At the end of the day, we all just want to be loved. Loved by our friends, our family, and loved by yourself. However, most of us struggle to really love ourselves and I feel in order to live your life to the fullest, you need to love yourself and be comfortable in your skin. Easier said than done, right?
For a lot of us, it can be really hard to actually love ourselves day in and day out. It can be hard to accept who we are. We point out our flaws and we are truly our own worst critics, but if we are intentional with our actions each day, we can learn to love ourselves and in result, you will be living your best life. Here are a few ways to learn how to love yourself:
Learn that perfection isn’t real...
Perfect body, perfect life, genius IQ… All of it. Perfection doesn’t exist and when you think it does on social media, it is often masking crippling mental health issues (not all the time, of course). You are never going to be 100% picture perfect, in the way that you want to see yourself. But the good news is: you already are perfect, in your imperfection. We can be hard on ourselves sometimes, and that is natural, but you need to give yourself a break. No one is perfect, and by expecting yourself to be, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Set boundaries for yourself...
Sometimes practicing self-love isn’t just about speaking kindly to ourselves when we are feeling certain emotions. It can also be about taking care of ourselves when others are around. Set boundaries. Make time for yourself. It is okay to tell people “no” if you think that you need to. Love yourself enough to make the right decision for you and not for anyone else. Self love is a continuous action, a continuous process, a continuous choice. You should constantly be investing in yourself by working on doing things that promote self-love.
Look at how you care for others...
Take a good look at how you care for others. What do you do to make them feel special? What about when they are having a bad day? Take what you do for others and apply it to yourself. Caring for yourself like you do others sounds simple, but many of us simply don’t do this because we think we are being selfish or that our own needs are not important. They are. It is not selfish to care about yourself. Compassion for yourself means showing concern for your own feelings as well as for others. Treat yourself the way you would treat your children or your best friend - with gentleness, concern, and care.
Break out of your comfort zone...
When you have a fear, it is very real and it’s hard to break through that, but when you break out of your comfort zone, the world opens up and becomes your oyster. Breaking through fears helps so much with confidence, happiness, and determination. When you aren’t afraid anymore, you can live life more fully, which is what most of us aim for each day. Take a good look at your fears and find out how to break through that comfort zone.
Get enough sleep...
Sleep is SO important, and often so overlooked in this day and age. I often find that when I’m super busy and stressed out that my sleep cycle takes the major hit. When you have so many things on your plate, it can be easy to justify late nights and early mornings just so that you can squeeze everything in. Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day, and cutting out a lazy morning in bed is the only option. But, when sacrificing your sleep becomes the norm, your mental and physical health will be negatively affected.
Getting enough sleep is the foundation of all forms of health, both physical and mental. In addition to getting enough sleep, make sure that you focus on the quality of your sleep. Creating a bedtime routine is a good first step towards improving the quantity and quality of your sleep and it will truly make you feel refreshed and ready to take on the day.
Find your tribe...
One quote that always sticks in my mind is: “you are who you are around.” Finding your tribe is essential. This tribe should be like minded and should help you grow and thrive, instead of holding you back. Let’s be honest, though, as we age, it’s a lot harder to find and make friends. How do you even begin? If you are a mom, you can start with your kids sports teams, school, or even on mom groups on Facebook.
If you love working out, find a gym that welcomes people and focuses on community, such as CrossFit Solid Orange which is Nashville’s best reviewed CrossFit gym. They pride themselves on creating a fun, exciting atmosphere with friendship and healthy competitiveness, challenges, progress, and growth, helping you to become a version 2.0 of yourself! Their tight-knit community is welcoming to all - no matter your fitness level or goal(s) and that makes it an amazing place to go if you are looking for a tribe to motivate you in life - and in your workouts!
Learning how to truly love yourself is not the easiest thing in the world, and it looks different to each and every one of us, but to love and accept yourself for who you are is the first step to living life to the fullest and truly being happy.
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