People flow in and out of your life, but the one person who will always be there for you is yourself. You are the person who will be there through each heartbreak, each move across the country, and each nerve-wracking walk home in the dark. By embracing this fact — this independence — we can become more in tune with our emotions and better strengthen our relationships with others as well as with ourselves.
Since you are ready to love yourself a little more, here are 5 steps to be your own best friend.
- Be your own cheerleader
Women are often made fun of for their Instagram comment sections that contain phrases like “gorgeous girl!!!” and “kill it queen,” but by saying those things to yourself, you can often make those phrases a reality in your life. When you look at yourself in the mirror, take that selfie and treasure yourself. Say those comments out loud or in your head! By recognizing your own beauty and stating it through your actions and thoughts, you will become a more confident, beautiful woman.
- Be physically affectionate towards yourself
I know it sounds weird, but giving yourself a hug is often one of the best remedies when you are having a bad night. If things do not seem to be going in the right direction, and you are stuck in your home because of COVID-19, squeezing yourself can help you get the love that you need until you feel better. If hugging yourself seems weird, try holding your hand. It seems silly at first, but it can work wonders when stress and emotions seem too much.
- Remind yourself it is acceptable to treat yourself
As Columbia and Barnard students, we are known for pushing ourselves to the limit. Although we believe this is necessary, oftentimes it really is not. When studying becomes too intense or the first day of school jitters get the best of you, treat yourself to a good snack. Even treat yourself to two snacks! You deserve it. You are your number one priority, and number one priorities need to be nurtured. For example, for my first day of college, I treated myself to Lucky Charms for breakfast and ice cream for an after-school snack. This may have been calorie-heavy, but it made me and my heart happy.
- Be conscious about the people you choose to spend your time with
The people who are your best friends (other than yourself, obviously) can make or break your mood. These people should lift you up when you are down and hype you up when you are proud of yourself. When the people who you hold close to your heart exhibit toxic behavior, you should treat that as a yield sign. Take some time to evaluate yourself and your priorities. If it does not seem right, you owe it to yourself — your best friend — to cut them out. In my own experience, I have done this and forged deep relationships with people I never thought I would be friends with.
- Let your own opinions lead the way, not the opinions of others
This final step is one of the most important ones to remember, and that is because the voice you are hearing in your head is the voice of your best friend: the voice of yourself. Just because your roommate or your friend says that they do not appreciate one of your hobbies or an outfit you choose, does not mean that you should doubt that initial feeling of adoration that you had regarding the subject. Just because you might have some self-doubt regarding your passion or interest because someone else said something negative about it, does not mean their opinion is the opinion of the world.
Trust your opinion and people will love you. Love yourself and people will love you more. Your own love for yourself is the love that matters the most. That love is the love from which all love stems.