yourself
One of the main things which will often hang over our heads is the mistakes we have made throughout our lives. If you feel as if all you ever do is make mistakes and you blame yourself for everything, a change of perspective can set you free. At the end of the day, everyone in the world makes mistakes, and these mistakes and experiences form part of who we are. You wouldn’t be who you are without these experiences, and you need to learn to take them with you and let them make you a stronger person. Try repeating the mantra 'I love and forgive myself and I move forward powerfully' each time the feelings of shame or guilt of your mistakes creeps in.
4. Surprise Yourself
Start saying yes. If you are the kind of person who normally wants to control every little moment of your life and you often find yourself stressing out over tiny details, try this lightening up exercise. Let someone ELSE pick an activity for you, and do something you would never have tried before. By trying new things we expose ourselves to new situations and learn how we react, respond, or recover from those exposures. It's an expansion of self awareness, and sometimes the shock to our system and norms that we need to surprise ourselves and embrace all facets of ourselves lovingly.
5. Write It Down
Journaling is an incredibly effective way to let out your emotions and express how you are feeling. It is a sort of therapy which can calm the soul and allow you to really take stock of your day and any issues or questions you might have coming up time and time again. If you are stressed and worried about people or circumstances in life, free writing in a journal can be a way to cope and a way to open up without talking to people about it right away. Allow yourself time each day to give this kindness and release to yourself and see how it transforms your thoughts, decision making and confidence.
6. Stop Comparing Yourself
Comparing yourself to other people is so often a toxic behaviour that breeds envy and a feeling of inadequacy. If you constantly look at images or the lives of other people and compare yourself to then, it can spiral a chain of thoughts about anything from losing weight, buying things you don't really need or afford, going for cosmetic dentistry or other extreme moves. It's an unhealthy way to live when you are trying to be someone that you are not, and distracts you from doing what you truly love that often results in loving yourself for you and achieving your own version of success. Stop the extreme comparisons and start focusing on the things you love about yourself, doing more of those to the best of your ability in ways that make you happy. And remember that whether you know it or not, there's probably someone looking at you, wishing they were more like you, and admiring your true you!
7. Say No To Others
Far too many of us spend our lives trying to please everyone else without a second thought to our own well-being. If you truly want to be happy and you want to love yourself as a person you need to start putting yourself first. If people try to take up all of your time for their needs, you have to learn how to say no once in a while, or at least make compromises that they will help you out with something too. You can be a kind and compassionate person without giving up your sense of self and need for self love. You cannot give from an empty tank - so give to yourself first using the methods discussed here and you may find you have more to give to right people, causes or concerns. And never let anyone stop you from pursuing your dreams.
8. Acknowledge Your Accomplishments
Do you have a tendency to be harder on yourself than anyone else? Do you believe you aren’t good enough to find love/achieve your goal/do that amazing thing? To stop this behaviour right now, start to think about your accomplishments and the things you have done well. What have you done which you are proud of? Have you sung in front of an audience? Got an award? Tried something crazy? Been a terrifi friend? Any of these things can make you feel strong, brave and worthy of your own love. Note them in your phone whenever you think of them and refer back to them when feelings of unworthiness try to shake you or stop you.
9. Make A Vision Board
If you want to motivate yourself towards something great, you can create what’s called a vision board of collaged images of places you want to travel, things you want to do, and how you want to feel etc. Hang it somewhere that you will see every single day as a great motivator for you to get off your butt and do something towards your goals. And whenever you glimpse a goal on that board do a little happy dance, give yourself a high five or click your fingers to ignite the emotion of you already having achieved those things. You can also use your vision board powerfully in meditations and keep a screen shot on your phone for an on-the-go reminder of your best life!
10. Do that Class, Course or Craft
Taking up a class, course, or craft that you've always wanted to do can give you fresh inspiration for self loving, life loving, new friends, and new inspiration. Find a hobby or pursuit that you love to practice every week, or take this opportunity to try a new one that challenges you. Things such as trampolining, hiking, painting, yoga or baking can be great hobbies to try with others that will also allow you to spend time with yourself and learn new things about your skills and loves. Jump online and find out what's on offer in your area, and give something a go with gusto!
What's your self-love story?
Let us know in the comments below.
And here's to your beautiful, capable, unique self.