Romance is in the air, but are you loving the most important person in your life right now? We give so much love to our family, friends, significant others and even strangers, but we have to remember to direct some of that to ourselves. According to Psychology Today, self-love is defined as “a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support one’s physical, psychological and spiritual growth.” Here are seven powerful steps towards self-love:
1.Stay Away from Toxic Situations
Inspirational speaker Alexander Den Heijer once said, “When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” I strongly agree with Heijer because to feel good, you need to surround yourself with good. It won’t be easy, but letting go of toxic friends who constantly criticize you is for the better. It’s okay to leave your significant other who is emotionally abusive and controlling to you.
2. Enjoy Quality Time with Yourself
Nowadays, life is so fast-paced. It’s easy to neglect taking some time to wind down. Spend at least 30 minutes a day for yourself. You can meditate, do something you’re passionate about or catch up on your hobby. Life isn’t just about work; it’s also about living it. Physical and mental health are connected more than you think. Do things that make your body feel good: take that well deserved 30-minute nap after school, go swimming, do some light exercise, have a mini-dance party in your room, have a pillow fight with your sibling.
3. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Social media makes this step especially hard. With the touch of a button, you are bombarded with pictures and tweets of everyone’s seemingly perfect lives and bodies. In reality, nobody is perfect. Do not say “I want a slim body like hers” or “I want to have his muscles.” You can’t be someone else, so be more of who you are. Be a better you. Improvements should be based on yourself and not others. Your only competition is yourself.
4. Forgive Yourself
Forgive yourself as easily as you forgive your friends and family. Don’t beat yourself up for every little mistake. As Hannah Montana once said, “Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody has those days.” Even if you’ve had a few of “those days” in the past week, it’s going to be okay. Acknowledge your mistakes out loud and view them as a learning experience.
5. Accept Love from Others
I cannot stress this step enough. A major key to self-love is being open to all types of love. Accept nice compliments from other people. Accept the awards and certificates that praise your hard work. You should be proud of everything you accomplish. Accept the love that is given to you because you deserve it.
6. Appreciate Yourself
You are your own worst critic. So take a break from that negativity and once a day, appreciate and acknowledge one thing you like about yourself. Appreciate that you are a great listener, appreciate that you have amazing handwriting, appreciate that you give good hugs, appreciate that you work super hard for your club, appreciate yourself.
7. Think Positive
A friend once told me that she wished I would talk about myself like I talk about them. She had a point. Listen to the negative sayings you tell yourself every day. If you wouldn’t say those things to your best friend, why are you saying them to yourself? You have to start the habit of changing your negative thoughts the second you think of them.
Loving yourself is not a birthright. It’s a choice. Once you make that choice to love yourself, you have to keep making that choice every day of your life. Some days it will be hard to do that, but those days will pass and you’ll realize that you are amazing just the way you are.