Lately, the concept of self-love has been on my mind, I’ve noticed that it has become so easy for us to look at other people and fall in love with their lives or at least the version of their life that they choose to present.
We might not do it overtly but we do this every day and I’m just as guilty of the endless stalking of an Instagram page looking at someone’s perfectly applied makeup, wondering how she got her eyeliner to be so perfect and find myself asking why she has abs of steel and still gets to eat all the cake?? However self-love is not always an easy thing to do when we are so attuned to our flaws and all the things we don’t have figured out yet, but we have to start somewhere right?
Defining yourself is IMPORTANT (all caps just in case you didn’t get the magnitude of its importance), many of us have let other people define us for way too long, and when their definitions of us are negative we begin to believe that about ourselves. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent and It’s about time you stop consenting! and start defining. When you define yourself nobody else can tell you who you are. I once did an exercise that helped me gain a lot of perspective into how I defined myself. The exercise requires you to write down a list of 20 things that you feel describe you. for example student, dancer, funny, smart etc.When you’re done, look at the entire list and figure out which items are “internal” and which are “external” ex. “student” would be an external definition and “kind” would be internal. The point is to ask yourself if your definition of yourself based off external things. If it is, what happens to you when those things are taken away? what happens when you’re not an athlete anymore, or a student or a dancer etc. In a lot of cases this when these things are gone, it might result in feelings of loss, feeling unaccomplished, feeling worthless etc. It is good to have both internal and external things that define you, the ideal situation is to ground yourself in your internal definitions of you more than you depend on the external.
Now that you’ve defined yourself and realized that you are smart, pretty, funny, occasionally weird and in my case a little too sassy, The next part might sound a bit crazy but it involves you staring into your own eyes and talking to yourself ….A lot. There is no use defining yourself if you’ll forget it one you leave your house. When you feel sad and a little down on yourself ( or even when you feel great), you need to take care of you first. If it means that you have to tell yourself repeatedly over the course of the day, that you are smart, that you are good enough and that you can do what you set out to do! then so be it. It’ll sound silly – I can almost guarantee that- but fake it till you make it is a thing for a reason.
Learn how to say No!
No, Nah, Nope, Hell No, N. O, Non, Ni! However, you say it, in whatever language “NO” an important word to remember. I know personally that a lot of the stress I face comes from trying too much to please people or take on a task that I realistically can’t add on my plate. A wise woman by the name of Oprah once said that No is a complete answer, if you know that you genuinely can’t complete a request or you just don’t have the energy, funds, resources to do something, go out on the town etc, It’s perfectly and totally okay to say no and you do not owe anyone an explanation…you can give one but you do not owe it to anyone.
Take a social media break:
comparing ourselves to others happens everywhere we go , we compare ourselves to our coworker or to the girl at the gym who has been running top speed for the past 45 mins and still looks perfect. Social media now makes it possible to compare ourselves to people all over the freaking world. We can now compare ourselves to the fancy blogger in LA or some random girl somewhere taking selfies in her bedroom. This girl on Instagram has a perfect themed feed and the perfect life and the perfect boyfriend and perfectly sprinkled donuts and clothes and blah, blah blah. It’s time to cut this out and take a break. I know it’s hard. I ask myself what will happen when I quit or take a social media break, how will I keep up with all my memes and travel pages and all the cute boys that happen to live everywhere else but in my city?. Yes taking a break might suck and you might go through withdrawal but consistently checking up on other people’s lives makes you discontent with your life and stops you from appreciating the things you do have.
Treat Yo’ self
Take time for yourself and take care of your physical and mental health. It’s time to stop saying you’ll go to the gym and walk past it every single day without venturing inside. At the same time, no one says you have to become Rhonda Rousey either. You can simply start walking more, taking the stairs, do a drop-in Zumba class, swim or whatever, just get your behind moving. When it comes to your mental health, it is 100% okay to seek help when you need it. You can go to a therapist or talk to people you trust if you need to. Therapy doesn’t always have to be on the couch of a therapist, it could be in the form of anything that brings you peace and clarity, paint, go to the gym, pray, eat ice cream (maybe not the entire bowl ) etc. Just make sure that you are getting the care that you need to be the best you that you can be (Ok I know I’m sounding very Oprah-ish but it’s not intentional)
So go forth, love yourself and find your happiness
what are some practical ways you practice self love? share in the comments 🙂