Now, I am no self-love specialist (in fact, I struggle thoroughly with self-love myself) but I’m here to help as much as I can. These are by no means expert tips or ones that I’ve gotten from a professional site or anything of the like. These are the things that I found helped to perk me up on some of my toughest days, and I sincerely hope that they will work for you too. Remember though, that difficult times are inevitable – necessary, in fact. Without obstacles to put you down, you will never learn to become stronger and be a fighter, and you will never get the ravishing sense of accomplishment upon overcoming those obstacles. So take tough days with a smile on your face and the confidence that you can get through them, because you damn well can. Loving yourself only becomes easier along the way. Enjoy! 🙂
Nat’s Top 10 Tips to Loving Yourself More
1. Wake up to love (not technology). Looking at your phone the first thing in the morning to check up on social media sites and updates from your favourite celebrities can be extremely tempting – trust me, I know. But why not start your day on a healthier, more refreshing note? It’ll only take a few minutes, then you can do all that technology stuff. Wake up, breathe in the fresh air of a brand new day, drink a glass of cold water to boost your metabolism, make yourself a delicious breakfast, and enjoy every single bite because you’re lucky enough to be able to. Appreciate the fact that you’ve been given one more day and therefore one more chance, and make the best out of the opportunity. Think of things that’ll make your day productive and worth living. Oh, and don’t forget to tell your parents a simple “good morning”, and slip in an “I love you” while you’re at it. Beats social media any day.
2. Take a break. If you’re a student like me, deep into the rather late years of your education and nearing final – dun dun dun-worthy – exams, or if you’re working, or in a lower year or are just living life as is, you may have experienced truckloads of work weighing down on your shoulders. And despite this you feel like you need to keep going; that if you stop now, you won’t get any work done and it’ll end being a couple hours of wasted time. But trust me when I say that breaks are so, so, SO important. They refresh you, regenerate your energy levels, and you will go back to your work with a revitalised mind all ready to conquer the next battle. As much as its important to learn your Math and Economics concepts for the next test, its just as important to learn how to breathe. Inhale, exhale, and relax for a bit. Your body will appreciate it.
Create. I study Visual Arts as one of my Higher Level subjects in the IB – of course I’ll add in something art-related somewhere. But really, anyone can make art. Pick up a pen or pencil and some scrap paper and write a poem, or draw a teeny doodle, or pen down your favourite quote. Creating things does not have to be an extravagant affair – all it is is putting your thoughts down on paper as a form of release. Your mind will be so much more relaxed.
Cry. There are many times I’ve been stressed with schoolwork to the point I break down, and this usually happens at home because I’d much prefer to hold the tears back while I’m at school. But gosh, when you finally let all the worries and stress out of your mind this way, the sense of relief is great. Its so important to train yourself to be strong, but letting go is very necessary sometimes. It does not make you weak, neither does it make you a crybaby. As one of my favourite lines of an Ed Sheeran song says: “It’s alright to cry, tears remind you you’re alive.” Learn to let go.
Forgive yourself. We all make mistakes – be it big or small – we all do things we end up hating ourselves for doing. It’s normal, we’re human, it’s not the end of the world. Each day you awake with a brand new chance to make things right staring at you in the face. Whether you want to take it is your choice, but the chance is there. If you’ve ever done something you weren’t happy with, start over, there is time. Forgive yourself, and use the time to let yourself grow.
Read a good book. I myself am not much of a reader – specifically because I read very slowly and it turns me off sometimes. But dang, a good book does wonders. Have trouble finding one? Ask your friends, family, search online for recommendations that fit your preferences (if you have any), or just go to the nearest bookstore or library and let yourself spend hours in the maze of incredibly comforting words. Finding the right book can be difficult, but once its done, the feeling is so satisfying. Then, sit down with some tea or snuggle up in your bed and enjoy. (My personal favourite book is “The Timekeeper” by Mitch Albom. Go give it a read if you wanna!)
Write it down. Remember when you were younger and all the “cool” TV shows had characters writing in their secret diaries, and that made you want to have a secret diary that you’d hide underneath your mattress or in some other hidden place, too? You should do it. Writing things down will help you relief stress, anger, happiness – any emotion, really. Its incredibly therapeutic and soothing and secret if you want it to be. Don’t be afraid of others reading your thoughts, they won’t. Grab a small notebook or journal and set aside 10 minutes a day before you go to bed to write down what you are grateful for that day. If you don’t want a physical book, create a blog like this one. If writing posts seems too time-consuming to you, create a Twitter account and spread positivity like I like to do.
Breathe. Give yourself time, give yourself space, and give yourself the freedom to grow. Don’t confine yourself in technology or schoolwork or stress or responsibilities. Yes, those things are important in life and you need them in one way or another. But don’t let them take over the way you want to live your life. If you want to go to the beach for a walk because the day is windy or the sunset is particularly beautiful, do that instead of cooping yourself at your study table over Chemistry notes. If you feel like lying on the couch and enjoying a cup of hot chocolate, do that instead of reviewing thick stacks of essays. Breathe, breathe, breathe.
Love someone else. Spreading love is the easiest way to love yourself back. This is by no means limited to the romantic kind of love, though inclusive of it. Love is ridiculously easy to find and give and spread if you put in the effort to do so. Love is as easy as saying goodbye to your parents before you leave for school. Love is as easy as deciding to have lunch with mum and dad instead of going shopping with friends on a Saturday afternoon because the weekends are very often the only time they get to have your company anyway. Love is looking at fresh flowers in the park, appreciating them, but not picking them up. Instead, you leave them be for others to enjoy.
Stop comparison. I saw a quote on Tumblr the other day that said “Comparison will kill you”, and albeit a lil’ morbid, I think that its completely – and unfortunately – true. In our world today, so. many. standards. are placed on humans from as young as pre-teen ages. We are told that only skinny is pretty, that distinction between races and religions is a sane action because, boy, we aren’t all human are we? Society is divided into thousands and thousands of sections and we find ourselves lost in them most of the time and it sucks. Don’t get sucked into it. Learn to separate yourselves form the opinions of others, because what matters is what you think, not what others think. Its far more easier said than done, I haven’t managed to accomplish this mindset myself, but we’re all learners, and we’re growing. We will grow stronger, and we will be successful one day. For now, all we can do is continue trying.
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