If you were to google "self-love", you'd probably get a definition that states something like "regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.” Unfortunetly, many of us are unsuccessful in this aspect of life and we often fail to show ourselves love and respect as often as we probably should. I know I am personally at fault for this, I don't have any shame or trouble it stating that. Although I'm not about to make excuses for our inability to love oursleves, I do acknowledge that there are many factors involved in our day-to-day lives that impact the amount of love we are willing and able to show ourselves.
For a long time, I unknowingly denied any happiness, joy, or excitment that came my way. Perhaps it was my anxiety at play, or my stubborness to let things happen as they may; in my mind, I didn't deserve the happiness or acknowledgement of success I had reached thus far. During the past 9 months of my graduate school experience, I learned to let others love me, allowed myself to love me and embraced the good that come my way. I also learned how to take a step back, stop trying to control EVERYTHING, and simply enjoy the ride.
Every one of us is worthy of some self-love and we are definetly worthy of being loved too. Below are five ways you can begin showing yourself some love on a daily or weekly basis. Although it does take some time, practice, and continual awareness of your sense of self, it will become second nature in no time at all!
1. Count your blessings
What is the first thing you do in the morning? Check your emails/social media? Brush your teeth? Comb your hair? I bet one thing you didn't think of doing in the morning was taking a minute to appreciate the fact that you were blessed with another day on Earth! Each morning when you wake up, before you rush off to start your day or grab your phone on the nightstand, take a minute and think of everything you're grateful for. Starting off your day on a thankful note makes you feel energized and appreciative of what is to come. Also, reminding yourself of your blessings will release joyful endorphines which are sure to brighten your mood just a bit!
2. Wave negativity goodbye!
It's no surprise that at some point during your day, you'll feel Mr. Negativity creeping at your day and wanting to say "hello!". However, if you catch yourself with a negative thought, replace it with something positive. In the moment you might be thinking, “well I don’t have anything positive to say about myself right now.” Sorry to say this but you’re wrong. If you were to call your mom right now, what would she say about you? If you called your best friend, what would she say about you? If you have a spouse or significant other, what would they say about you if you were to call them? I bet you, they would list all the things that make you an amazing daughter, friend, and wife/girlfriend. The list of positives will outweigh the negatives. So, say goodbye to that negative thought immediately. Don’t let it get any further than a thought. Acknowledge it and stop it right in it's tracks.
3. Be a "YES" person
When you're lacking a dose of self-love, it also means you may be lacking some motivation as well. When we allow ourselves to be alone and wallow in our self-pity, we are allowing ourselves to feel unhappy and sad. If you get invited to a social event, say, “YES.” If there is something you’ve been wanting to try, say, “YES.” Do more things that make you happy. Be adventurous. Be spontaneous. SAY YES!
4. Don't sweat the small stuff
Although it's easier said than done, try not to get wrapped up in the comings and goings of daily disappointment. Instead, remind yourself of all the good things you've got going and allow the disappointing parts of your day slip away. So what you didn't get that job promotion? That just means another door might open to provide you with an even greater opportunity! You didn't get the grade you had hoped for on your final exam? Don't sweat it...1. there is nothing you can do to change it now, 2. you tried your best and be proud of your efforts, and 3. you'll do better next time since you learned a new study strategy. Whatever the case may be, let it go. It'll only drag you down if you fret over it.
5. Get unplugged!
At the end of the day, give yourself some time to unwind and unplug from the socially demanding world around us. The use of smartphones, social media, and television all play a role in how we view ourselves in comparison to the rest of society. Instead of being stuck on the comparison train after a long day, turn off your phones and TVs and instead go for a walk with a friend or family member, read a book, practice an instrument, or take a relaxing bubble bath. Take your time and relax. Don't rush. This is what they call "you time" and yes, you need it!
I hope these few little tricks can help you begin to show yourself a little more self-love with each passing day. You may not feel your best every day, you may still see yourself as less than another, but let me tell you...you are beautiful, you are smart, and you are important. Rain or shine, happy or sad, good or bad...the show yourself some TLC and love yourself!