In life we love a lot of things. We love the way our hair looks on days without humidity. We love the feeling when an eager puppy jumps up on us to be petted. We love coupons for Sephora, pretending we’re from Parent Trap when dipping our Oreos in peanut butter, and we love that one filter on Snapchat that makes everyone look like a smooth and chiseled supermodel. Something we don’t often take enough time to love? Ourselves. It’s almost the end of the semester, and this should be the end of our self-image shaming. Life is too short not to love the only brain and body we’ve got. Here are seven easy ways to rediscover just how lovable you really are.
1. Give yourself time in the morning
Everybody has their own morning routines. Some people need to eat Cheerios every day. Some people need that Keurig coffee within the first minute of waking. Others need to glam up and do their daily makeup contouring. Whatever your daily routine may be, make sure to always wake up so that you have enough time to do it. Starting your day off on the wrong foot can often make for a day with you feeling less confident and less put together — not at 100 percent. Set the alarm 15 minutes earlier than usual, hold back the urge to hit snooze and get your days started the right way.
2. Buy clothes that fit you now, not when your diet starts kicking in
Every girl is guilty of buying some small or tight-fitting item of clothing to serve as motivation to finally get in shape. Whether it was to get fit, to lose weight or to diet, we all have built our future expectations up for ourselves and let it physically manifest in that item of clothing. Be realistic. That may never fit, but it doesn’t have to. The number on your jeans, bra or bathing suit has nothing to do with who you are and what you can achieve in the future. Place less pressure on yourself to squeeze into something and more pressure on yourself to love yourself enough to not feel the need to squeeze.
3. Hang around people who make you laugh
Laughing automatically makes you love yourself and your life more. Laughing instantly reduces levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and instantly boosts your serotonin levels and endorphins, which leaves you at a natural happy high. Body chemistry aside, being able to laugh at life and yourself will allow you to be less harsh and critical of everything around you. Be at ease, inhale life and exhale negativity.
4. Always keep chocolate in your kitchen
Screw all those diet books and healthy living articles that tell you to only stock up on carrots and raw almonds. It is proven that there is something about chocolate that women, more often than men, simply crave and need. Chocolate comforts us when we are sad, chocolate holds our hand through the sad parts of romantic comedies, and chocolate makes up for the sad salad we reluctantly had for lunch. Bad days are inevitable, but with some chocolate to the rescue, you will have just a little bit better of a night, and a little bit more love for who you are.
5. Quit picking fights with the people you love
Whether it’s your mom nagging you, your boyfriend acting like a clingy puppy or your friend getting on your last nerve on the day of your big exam, you will often to be tempted to snap back at people with a snippy comment. Instead, take the extra five to 10 minutes to calm yourself down and realize that petty words will dig you into a deep hole you don’t really need to tumble into. Realize that your passive aggressive comment isn’t worth it because if you do say it, you will spend the next day overanalyzing your actions and being disappointed in yourself for no reason. Save the sass. Your sanity will thank you.
6. Start binge-watching a comedy
There are no scientific facts behind this, but I swear there are many positive effects from watching a happy and lighthearted show before falling asleep at night. Maybe it’s the way it makes you smile before you dream. Maybe it’s the way it makes you forget the sad or bad things that happened to you that day. Maybe because it reminds you to not take life too seriously. The happiness exuded from this show will seep into your life and make your heart a little lighter. Unlike television, our lives are not rehearsed and edited. Remind yourself this.
7. Stop having too high of expectations
It’s much easier to appreciate our lives, our present situation and ourselves when we don’t have unrealistic expectations with the bar set high on how we think things will turn out. Before coming to college, we probably figured that our lives as college students would be a lot more attractive and fabulous than the reality of it. We didn’t expect the ramen noodle nights because we don’t have food, the delusional state of exhaustion in the library from studying so much, or the rapid transience we seem to see with all of our friends who come and go. It’s easy to set expectations of how we would like life to go, but when things take a turn, it’s equally as easy to be left disappointed and questioning if it was us who made plans diverge from what we expected. It’s not. And once we can disregard expectations and embrace the unplanned, we can start to embrace ourselves.
We have a few years under our belts, but hopefully a lot more to go. We are stuck in this one body, with this one mind and this one heart forever, so we need to start getting a little more acquainted with it. We are still young and moldable to train ourselves that yes, that girl on the magazine is beautiful, but so are we! The girl with the 4.0 and leadership positions is probably an awesome person, and so are we! We are what we think, so always remember to think that we are worth loving.
Photo credit: Realsimple.com