Self-love, unfortunately is not something that can be conjured up overnight – after all we have been listening to society drone on about the ideal body image for most of our lives. So much so, that it will understandably take some time to undo the negative effect that the media and ‘friends’ have on our self-esteem.
There is more to learning to love yourself than just the ‘power of positive thinking’ (although this does help) – so here are my 7 Tips For Self-Love in Action.
DETOX YOUR LIFE
By this, I don’t mean the definition of detox that is splashed across the front cover of most mainstream magazines – I mean detox your life. Get rid of the things that no longer serve you; that dress you’ve been saving as your ‘goal’ dress, that toxic friendship, that painful memory. It is important to know that whatever you feel is having a negative effect on your life can change.
Self-Love in Action: Write a list of the things that you feel contribute negatively to your life, then next to each write down how you can change this – over time, work your way through the list and you will find that piece by piece, you will feel more positive.
OWN YOUR FIERCE
Often, self-confidence is confused with narcissism – leading many of us to undermine our successes and achievements. No-one wants to be seen as narcissistic, but that doesn’t mean that you should stop being publicly proud of yourself. You are a force of nature and if you’ve done well at work, have personally succeeded in your goals or if you’re simply slaying in that outfit, you are worthy of your own praise – own your fierce!
Self-Love in Action: The next time that you feel proud of yourself, tell someone, brag about it and treat yourself to a well-done gift.
LEARN TO BE PATIENT
In our defense, we live in a digitally-obsessed world where we’re used to having everything we need at our fingertips in a matter of minutes – our environment makes us believe that we don’t have time for patience. But self-love takes time and it’s important
to acknowledge that you won’t be ready to unabashedly wear a crop top overnight, but give it some time and self-love will come to you.
Self-Love in Action: If you’re finding it difficult to be patient, soothe your mind with a few deep breaths – it may sound simple but deep breathing is one of the best forms of relaxation.
START A POSITIVE CONVERSATION
We compare ourselves to others, we don’t accept compliments and we worry about what others think. Talking about ourselves with a razor-sharp tongue has become common practice, but what if we were to change this up? Isn’t it time that we started shining a positive light on ourselves for once?
Self-Love in Action: When you wake up in the morning, go to the mirror and pay yourself a compliment – then make yourself accept it. You will start your day with a smile and it’s all because of you!
REVAMP YOUR ROUTINE
Many of us rely on our routines to get us through the day, but what we don’t notice is that over time these can become stagnant and un-exciting. Self-love requires a change, so what’s the harm in revamping your routine and creating a self-love ritual that makes you feel good?
Self-Love in Action: Try removing something or adding something new into your morning routine. For example, get up 15 minutes earlier and write a list of goals for that day, or instead of grabbing your phone as soon as your eyes open, why not give yourself the luxury of just ‘being’?
DO WHAT HONORS AND RESPECTS YOU
You’ve made plans but that episode of Gilmore Girls is calling you; you’re meant to be going on a date but what you really want is a bath and a facemask, so what do you do? Of course you go along anyway, and hate every second of it. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to stick to our plans through fear of seeming flaky – but if you don’t want to do something, you don’t have to. Sometimes we need to listen more to what our minds are craving.
Self-Love in Action: The next time that someone invites you out and you don’t want to go – just say no. Don’t make excuses, just say no.
PUSH YOUR BOUNDARIES
Self-love is a lot about getting out of your comfort zone – wearing things that you’ve been told not to wear, doing things that you’ve been told you can’t do, speaking up when you’ve been told to be quiet. Piece by piece, you will find that the more you push your boundaries, the more you will be comfortable doing so.
Self-Love in Action: Choose to leave the house with no make-up on at least one day this week, or wear something that you want to wear, or anything else that you wouldn’t usually do – do it!
This article was originally written by me for the Society+ blog, found here.