Do you tend to put your family and kids before yourself? Maybe you even put your friends’ needs before your own? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but you should definitely start showing yourself some love this year.
Self-love. That’s a word you have probably heard a million times in recent years. But what does it mean to love yourself? In my experience, loving yourself means that you have compassion, tenderness and respect yourself. You accept that you will never be perfect and stop striving for it.
Even though no one is perfect, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t love yourself. You absolutely should. For many years, I was unable to accept that I couldn’t do everything perfectly. I was unable to respect myself if I made mistakes and couldn’t truly love myself because of past mistakes.
I think the inner child in us is what is driving us most of the time. That inner child wants to be loved and believes that in order to be loved we have to be perfect and never make any mistakes.
Learning to accept your imperfect features, that you make mistakes and that no one is perfect, will help you towards your way of loving yourself more.
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Let’s look into how you can start loving your more in 2020
I always advise starting with baby steps. Learning to love yourself takes practice and persistence. It’s taken practice and persistence to put yourself down for years as well as putting yourself in a negative light.
You will need to practice how to love yourself again, and that will take time.
List all the things you love about yourself
This one can be difficult. It’s like telling a prospective boss at a job interview what your strengths are, and you come up absolutely blank. Because the truth is, we tend to not really appreciate our strengths enough. We mainly focus on our weaknesses and what we can do better.
What you should do is list down all your strengths and quirks you like about your personality. Let’s say you have an amazing way with animals or babies. Put that on your list. It’s definitely a strength, even though it might not seem like a big deal.
If you really don’t know what to put down on that piece of paper, I advise you to ask your closest friends what they like about you. It might even surprise you what good traits they love about you.
Write down your flaws
Ok, here me out. I know this might seem a little funny to do in an article about self-love, but there is a reason for it. The whole point of learning to love yourself is learning to embrace everything that is you. This includes both your strengths and your weaknesses/flaws.
As mentioned above, we have to accept and realize that no one is perfect. Including ourselves. Which is why we should stop striving to be perfect.
You probably have a great many people in your life, that you love – family members and friends for instance. None of them, however, are perfect either. They all have flaws too, just like you.
Maybe you have even thought to yourself, that you really hate this particular trait in one of your friends. Despite the fact that you still love them.
The point of this article is to get to that point. You are able to love yourself, flaws and everything. Because you still hang around and spend time with your friends, right? Even though there might be a thing that annoys you from time to time.
Why wouldn’t your friends and family be able to love you, despite your flaws?
When you are writing down these flaws, you might experience different negative emotions in yourself, and that’s ok. But try to not judge yourself and let go of these emotions, once you have everything written down.
Create self-care routines
As I have written in other articles, it’s absolutely ok to take some time to make yourself feel good. Because you won’t be able to take care of others if you are not feeling well/good. You might be able to do it for a while, but if you don’t take care of yourself, it will most likely result in a burnout.
Feel good every day. Do whatever you can to take care of yourself. For me, that means having a relaxing nighttime routine in which I unwind and prepare for a good night’s sleep. It also means having a morning routine to start the day right. I practice all sorts of different self-care routines during the day even.
This year I am also focusing on dressing myself better. I have noticed, that if I dress in a lazy way, I don’t really feel very confident about myself at all. I even feel lazy. Taking that extra time and effort to put on some nice close, makes me feel very good.
The point of dressing to make yourself feel good, is that you can feel good from the outside in. But you can also feel good from the inside out if that makes any sense?
All though, I do have a uniform I wear to work every day. So, I can’t really do much about that. However, when I have time off and go for dinner/lunch, etc., I dress how I want to feel, and I put some effort into it.
Being able to forgive yourself for your flaws and mistakes you have made in the past, is the ultimate goal of self-love. It’s something that is extremely hard to accomplish. I should know, I have been there.
One way to start doing this is to stop holding yourself to extremely high expectations. Stop expecting that everything in your home, and with your kids should be absolutely perfect. Let yourself know that it’s ok to make mistakes. Even when it comes to your kids.
If you feel really bad about something and you can’t seem to forgive yourself, you can try talking to your family about it. Within reason of course. Don’t let your kids in on anything they don’t need to know. I’m just saying.
But tell them how you feel about the situation and why you are not able to forgive yourself. You might be surprised by what your family feels about the same situation. It might be completely different from what you are feeling.
Again, it’s all about us being humans. Tell yourself that it’s ok to be imperfect and have flaws. Everyone does. Including you and your partner.
Stop comparing yourself to other people
This goes right along with everything else so far, don’t you think? Please, do not fall into the comparison trap, though I know how extremely hard it can be to avoid it.
I’m very guilty of this myself sometimes. Sometimes I can look at someone else’s YouTube channel or Instagram and think to myself that this girl has really got everything together. That’s how I want my life to be.
We are all on our own path in life and no two people are the same. I have said this a few times in the past. We live in this world in which society expects you to be perfect.
Everything that is posted on Instagram might look like the perfect moment, but of course, we know that there is a story behind every edited picture.
We know that they might have their own struggles and imperfections/flaws. We know this, and yet we still find it difficult to stop comparing ourselves to others.
Start using positive affirmations
Otherwise known as power mantras. Use these to enhance your daily life. It’s a phrase that will declare how absolutely amazing and beautiful you are as a human being. An example of a power mantra could be:
“I am radiant, I am powerful, I am passion. I am worthy, I am love, I am light. I am magical, I am incredible, and I am wildly beautiful!”
You can write or say whatever you want. You just need to use a mantra that makes you feel powerful and loved. A mantra that will make you feel like you are on top of the world. Read this powerful mantra to yourself every day.
Keep a gratitude and self-love journal
Keep a journal where you write down things you are grateful for every day. It could be really simple things. Like simply having a roof over your head and food in your fridge.
Also, write down things you love about yourself. Keep reminding yourself, why you are worthy of being loved.
I found that because I promised myself to do this every day, I started coming up with different and new ideas to be grateful for, new to really love about myself, etc.
Keeping a journal and writing in this every day, pushes you to be more creative about your writing. It pushes you to open your mind and think about what else you are grateful for. It pushes you to really reflect on yourself and your life.
It challenges you to make you appreciate even the little things when everything around you seems to be going wrong. There will always be something you can be grateful for.
Set healthy boundaries
We are not very good at setting boundaries for ourselves, are we? However, I truly believe that having boundaries will nourish your spirit, energy, mental and emotional wellbeing, as well as your right to privacy and space.
You have to remind yourself that you are in no way obligated to take on other people’s problems, viewpoints, opinions, etc. Nor are you obligated to help them in any way that can take away your own quality of life.
Healthy boundaries could be:
- Saying no to something that doesn’t feel right with you, even if it might upset someone else.
- Setting aside enough time for you to work on your own hobbies, do self-care, etc.
- Remind yourself that you can’t be everything to everyone – this includes your own kids.
It’s never too late to start loving yourself more. However, it will take practice to learn self-love, self-worth, self-confidence, and forgiveness towards yourself.
You will no doubt mess up at some point and make a mistake. This is where you can learn to accept yourself fully, flaws and mistakes and all, and move on from this.
Forgive and love yourself. See the world through eyes of kindness. Even if you don’t receive it back. Allow yourself to feel worthy and confident. Eventually, it will become a habit of your everyday life.
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