Last night, while watching Anne Hathway’s famous monologue in The Princess Diaries for the millionth time, something about her speech caught my attention. I thought to myself, it is only natural for us to give so much importance to the word “I.” How can you live your life to the fullest if you don’t love and cherish yourself?
When was the last time you stood in front of a mirror and did not judge yourself? Not merely your scars, imperfections, and marks, but also where you are at this point in your life. Sometimes, it’s difficult to keep ourselves from feeling bitter about life decisions, regrets, and heartbreaks. Learning to conquer your demons and simply accepting these defining moments in your life is the first step towards self-love.
What is Holding You Back From Self-Love?
Many of us struggle with our self-image and confidence. Maybe there are days when you wake up in the morning, hoping that you would miraculously lose five pounds. Maybe you are fed up with your job and are in desperate need of a promotion. Perhaps, you always feel like your mistakes and weaknesses are latching on to you like parasites.
Somewhere between these negative emotions and the constant obsession with being perfect at everything in life, we forget about the true essence of self-love. It is not about perfection, but about accepting yourself for who you truly are.
What Does Self-Love Truly Mean?
Self-love is the best gift you can ever give to yourself. It is about knowing and living your truth. Once you accept the truth, it holds your hand and guides you towards a beautiful and healthy relationship with yourself. It helps you understand who you truly are at the core of your being. The art of self-love helps you become your own best friend.
Self-love is the secret behind succeeding in life and becoming confident in your choices. Self-love is not to be confused with selfishness. Often we do not realize it, but it is okay to put yourself first. It is okay to prioritize your needs and desires.
1. Invest time in yourself
You deserve to cut yourself some slack! Take some time out for yourself. Finish that TV series you left in the middle and read the forgotten novel from your childhood. Commit to the hobbies which will help you grow and uplift you.
You could take a long walk to escape from everything and then draw yourself a much-needed warm bath. Maybe even take yourself out for a fancy dinner. This way, you will turn the love that you would give to another person towards yourself. Even these small steps will help you feel special and contended.
2. Embrace your body
You must have heard the phrase, ‘When you look good, you feel good.’ However, looking good should not necessarily mean fitting into the size zero forever 21 dress you saw someone wear. Every scar, mark, blemish, stretch mark, and wrinkle on your body tells a story, and the magic begins the second you learn to own this story.
Focus on a healthy body that makes you feel good and work for it instead of being fixated on the weighing scale. So the next time you see the usual edited photograph of a cover girl, leave the magazine and look at yourself in the mirror.
3. Express yourself freely
We all have days when it can feel like the world has turned into a masquerade party, and you must hide behind a mask to make it through. These pent up emotions need to leave your body for you to feel free. Everyone has their own way of expressing feelings. Maybe you pen down your thoughts in the form of poetry, or maybe your mood is reflected in the stroke of your paintbrush. To embrace your feelings, you could dance your heart out, sing at the top of your lungs, or even cook your favorite food.
4. Chase the good vibes
Think back at the moment in your life when you felt truly content and stress-free. Pin this as a kodak moment in your memory. Visit this part of yourself whenever you feel down and beaten. We are stronger than we realize, and sometimes it just takes a gratifying memory to help us feel alive again.
The people around you play an important role in how you feel about yourself. Surround yourself with souls who uplift you and push you towards becoming a better version of yourself. Take a moment to tell your loved ones how much you appreciate their presence in your life. A good relationship with others will, in turn, help you have a healthy relationship with your mind and body.
5. Work towards a better tomorrow
No matter how bad things have been until now, tell yourself that it is all uphill from here. There is no point in looking back at things that are done. Always remember that the future is in your hands. Think about the person that you strive to be and the life that you want to build for yourself.
Jot down everything that will help you find the excitement and zeal that you miss. Do you want to save up for that trip to Venice? Do you want to want to master a new hobby? Is it better health that you dream about? Then, this is the time to start working for it.
Your inner world forms the basis for your outer world. We often put so much thought into how we can make others feel loved and important that it can be easy to forget about ourselves. But, accepting our mind, body, and life stories is the only way to move forward in life. When you are kind to yourself, you learn to open the doors to success, bliss and better mental health. Is it really possible to love ourselves 100%? You will never really know until you give it all you have got!