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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pace chapter.

Practicing self-love and self-respect are critical to improving your mental health as you navigate your way through the semester as well as life outside of university. To preface this, think about what self-respect means to you. What are your comfort zones? And how can you use these practices to expand them? 

It is important to note that self-love is not limited to hot showers, face masks, and “treating yourself.” While these can make for wonderful de-stressing tools, there are many habits that you can pick up to help you care for yourself on a day-to-day basis.

Recognize your strengths and nurture your weaknesses

Sometimes, there’s so much going on around you, and it gets difficult to balance every task at hand. Remember, everyone is good at something. It’s okay to harness your strengths and capitalize on them when in doubt. However, it’s also important to give the areas of your life that you’re struggling in a little extra love. Nobody is perfect, and accepting that will bring you one step closer to reaching your full potential.

Understand there’s no such thing as “normal”

Trends come and go, but you are constant. Don’t compare yourself to people who fit in on the surface because for all you know, they are doing the same thing. It may be difficult figuring out exactly who you are, but it’s important you stay true to what feels right in the present. You are the main character of your life, so why waste your individuality when you can be the best version of yourself each and every day?

Surround yourself with people who raise your vibration

Some people have a low social battery, and if you do, that’s okay. But if you constantly feel like your social battery is drained, then consider whether or not you’re around the right people. Ask yourself: Do I feel comfortable setting my own boundaries? Do I feel like myself around my friends? Do I feel more apt to step out of my comfort zone with the people I surround myself with? Your friends will change over the course of your life, so don’t stress yourself out about fast friends. When the timing is right, your people will find you.

Romanticize your life

You are the only person capable of seeing life through your eyes, make the most of it. Practice taking a moment once or maybe multiple times a day to appreciate what is around you. When you do this, consider what you have accomplished prior and what you strive to complete next. Come up with one thing you appreciate about what you are doing at that exact moment. Whatever it is you do, enjoy it to the fullest, there is nothing more extraordinary than the fact that you are capable of experiencing it as you.

Manage your stress

Though this may seem like counter-productive advice, it will help you take back control of your own life. If school or work is your biggest stressor, keep a planner and write down your tasks as well as when you feel comfortable completing them. If you are enduring emotional stress, write down your feelings or reach out to another trusted person to organize your thoughts. Most importantly, arrange time for yourself to do what you need most, whether it be as simple as relaxing or as complex as a full day to shop, explore, take yourself on a date, and/or try something outside of your comfort zone. Stress is temporary, but it can be consuming at times. Remember that it is okay to take it easy even when it may feel like you don’t have the time to do so. You need to treat yourself kindly before enduring whatever comes your way.

Re-affirm yourself

We all have days where we don’t feel amazing, but that doesn’t mean you have to treat yourself that way. Look in the mirror with fresh eyes and remind yourself that you are worthy of the life you were given. Tell yourself that you are unique, you are loved, and that you are capable of whatever you put your mind to. Manifest all of the wonderful ways you wish to see yourself. The more confidence you put into yourself, the more you will put out to the world. The most important relationship to maintain is one with yourself, so treat it as you would with somebody you love. You are given the opportunity to spend every moment with a beautiful, continuously growing mind and body, so start by learning to appreciate each part of it.

Keep in mind these tips will resonate differently with each and every person. There is no handbook on building a loving, respectful relationship with yourself so it is largely important that you apply these to your life however you see fit. At the end of the day, the goal is to live a self-fulfilling life, and these tips are just a few small steps you can take to help you stay on track.

Pace University NYC student. English education major. I collect rocks, crochet shirts and think about the universe. I also have a bearded dragon.