“You protect your being when you love yourself better. That’s the secret.” – Isabelle Adjani
The one thing we could all improve on is practicing self-love, and we know it. A few months ago I felt down, I ate loads of shitty foods, didn’t sleep enough, didn’t work out at all, and all I wanted to do all day was just sit on the sofa and watch shit ass TV-shows. Then one day I got out of bed and decided that I was done with it, I was treating myself badly, not giving the love and care that every person needs in their lives and it made me feel like shit. That was the moment my life started changing for the better – big time.
If you’re doing the same to yourself and haven’t had an epiphany yet, let this be one. If you’ve been waiting for a sign to change: this is it. Get up, go out and love yourself! Here’s how.
Stop comparing yourself to others. First things first, you’re you, you is great and you is all you’ll ever be, so stop comparing yourself to others and live life your way.
Start working out. I have always underestimated the effect of working out. I didn’t start really doing it until a few months ago and if I miss out on it for a week or so I miss it SO MUCH. You don’t have to work out solely to lose weight, you don’t even have to feel the need to tone your body, but it benefits your health big time.
To see what your body is really capable of and to feel the changes in your strength over time, that’s what makes it worth it and dare I say it: it’s what makes it fun!
“It’s hard to feel desire when you don’t feel desirable.” – Christine Feehan
Don’t believe everything you think. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? But somewhere deep down inside you, your biggest critic is hiding (your Superego, Freud would say). It’s that little voice that’s always nagging, no matter what you do. You’re always going to want to change things, simply because life will never be perfect. There are always bigger goals to reach, more countries to visit, more words to write, but you have to learn how to appreciate what you do have, simply to enjoy life more and to love yourself more.
Surround yourself with good people. The only people you really want to have around are the ones who lift you higher, the ones who celebrate your for the god(dess) you are and ones who will support you no matter what. Love sometimes needs to come from the outside too.
Celebrate your wins. All of them! It might be getting out of bed early for an entire week or writing a thousand words or learning how to make the perfect cappuccino. No matter how big or small, wins are always worth celebrating.
“It sounds like a cliche, but I also learnt that you’re not going to fall for the right person until you really love yourself and feel good about how you are.” – Emma Watson
Embrace whatever makes you different. You’re you, you’re perfect in your own way and you are that because of what sets you apart from all the others. Whether it’s your amazing sense of humor, your capability to read 200 pages of a book in a day or you can eat 10 hamburgers in two minutes, it’s all lovable and you’re the one person who has to see that.
Get yourself to think more positively. All situations have an up- and a downside and it’s up to you which one you want to see. Once you get the hang of it and you’re having crazy happy thoughts, share them with the people around you! Bringing positivity to the world will bring you positivity in return. It will get easier by the day and it will always be worth it.
Do what you love most. Deep down inside you know your calling, you know what makes you happy and how you would like to spend most of your time (professionally consuming alcohol does not count), so go do it! If it isn’t easy (which will most probably be the case) do whatever you need to do to make it happen, because it will most definitely be worth it.
Keep a diary. Being able to reflect on the things that happened to you before will make life easier, better and more meaningful in the future. Try to commit to it, do it before you go to sleep, even if you only have time to just write 10 sentences about the high- and lowlights of your day, and start making the life you’ll love.
Let go of the past. We all have done stupid things in the past and hey, we’ll do stupid things in the future too, and that’s bloody fine! Take a moment to learn from the situation, then let it go and move on. Don’t keep beating yourself up about it, because it will never make it better and it’s really just a waste of your precious time and energy.
Be realistic. Yes, the thing about practicing self-love is to be happier and get more out of life, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be happy every second of every day and that’s something you have to live with. It’s okay to have an off day, on which all you want to do is lay in bed and watch Dirty Dancing on the loop. It’s okay you’re not always able to cope with life and all it’s sorrows, it’s o-fucking-kay to cry as often as you feel the need to do. And you will be okay, you’ll feel better the next day and if not, you’ll feel better the day after that.
“Lack of self-love leads a lot of individuals to disappoint the people who love them unconditionally and love the people who hurt them the most.” – Edmond Mbiaka
Learn to ask for help. Loving yourself is also knowing that you can’t do everything there is to do, which means you sometimes need others to give you a hand. Don’t hesitate to ask, people are happy to help most of the time!
Find your happy place. This actually makes a huge difference! My happy place is my bedroom, the little space that is just for me, filled with things I love and it’s 100% personal. Confession time: I sometimes lay on my bed just looking at everything there and thinking about how much I love it. But that’s just me.
Your happy place could be your nan’s house, that one bench along the river or the museum filled with art you love, as long as it makes you happy (and preferably isn’t too far away from where you live), it’s perfect!
Give yourself compliments. This one might feel a little strange in the beginning, but it’ll grow on you when you do it often enough. Giving yourself little compliments is the ultimate way of expressing your self-love, and it can be about anything. You can do it when you sit in front of a mirror, looking yourself in the eye and telling yourself everything you want to know, whether it’s what a great meal you cooked earlier that day, how magnificent you danced when you had that little personal dance party or how great it is that you started to make reading a daily practice. As long as it feels good and truthful, it will be meaningful.
Practicing self-love is the first step to making the world a more wonderful place, which is essentially what you’re here for. Now go forth and love the shit out of thyself!