It’s no easy feat to love oneself in a world full of people, magazines, and television shows telling you that in order to be socially acceptable you need to acquire certain traits or characteristics. Whether it’s outer appearance, personality, socioeconomic standing, education, sexual preference, health, or material possessions, there is always some standard that we need to achieve or live up to. It creates this false belief that any person who can’t meet these expectations is somehow lesser because of it.
Again: that belief is false.
A lifetime of obstacles and insecurities are forced upon any person who can’t or won’t meet these expectations. It can become a constant battle to love oneself, requiring determined consciousness and vigilance. Add on a mental illness such as depression or anxiety or a mood disorder and loving oneself can seem near impossible. But here’s the thing: self-love, ironically enough, is key in treating a mental illness. So for everyone out there who can’t seem to get out of bed in the morning, check out a few ways to do what may seem unfathomable at times: loving yourself.
via: Instagram | Pollynor
Fuck what other people think.
This is the most difficult step to loving yourself, but it’s also the most necessary. As humans, we are practically hardwired to care what people think because we want to be liked and we want to be included.
Well, pardon my French, but fuck that.
You are a unique and amazing individual, and there is no requirement for you to be liked and accepted by everyone around you. In fact, if you are, you’re probably not being yourself--and that is an exhausting charade to uphold. The most important person in your life is you, so focus your efforts on liking yourself. It’s okay if you don’t look like a supermodel, it’s okay if you have a mental illness, it’s okay if you don’t have the perfect job. You are good just the way you are, and don’t let other people convince you otherwise.
Check out some self-love social media accounts.
Social media can definitely add flame to the fires of insecurity and self-hate, but there are some accounts and pages that do just the opposite. Body positive and self-love activists frequently use their social media presence to promote healthy body image, self-love tips, and inspiration for feeling good about yourself. Check out these amazing queens on Instagram for a little faith in humanity and yourself restored:
Be kind to yourself.
Give yourself a break--you deserve it! Instead of bashing yourself for eating that extra donut or for not being able to get out of bed the whole day, be kind to yourself. If a friend was feeling down, would you invest all your energy in making them feel worse? Hell no! So why do it to yourself? Take a long bubble bath with a pint of ice cream. Watch your favorite movie or listen to your favorite artist. Drink water, exfoliate your skin, eat your favorite meal. Whatever makes you feel happy and calm and content, go and do it! You’re much more likely to start loving yourself when you are kind to yourself.
Make a list of things that you like about yourself.
Nothing clears away confusion and self-doubt quite like figuring it out on the page in front of you. While you are lying in your bed, find a pen and paper or use the notes app on your phone to start a list of the aspects about yourself that you like. Are you a skilled grilled-cheese maker? Can you play the guitar like Jimi Hendrix? Is your ass sculpted by the gods themselves? Have you read more books than a librarian? Can you make even the sourest patch giggle? Whether you want to admit it or not, there is almost certainly something about yourself that you like--maybe even love! Start writing them down, and soon enough there will be more things on that page than you previously thought. Soak up all that self-love--and remember that even when you don’t want to look at yourself in the mirror, there are still parts of yourself worth fighting for.
Call a loved one.
If you need a reminder of why you should love yourself, there’s no one better to help remind you than someone who already loves you for who you are. Maybe it’s one of your parents or your best friend or your partner--whoever it is, reach out to them. They are there to support and love you, especially when you are struggling. Let them.
Light some candles, play some mood music, and go to town on yourself. Nothing makes a person feel better quite like an orgasm. Not only will you literally be practicing self-love and expressing appreciation for how hot and sexy you are, but you will physically feel better after some special alone time. So do yourself a favor and go fuck yourself!