Love ya self! Here's How

Valentine’s Day is around the corner! Whether you have plans with a special someone, or simply plan to ignore the fact that this holiday exists at all, try to pencil in some time for yourself this year. We tend to view love and compassion as things we give and receive from the people around us. Yet, individuals of all ages tend to lack of self love, and see no problem in doing so. Here are some ways you can better your relationship with yourself during the Valentine’s season. After all, 2019 is the year of self-care!

 

  1. Be more mindful of your well-being.

    1. Whenever you’re having a terrible or stressful day and you feel like you’re drowning in your own negative emotions, try to step back and ask yourself why you’re feeling down. Have you been ignoring your physical and emotional needs in order to get that Philosophy paper done on time? Have you been trying to solve everyone else’s problems and ignoring your own? Try keeping a journal, and jot down details like how you felt that day, and why it is you think you felt that way. When you look back on your old entries, you might find some more clarity and learn how to cope in future situations when you feel like your self esteem is taking a dip.

 

  1. Take yourself out on a date.

    1. If you’re anything like me, you probably feel a constant need to help your friends and family with every single problem they are dealing with in their lives, often at the expense of your own needs. Then, when you inevitably can’t fulfill every promise that you made to your loved ones, you’ll feel guilty and start to believe those negative voices in your head. Try to carve out some time in your schedule to take yourself out on a date every now and then. Go watch that movie you’ve been wanting to see, or buy yourself dinner or a new pair of shoes. It may be nerve-wracking to go out in public alone for some of you, but doing this can even start building your confidence and make you feel more comfortable Make sure to reward yourself for all the effort you’re putting in–you deserve it!

    2. Need a good date idea for yourself? Check out this article: http://collegewithcaitlyn.com/self-dates/

 

  1. Start every morning with positive, self-assuring words.

    1. I can’t even count how many times I’ve stood in front of a mirror and pointed out all of the tiny things I despise about my looks or my personality. It’s an incredibly unhealthy and unproductive thing to do, but sometimes I still indulge myself.

 

I recently watched a video about self-love uploaded by one of my favorite YouTube personalities, Anna Akana. In the video, she asked us to imagine what it would be like if we were friends with someone who said all the same negative things to us as we tell ourselves. This relationship would be clearly toxic and wouldn’t last very long. Why should we put up with these self-deprecating thoughts if we wouldn’t say the same things to our loved ones?    

 

Whenever I notice myself falling into a self deprecating thought-loop, I remind myself that I have people in my life that love me, flaws and all. So why shouldn’t I love myself as well? Try giving yourself little positive words of encouragement whenever you’re feeling down about yourself. The more positivity you feed yourself, the less you will feel negativity getting in the way. Here’s a great article to check out for more positive affirmations to give yourself when you’re feeling down:

 

  1. Do a “Comparison Cleanse”.

    1. Evaluate how much time you spend on social media on a given day, and how often you find yourself thinking things like “I wish I could travel there” or “I wish I had that person’s body.” Try cutting down the amount of time you spend on other people's’ profiles on Instagram and Facebook, and use that time towards improving yourself or simply practicing self-care through healthy eating, exercise, or meditation. Here is a great article about little things you can do to care for yourself:

https://www.joshuanhook.com/self-care-what-is-it-how-do-we-do-it/

 

  1. Seek therapy if you think you may need it

    1. I personally believe everyone can benefit from therapy. This article is hardly a cure-all for improving your relationship with yourself. Try talking to a professional about the harder issues you face on a day-to-day basis. Your college or school may have free and confidential counseling services available, or they may be able to refer you to a therapist near you. It can’t hurt to try!

 

  1. Check things off of your to-do list

    1. In the same vein as taking yourself out on a date and focusing on yourself for a change, start doing those things on your to-do list that you’ve been putting off lately. Have you been wanting to go to church again for the longest time, but keep putting it off because your friends always want you to stay out until sunrise on Saturday nights? Have you neglected cleaning your room in order to prioritize other engagements? I know my self-esteem takes a big toll when I see things on my to-do list pile up and feel like I’m not doing enough. On those days that I finally clean my room, do my laundry, paint my nails, or do finally get around to calling my parent, I feel much better about myself and remember that I can do it.

 

  1. Serve your community

    1. At first glance, this suggestion may seem to counter what I previously said about putting yourself first. Though it is always important to cater to your needs before trying to help everyone around you, this does not mean you can’t serve your community or those who are less fortunate than yourself. With each and every volunteer experience I’ve had, I have been filled with joy at the opportunity to meet new people and reflect on own fortunate circumstances. I truly believe that when I help others, I am helping myself as well.

 

As long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with maintaining genuine confidence and love for myself. With each step I take towards rebuilding the parts of myself that I have broken down over years of self-neglect, I’m getting closer to fully loving the skin I’m in. I’ll never be able to change the texture of my hair, or my voice, or my body type. But I can change the way I think about my appearance or my personality, and see that I am truly deserving of self-respect and understanding. Whether or not you have a special someone this Valentine’s day, take a moment to give yourself the love and care that you know you deserve.

 

I will end this article with a quote from the legendary RuPaul: