For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a very hard time practicing self-love. I have a tendency to be extremely hard on myself. I’m sure you can all relate to some aspect of your life where you are your toughest critic- constantly picking out your flaws, putting weight on negative experiences, beating yourself up for failures. Do you know what I’m talking about?
The minute I feel like I’ve “messed up” or slipped up on my goals, I bring on the shame, guilt, and negative self-talk by the bucket full. I always chalked it up to my perfectionism and the fuel for successes I’ve had in my life. When I became an adult and had to take responsibility for my behavior and its effect on my happiness, I realized that this really isn’t a healthy thing. It was bringing down my self-esteem, forming a negative attitude in my mind, and making me feel like I had a gray cloud over me all the time.
Being the anxious person I tend to be, this would only make it worse because I would then get mad at myself for being so weighed down all the time. Why can’t I just be more confident and not let things bother me so badly? This mindset and shame I was putting on myself would then only add fuel to my fire. Yes, I can get myself into a bit of a pickle by being a micro manager of my own self.
Learning to love myself and practice good self-care has been a MAJOR priority of mine. I want to love myself first and foremost, so that I can then love everyone and everything back whole heartedly– my boyfriend, my career, my dog, my family, my friends. With that being said, here are my tips on how to love yourself more, flaws and all. Hope it helps those of you that struggle with the same thing I do!
6 SELF-LOVE TIPS:
-FIND ONE THING YOU LOVE ABOUT YOURSELF. Point out one thing you love about yourself- a physical part of your body or personality trait- and say it out loud as you look in the mirror. It will feel awkward at first, but the more you do it, the easier it will become. You will find that you start looking at yourself differently when you look in the mirror by finding positive things, rather than focusing on all the things you wish you could change.
-REPEAT A POSITIVE AFFIRMATION. When you wake up in the morning, before checking your emails or scrolling through your Instagram feed, set a positive affirmation for the day. Some of my favorites are: “I love my body and all it does for me.” “I let go of negative self-talk.” “I love myself.” There are really great affirmations on Pinterest if you feel like you need a bit of help forming some to get started. By repeating a positive affirmation in the morning, it will set intention for the day, brighten your mood, and build self-confidence.
-EXERCISE. I am the queen of making excuses to blow off my workouts, especially when I am feeling stressed or down about myself. But the endorphins you get from exercising will help lift your mood and build confidence by knowing you invested in yourself. I like to workout first thing in the morning so I can’t blow it off when the day gets busy. Find what works for you and make it part of your routine.
-PAMPER YOURSELF. Whether this is getting a manicure (or doing your nails at home), taking a bubble bath, lighting a candle, getting a massage, or buying yourself flowers, taking time to do something for yourself will help you realize how important it is to take care of you first. Find a way to do one small thing a week that is just for you and see how good it feels!
-PLAY MUSIC AND DANCE. I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase, “Dance like no one is watching.” Well, sometimes it does feel really good to blast some favorite tunes and dance your little heart out. If you’re really brave, try doing it in just your favorite underwear. 😉
-KEEP A JOURNAL. I know this feels like something you would do in middle school, but journaling is something that has really helped me a lot. Writing down your feelings, whatever they may be, helps keep them from bottling up inside of you. Sometimes, you’ll realize how limiting some of your beliefs are and writing them down will help you reflect on how you can change them into something more positive. Taking time to reflect each day will help you grow, focus on the positive things in your life, and find gratitude for all that you have.