The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I’m not sure about anyone else, but there are days where I just don’t love myself as much as I should. It’s not an outright negative emotion, but I’m just not as patient as I could be. If you’ve also struggled to give yourself the well-deserved grace that you deserve, here are three practices that helped me get out of that funk.
STEPping AWAY FROM my PHONE
If you’re anything like me, you probably love that tiny glass rectangle that cracks you up on the toilet at 3 a.m. It’s easy to get lost on Instagram liking picture after picture, or experience your own Comedy Central on TikTok. We all do these things, but it’s important to put the phone down every once in a while. What may start off as a harmless phone check could lead to a slow start to your day, random anxiety, or creative juices getting zapped.
A way I’ve been able to set healthy (and realistic!) boundaries with my devices is by starting my day technology-free. It doesn’t have to be hours at a time, but something as simple as not checking my phone for the first fifteen minutes of the day. Instead, I journal, make some coffee, or just sit outside. That little time for myself will set a calming mood for the rest of my day. Next, I try to create a social media space that isn’t taking my energy, but rather returning it to me. I like to follow art accounts to fuel my want to create or inspirational videos I can keep on my timeline, and make sure to unfollow people who don’t bring out the best within yourself. The latter is one of my favorite things to do because creating a safe space on these platforms maintains your self-love practice on and off my devices. Finally, I like to have a technology-detox day. You can set this up as many times as you feel comfortable, but having one day to pursue something that isn’t doom-scrolling can open your mind to new things, such as visiting a museum, starting that project I’ve been putting off, and keeping my hands as far away from Instagram as possible.
tRYing something new
Trying something new can bring a sense of refreshment and renewal to one’s life. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone can be scary but equally rewarding at the same time. To do so, I find it really important to focus on my hobbies. Whether it’s taking a class or just doodling in my notebook, a hobby is a great way to channel my individuality. There is no better feeling than being in the zone and cultivating a cozy atmosphere of creation with yourself. Working hard at something that brings you joy boosts your confidence and motivation to do more.
Working towards a goal also keeps the mind sharp and ready. Let’s say you have a goal to reach a certain height in your rock climbing class. By imposing fun goals for myself, I’ve started to condition my mind to solve problems, think critically, and release my creativity. When I have a clear goal and vision in mind, my body regulates itself to a level of peace and a calming sensation I always strive for.
Being gracious to myself
It can be hard to be gracious to yourself. We live in a society that demands too much from us all the time, causing irritation, anxiety, and burnout. The daily narrative is that someone is always doing better and working harder than you, no matter what you do. This always gets to me personally, which leads to a spiral of believing I’m not good enough. This practice is more of a journey than a concrete idea. I’ve realized that a lot of times, all I need is giving myself the benefit of the doubt. We all need to look at the bigger picture of our life and see how far we’ve come.
It’s possible to feel that unconditional love within yourself. Although it’s subtle, that connection is everywhere: when buying flowers for yourself, going to sleep a little early, laughing with a supportive friend, or creating something you love. Love for self is all around; I just have to alter certain things to make room for myself. So when feeling down, I always ask, ‘Is there any room for me in this space?’ If the answer is no, I ensure I make room for myself and remember I’m valid and deserve peace of mind.