Self-love: appreciating yourself; accepting your strengths and weaknesses; understanding that you are only human and will make mistakes; having compassion for yourself in your many attempts to find personal meaning; recognizing that you don’t need to explain away your short-comings; focusing on your life purpose and values; doing things that will help you grow physically, mentally and spiritually.
Last time I spoke on self-love, I gave you lovely people a few suggestions on how to better love yourselves. I’m back with a few more tips on loving oneself and becoming a better you.
Tip numero uno: always act on your needs, not your wants. If you’re human, you want things on a daily basis. Just this morning, I wanted to hit the snooze button a third time instead of getting up to get ready for work. I could have slept an extra few minutes, but I would have only been temporarily satisfied. I chose to get up and start my day; and I made it to work on time. The need in this scenario is my decent paycheck to handle my household and personal bills. Until I become super rich and famous, I need to be able to take care of my responsibilities. Indulging your wants will bring you temporary happiness, until your next want comes along. Focusing on your needs will keep you happy in the long term, centered and moving forward in life. Just make sure that you understand the difference between the two.
Tip numero dos: live intentionally. Set a short-term goal and work towards achieving it. When you see the small accomplishments in your life, you will appreciate yourself and your journey. You may not know what your purpose in life is as yet, but you can still choose to live for something. Maybe you’re not a social butterfly, and you want to make new friends at work or at school. Challenge yourself to conversing with 5 people you don’t already know. Give yourself a reasonable time frame to complete this challenge, then go for it. Before you know it, you will make those 5 friends plus some of their friends. Don’t stress about not knowing what you are meant to be or where you are meant to go; enjoy the journey and live.
Tip numero tres: clean out your closet. Don’t take this too literal. Your closet may be a great place to start but it doesn’t have to stop there. Think about all the things you physically own — clothing, shoes, jewelry — and the negative memories they are connected to. Feel free to let go of that ex that cheated on you; and let go of the ugly necklace he bought you, that turns your neck green. This example may be a bit extreme for some of you, but understand what I’m saying. Out with the old (negativity, bad memories, and those skirts that are too short for your current lifestyle), and in with the new (positive vibes, new memories, and a shopping spree to treat yourself). This was a tough one for me because I’m somewhat of a hoarder. I hold on to things from my past because I feel like I need them. If I throw out my size 0 jeans, then what motivation do I have to work out and fit into them again? By tossing them in the donation bin, I was able to begin loving my size 12 bottom. I’m no longer hanging on to the past, but instead focusing on being healthy at my current size.
Tip numero quatro: find a happy place and visit it as often as necessary. Your happy place could be in the shower at 5am before anyone else in your household wakes up. It could even be on a crowded train as you are heading to work or school. Wherever you decide to call your happy place is up to you, as long as you block out the rest of the world and are at peace. Take this time to appreciate yourself and just be. Don’t stress over bills, or the long hours at work, or the three papers you have due tomorrow. Connect with yourself and prepare yourself mentally for your day. You owe this to yourself and your peace of mind will thank you.
Tip numero cinco: do something you’re good at. Find a hobby or activity that you enjoy and make a habit of engaging in that hobby/activity at least 3x a week. No matter how busy your schedule may seem, carve out the time to write a bit of poetry, try your culinary skills at a new recipe, crochet yourself a sweater, or simply read a book. Always make time for something you love to do, or something that you want to get better at.
Practicing all of the self-love tips/practices that we’ve discussed will help you get better at showing yourself some real love. And don’t think that you can quit after a while, this isn’t something simple like cough syrup to help stop a runny nose. You have to constantly and consistently practice loving yourself. Know and understand your worth. Don’t settle for less than you deserve.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little nugget of knowledge. It is Part Two of Self-Love and Part Three of the Standardized Beauty blogs. Until next time…