Tips For Loving Yourself More Series Part 1
Love yourself, self-care, body positive, be you girl…these are some pretty trendy words going around lately and as much as they have all the right intentions they don’t really pack the punch.
We already know how important it is to love yourself, heck we have been trying to figure that out most of our lives.
We see it all over the internet, but in our day to day lives how many of us can actually go through an entire day without thinking something negative about ourselves.
If you’re anything like us then your day really looks like this:
‘none of the clothes I own look good on me’
‘I just need to lose ten pounds and then I can wear anything and look cute.’
‘I really should workout today, I really should get my shit together, will I ever break this cycle.’
‘okay, get it together, think positive, think happy, love yourself.’
‘Why is this so hard, why can’t I just love myself. I don’t hate myself, nothing is working.’
‘that girl can love herself because she’s skinny and pretty.’
‘I am never going to get there.’
“Okay, tomorrow I will start getting it together. I’ll start fresh in the morning.’
Let’s be honest if loving yourself was as easy as creating a great morning routine, reading more, going to the spa, drinking more water, making it to the gym three times a week we’d all be able to be our own best friends.
But it’s not.
Loving yourself is a journey. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but the big question is where do we start? How do we know if we are on the right path? What if what you’re doing isn’t working?
That’s why we are sharing ways you can love yourself more in this series. These are steps to help start your self-love journey off with the right mindset, with a healthy direction, and a place to come back to every time you feel lost or stuck.
Everyone’s journey looks different, but everyone’s journey starts within.
1.) Find yourself, first.
From our own experience, we’ve learned that you can’t start a journey to love yourself if you don’t even know who you are yet. Think about it…if you aren’t sure what your purpose is or what you’re passionate about or even what you love and enjoy doing then you don’t really have anything to love. You need answers. You need some soul searchin’ and, yes, this is a whole other journey in and of itself, but this journey needs to come first…that part is essential.
When you take the time to figure out who you are and what you love then you will have pieces of yourself that you have this love and appreciation for.
This is where you’ll find the moments where you find yourself thinking, “I love trying new things and I love that I love that.” This journey, these moments, are where you learn to notice all the little things you love about yourself.
2.) Learn to read others & understand the way the world works.
There’s this quote from Emma Watson,
“I don’t want other people to decide who I am. I want to decide that for myself.”
And we believe what Emma Watson is really trying to say is that it isn’t so much about what people are saying about you that is allowing others to define you, but more about believing the words that others tell you.
People’s words are powerful, sometimes even manipulating. People can influence you and if you believe the words of others you can lose yourself.
The way to uncover your true inner self, your own potential, your inner beauty is by doing your best to be aware of others and doing your best to not let others’ opinions and judgments be a way of measuring your worth.
Educate yourself on the nature and behaviors of others and you will be less impacted by their negativity; you can learn when and how to shield yourself. Understanding the way the world works will open your eyes, see the light to break through negative habits. Once you can learn that you are not alone in many issues you face and learn how to break through thoughts such as, “I’m the only one” and “it’s me, no one else struggles like I do, something is wrong with me” you will be able to see yourself in a new light. A lot of problems you believe you face alone or are only you or are your fault are in reality the way society is influencing you.
When you begin to learn and find clarity in the way others and the world work, you can understand what you are accountable for and how to stop blaming yourself for the harsh standards and negative influence you are not responsible for, but a victim of. A victim until now. Once you educate yourself you can learn to recognize what is true to you, distinguish between good and bad intentions, and most importantly you can believe in yourself again without letting the negative impressions of others steal your worth away.
3.) Positive Body Image.
Love your body, body confidence, positive body image are DEFINITELY the latest buzzing trend, but we’re going to get real honest here…the influencers out there aren’t really “influencing” a healthy way to love and appreciate your body. The internet makes it easy to jump to conclusions. We will admit it right here, right now, that we are guilty of thinking loving our body is as simple as saying we are going to start doing it and tomorrow when we wake up we will start loving our bodies because we said so. We all know it is hard work to love and appreciate your body ESPECIALLY when you are unhappy being in your own skin right now.
BUT, what is the “right” and “healthy” way to make that change? Does it even exist?
To build a positive body image you first need to learn the steps to change the negative and UNTRUE thoughts running through your head. While we do recommend seeing a professional to tailor steps specifically to you, you can read some tips we found most helpful in an upcoming post.
Body Image Exercise
For now, we will leave you with this tip: take a notepad or your phone and go into a public place (i.e. a coffee shop, a mall) look at everyone in the area. Start writing down everything you notice about their body(ies). What color is their skin, what shape, how is their hair, their eyes, their nose, their feet, their knees, their elbows. Observe with as much detail as you can.
Then answer these three questions:
1. Do any of these people look exactly the same?
2. Think about what you believe the perfect version of yourself should look like, do any of these people match exactly to the ideal description in my head?
3. Put yourself in each person that walks by shoes, ask yourself if I was them would I be happy in my body? What would I love or not love about myself if I were in their skin? Do this for as many people as you can.
Answering these questions has two main purposes. One, to get you out of your own head. Realize that other people have insecurities too and that loud negative voice in your head is silent in the real world…no one else can hear that voice, her negativity can be suffocated by the immensity of the world. Secondly, this exercise helps you to see how everyone has a body different from everyone else in this world. You walk around with this insecurity of your body thinking there is a huge spotlight on you, your flaws, your imperfections when in reality when you go out in public are you really looking at others and their bodies? Do you scrutinize every inch with as much judgment as you do your own? No, you don’t and others are not doing the same to you.
These are just a couple of tips out of many to help you find peace with your body. Know that you can learn to love your body, you are no exception to that.
4.) Kitchen Table Friends.
We had first heard of this concept from Jen Hatmaker and then we heard it again from a friend, Hope Taylor. Kitchen Table Friends is what is known as “your ride or die squad,” they are your closest confidants. A small group of friends that you can turn to when you need it most, people you can be undeniably yourself with and still feel loved. This small group of your closest friends are the ones you can lean on.
When you have people in your corner that are on your side through life, you will begin to develop this confidence in yourself. Your confidence shouldn’t be determined by others, but when you have this strong foundation of Kitchen Table Friends who build you up, your sense of worth, that feeling that you are loved is incomparable to fighting every battle on your own.
Begin to open your table to others, learn what they can bring to the table for you. You won’t be able to turn to everyone at your table for everything. Some can provide help in some areas better than others. Learn what their strengths are. Then love on these friends well.
On this journey to finding your own way to build that love for yourself, sometimes having the right tools or the right people to support and encourage you can make hard times a little easier.
We hope that these tips provide you with the clarity and guidance you need to realize your own potential and finally reach that place of peace within your own skin you’ve been searching for.
Always remember you are not alone in this journey and if you are looking for women who are on their own paths to discovering self-love, our community of Mint Sweater Girls are here to encourage, share, and support.
Finally, if you are looking for more tips to start loving yourself more you can read part 2 of our series coming soon.