That’s the thing about falling in love: you might not realise it, but it starts with you falling in love with yourself first. Yes, we’re talking about self love.
After all, how can someone else ever love you if you don’t love yourself? Moreover, you have to spend your life with yourself, woman. How can you possibly go on if you don’t even love yourself?
Just like any other love story, the one between you and yourself would have its fair share of ups and downs too–and sometimes you might find it difficult to love yourself. But a lifelong relationship deserves unconditional love, right?
So, here’s how you can love yourself, no matter what:
1. Do away with the self-criticism
“I don’t like how I look”, “I shouldn’t have eaten so much”, “I look horrible in that dress”.
Ladies, when are we ever going to stop criticising ourselves and start accepting ourselves the way we are. The first step towards unconditional self-love is to do away with the self-hate.
So, replace the negative self-talk with positive affirmations like, “I love those curves”, “That ice cream was delicious and I deserved that treat, but I will surely exercise and burn it off tomorrow.” Better yet, start the day by looking at yourself in the mirror and complimenting yourself.
2. Take care of your body
Exercising and eating healthy won’t just give you a fit body, it can even give you a sound mind. Y’all know how exercise promotes the release of the endorphins (happy hormones) in your body and decreases cortisol (stress hormone), right?
Well, use this knowledge to your advantage and exercise regularly to maintain a happy state of mind, which’ll make you feel good about yourself—even in the worst of the situations, trust us.
As for eating well, a balanced meal can ensure a healthy balance of nutrition and hormones in your body, avoiding mood swings or crankiness–further keeping your mood good through the day.
3. Counter your fear
If you do not feel confident in a certain dress, stand in front of the mirror, stare into your eyes, and tell yourself that you’re going to rock it. And once you do step out wearing it, your fears will vanish and you’ll be proud of yourself for overcoming your fear and reluctance.
The same mirror theory can work to counter any mental or emotional obstacle that you think you cannot overcome. Have that little pep talk and tell yourself that you CAN do it. And try. Even if you fail, you’d have more respect for yourself for at least trying something new and bold, right?
4. Forgive yourself
Ladies, here’s a reminder for y’all: We’re all human beings, completely capable of making mistakes and doing some very selfish things.
You’re not alone in this. But you can definitely feel like you are if you continue to punish yourself for your humanly misgivings and are always too harsh on yourself.
You’re God’s creation too and deserve the same gentleness and kindness that you offer to others. So, first, forgive yourself for whatever wrong you think you’ve done, and be gentle when dealing or talking to yourself, okay?
5. Surround yourself with positive people
Pleasing people has got to stop if you want to love yourself—no matter what. Choose your friends wisely and surround yourself only with those people, who motivate you, make you feel happy and light, and have a positive influence on you.
Distance yourself from people who demand too much of your time and energy, only to offer toxicity and thanklessness in return.
6. Indulge in activities that spark joy
Follow your passion, take it up as a hobby, or your profession. Or simply stick to an activity that you really enjoy doing. Art, craft, swimming, dancing, reading—do whatever makes you happier to feel more fulfilled and more in love with yourself.
7. Stand up for yourself
It’s NOT okay for someone to illtreat you and walk away freely. You’ve got to set your standards high and make sure you maintain them by taking a stand for yourself every time anyone tries to undermine, criticise, or illtreat you—all this for the sake of your self-esteem.