With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, many have their minds on one thing; love. Specifically, romantic love. However, instead of focusing on loving a significant other or, in my case, reflecting on the crushing blow of being single, Valentine’s Day should remind us the importance of self-love. Loving yourself is not easy and I know this first hand. Criticizing yourself comes naturally and is a difficult habit to get rid of. It’s like biting your nails or twisting your hair, but more detrimental. Loving yourself is so important to both your mental and physical health. We often shove our own happiness to the side and, sadly, prioritize things that cause us stress. Money, school, insecurities, etc… consume our thoughts so that we have none left to ourselves. I know it’s hard to think positively of yourself, especially in a time in your life where there is so much going on that you can’t think straight. I am my harshest opponent and cruelest critic, so I know how hard it is to live with yourself. But, I have a goal and it is to dedicate more of my time to trying to learn to love myself more. Here are some acts I have found that have helped me try and achieve this goal.
Take yourself out
You’ve probably heard this one before and it might sound foolish, but it works. I used to be so scared to do anything alone because I thought I would look weird. However, I realized that no one is really paying attention to you because people really don’t give a fuck what you’re doing. So take yourself out and enjoy some time alone. It is actually pretty enjoyable. You can see a movie, go to a nice restaurant, or visit a museum. There are tons of places out there ready to be explored. Once you spend some time alone, you might realize how much you like hanging out with yourself.
I often get into ‘funks’ where I’m feeling really down and lose motivation to do anything semi-productive. When this happens, I try to change something. Cut your hair, change your nail color, re-decorate your room. These are all minor things you can do to make you feel better. A change in style or appearance may change the way you see yourself and help you to appreciate the positive aspects of yourself more. Just don’t cut your own bangs. I’ve done that before the outcome can be disastrous.
Recognize the good
When there’s so much negativity coming from all facets of your life, it can be really hard to find something positive to focus on. But nobody is completely bad or totally good. There are definitely amazing things about you that you fail to recognize! We are our own enemies, especially when we criticize ourselves for the smallest things. Just once, look at yourself and point something out that you like. Whether it’s your smile or a talent you have that you’re really proud of, try and see the good things about yourself.
Write about anything. Even if you’re not a good one, it really helps to express your thoughts instead of repressing it in your subconscious. Nobody has to read it either. Write about things that make you happy or sad. Write about your life and the accomplishments you’ve made thus far. Seeing your thoughts can help you to realize what is bothering you. This can be a step to realizing your self-worth and working towards loving yourself more.
Talk to friends and Family
Your friends and family know you best. They might even know you better than you know yourself. If you’re ever feeling super insecure, talk to your friends and family to let them know what’s up. Having a soundboard to bounce your thoughts off of can really help you feel better about yourself. They’re always there to point out the things they love about you. Maybe if you see why others love you, you can love yourself too. Have a fun night out or just stay in and cry over a sappy romantic movie! A good cry always helps.
Written by: Rebecca Rosenberg