Loving ourselves can be easier said than done. One of the hardest decisions in life is to love and accept yourself for who you are. For years, I have dealt with a negative body image, but in the past few years I have learned to accept myself for who I am. I admit some days it is a struggle to maintain a positive mindset, after all I am human. But I have finally realized that loving myself can only have a positive impact on my life. So why should you wait?
I avoid comparison
I know it is easier said than done, but comparing someone else’s life to your own can make you feel even worse about yourself. It’s hard to scroll through Instagram and see a high school acquaintance going on extravagant vacations, but I try to remember everyone usually only posts the positive aspects of his or her life on social media and hardly ever the bad. It’s taken me a few years to realize that my life is going at my own pace and no one else’s. No one’s life is picture perfect!
I make time for myself
Being in college, I hardly have any time to myself. But when I do have time to myself, I make sure to make the best of it. Whether it be reading a poetry book (I am currently reading The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur— I highly recommend it!) or watching beauty and fashion videos on YouTube, I make sure to block out time during a busy day in order to unwind. Without me time, I wouldn’t be comfortable with myself. Treat yourself like you would your best friend. As Kaur said in her first book Milk and Honey “How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.”
I read self-help books
This may be silly, but self-help books really do help me have a better mindset. I recommend going to Barnes and Noble and browsing the self-help section. A lot of these books also have pages for journal entries, so you can track your progress to having a better mentality about yourself. I am currently reading Present Not Perfect by Aimee Chase. This book is filled with quotes and watercolor pictures as well as space to put all of your thoughts into words.
I eat healthy when I can
As a college student, it is tempting to skip breakfast, eat Ramen for lunch and McDonald’s for dinner, but eating healthy meals makes me less sluggish throughout the day. I’ve even opted potato chips for pita chips and hummus—a more filling and healthy alternative. Treating my body better by eating less junk has definitely put me in a better mood than when I ate junk before. My body will thank me for it later. That being said, there are days where it’s okay to eat a sweet craving you have. Your body deserves it!
I focus on the present, not the past or future
In today’s society, it is very easy to focus on a mistake you made in the past or how your future is going to turn out. I’ve learned the past few years to live in the moment and to say yes to more things. This mentality has helped me to not waste my years worrying about what could have happened. We only have one life to live, so why waste it?
I surround myself with positive influences
All of my friends are my friends because I genuinely want to be around them. They inspire me to be a better woman, friend and student. They motivate me to be the best version of myself. They’re a main reason why I am comfortable in my own skin. That being said, if there is anyone toxic in your life, cut them out immediately. Negative influences will only hold you back and can cause you to doubt yourself. If you find people that inspire you to be the best version of yourself, you will love the person you are becoming.