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Mental Health

Why You Need Self Love Now And How To Get There

Self love is a concept that it feels like everyone has been obsessed with lately. But what do people mean when they say self love?

Psychology Today defines self love as “a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth,” placing an emphasis on the fluid, dynamic aspect of self love. Once you’ve expanded that self love so many doors can open up; whether it be healthier, longer lasting relationships, better work/life balance and an overall happier state of mind. But what self love truly boils down to is self-acceptance, having compassion for yourself when you make mistakes, a deeper understanding of your weaknesses and a willingness to grow and chance but not an expectation of absolute perfection.

The tricky part about self love is that there is not one right way of loving yourself. It’s completely individual, and takes some time, trial and error to figure out what works best for you. 

I know on my journey of self love that is the most frustrating is realizing there’s no right way of loving yourself and not real ending; self love is a constant affair, struggle, that with practice becomes part of the fabric of your daily routine.

With this in mind, there are defintely some tried and true strategies people have used to bring more self love into their lives. Some of my favorite strategies are 

 

1. Come up with a self love routine

For me this comes at the end of the day where I take some time, maybe twenty minutes, to put my phone away. I take those twenty minutes to follow a skincare routine, wash my face, apply spot treatments, moustrize and if its been a really long day; face mask. As I’m writing this I realize how little I’ve been able to commit to a full twenty minutes but having that time to think to myself and relax. If its been a really bad day I’ll take the time to lay down with my hands on my stomach and practice some deep breathing excercises. I live with a genetic condition that can flare up with stress, so having a way to destress at the end of the day is a way of preventing myself from being in a life-threatening situation.

2. Stop Comparing

Another strategy I really try to focus on is stopping myself from comparing my journey to anyone else’s. This means I try to stop focusing on all the things so-and-so has and has accomplished before me and shift that to asking “what do I want to do?” Obviously this is a really difficult strategy as social media is completely built on the idea of comparing yourself to others. I’ve found limiting my time on social media and muting/blocking/unfollowing people who ultimately make me feel worse about myself is helpful. I also try to stop my negative thinking in the moment. If I notice myself thinking something like “I wish I had hair like hers,” I’ll try to rearrange the dialogue in my head to “I love the length of her hair but I also love the color of mine.” I also have tried to be more aware of what I want in life and take note, make goals towards achieving that rather than wishing I had something/looked like someone I see off of social media, regardless of whether it actually matches up with my desires.

3. Surround yourself with a positive environment

I find when I’m surrounding myself with toxic or negative people I tend to become more toxic and negative myself. In the past I’ve had roommates or friends who spent every minute possible laying in bed and never had a nice thing to say about anyone or anything, and slowly I began to do the same thing. I eventually had to make a concerted effort to get those kinds of people put of my life and look for friends who reflected the person I wanted to become. In my case, once I started it became so easy because my new friends would introduce me to their friends who were also reflections of my best self. I also began to be able to recognize the traits I liked in my new friends in other people I interacted with. But I think the most important thing I learned was to shutdown toxic people and say no, especially to activities and people I don’t have the energy for. 

At the end of the day self love and self discovery is an individual journey with no specific destination but is completely worth the investment, afterall you will always have yourself.

Allaire is an inquisitive and confident lady who loves to watch reruns of her favorite shows (Bones anyone?) and enjoy the finer things in life like sand in between her toes, the sun on her skin and chocolate ice cream. Allaire is a senior Sociology major and Women and Gender Studies minor with aspirations to be a human rights lawyer and a songwriter. She is passionate about music, traveling and social justice.