There are days when you look in the mirror and you’re like, “No, this is not it.” Whether it’s your face, or your stomach or your thighs, it should be it. Sometimes we feel pressured to look a certain way, and it is understandable but you should not let it define you.
Do you know what your body is doing for you? Your heart is pumping blood to every part, your legs get you from one place to another, your hands lift stuff and so on. I don’t think you want me to get into the whole job our body does. So how about for a moment you stop obsessing about how your body isn’t working out for you and you love it?
If you tell your body you love it, it will automatically improve the way you want it to. Growth needs love.
Many at times, we find ourselves going beyond our limits just to make someone else comfortable. Even if it makes us depressed or even though we are not okay with it.
Today, I am here to let you know that you are allowed to set your own boundaries; say no, turn down the social appointment, refuse to wear the clothes that will make you “fit” in. Whatever it is that doesn’t resonate with your peace of mind is not within your range and should go.
I am not telling you to stay in your comfort zone. No. Do what makes your spirit grow. Happy healing.
All mental health issues, even though they start off with different reasons, end up having one thing in common and that is: self love. You need to love yourself in order to appreciate yourself enough.
For example, it can be small milestones. Give yourself credit for getting through one day of school, finishing a weekly diet, you got through work without getting a panic attack, that’s all great. Cheer yourself on. Remember, you’re your number one support system so be kind to yourself.
In my earlier posts, I once mentioned “comparison will kill you.” And that is still what I stand by, but what if it was positive comparison? What if you compared yourself to your younger self? The self that let in toxic people? The self that put up with abuse? The self that wallowed in self pity? If you look within yourself right now, have you grown? Have you stopped putting up with toxic relationships? How far have you come with turning down negativity?
If it’s a long way, then kudos! When you compare yourself with you, you grow within yourself.
I once had friends that made me feel like I was too much. Too focused or too talented and that made me feel like I had to tone it down. I felt like I had to not take interest in some of the things that I liked because of them so I would not look “too serious. “
That got me really unhappy and I ended up having a slight hatred towards them but after some thinking, I realized that I had to learn to be on my own. I didn’t need friends that were going to make me feel wrong for being myself. If no one else was going to appreciate me, I was going to learn to be comfortable on my own.
And even though some days it gets really lonely, I learnt not to make myself smaller for other people. That is something no one can take away from me.
So today, our goal is to learn to make friends that celebrate us just as we celebrate them. We learn to make friends that will accept us for who we are. Never ever minimize yourself just to fit in. You’re worth it.
Beginnings are always hard, my love. Whether you are starting a new year of school, decided to switch your job, have moved to a new town, or ended or began a relationship, the first days, weeks, or even months are going to be hard. But that is completely okay. It doesn’t mean that you are doing the wrong thing. Your life is changing, maybe even drastically changing, of course you will need some time to get used to it. Do not judge yourself or the situation based on how overwhelmed, stressed, lonely or sad you may feel in the beginning. Give it time. Eventually you will adjust and you will feel that you made the right decision. Do not give up yet – hang in there, for you might not be far from happiness.
When it gets too hard, please remember that there are people who love you and will support you through anything. You don’t have to do this alone. Sometimes our thoughts convince us that we are on our own and that nobody in our lives cares, but the reality is there are people out there that care.
Some time last summer, a friend of mine got an anxiety attack so bad that she thought, “Hey, this is it. Time to go.” And she felt like her mind was made up. Just as she was about to write her suicide note, she says I called her. She was crying so hard and in all due honesty, I didn’t know what to say but I was just there for her. When she was calm enough, she thanked me and I told her she wasn’t alone. However tough it may seem, there’s someone you can always talk to.
Showing up for your friends is really important. I know it can be draining. Honestly having a person with anxiety or depression in your life can be draining as you never really know what to tell them and even their negative vibe is also depressing. But do not give up on them, because if you do, what if everyone else has? Be it a family member or friend, tell them you’ve got their back and that you love them.
If you’re suffering from a mental health issue, it’s key to always remember that you have people out there that love you. I know it gets lonely. Sometimes there’s no one around you that can understand the pain that you are going through, you feel like you can’t even explain it to them as they won’t get it. Sometimes you may push away the few people around you because you feel you are depressing them with your issues but hey! By the time they offered to be there, they know what they signed up for. Appreciate the little the people around you do for you and also be kind to yourself. If you’re down, take a break from your school, your work, your gym, your chores and breathe in and get yourself together. It will be worth it.
A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. So a journey to a healthier mind starts with one healthy act. Show up for both yourself and your friends.
As discussed in my last post, I made a list with a couple of songs to give you a boost on your self love journey. It’s both a fun and therapeutic way of getting there. I haven’t exhausted the options. Just a couple to get us started.
To You, With Love;
Love Myself by Olivia O’Brien
Doubt by Mary J. Blige
Brand New Me by Alicia Keys
Brave by Sara Bareilles
Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield
I Love Myself by Kendrick Lamar
Beautiful by Christina Aguleria
Love Myself by Hailee Steinfield
A Head Full of Dreams by Coldplay
Love is All by the Man on Earth
A Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay
Beautiful by India Arie
Worth It by Fifth Harmony
Flawless (remix) by Beyonce featuring Nicki Minaj
Praying by Kesha
Love Yourself by Mary J. Blige
I by Kendrick Lamar
I’m a big deal by Christopher Martin
Feeling Good by Nina Simone
Video by India Arie
Who You Are by Jessie J
Gold by Britt Nicole
Stronger by Kelly Clarkson
To compliment this list, I made a Spotify playlist. Do check it out if you like and make any more suggestions. This is my personal self love boost list and I hope you find something you like from it.
There are couple of popular artists such as Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Billie Eilish, Stevie Wonder, Christopher Martin, Tatiana Manaios and many others.
Get a favorite track and roll with it. I know sometimes we have had moments where we listen to a song and it brings up memories of a person we once knew or still do, but how about you listen this time and your soul and heart burst out with love for yourself? It sounds like a pretty good idea to me so on this self love journey, try that. I hope it works!
“And if I asked you to name all the things that you love, how long would you take to say your name?”
I don’t know about you but I’ve had days where I have woken up, and looked in the mirror and not liked what I see.
I’ve had days when I sat in my room obsessing over the fact that I didn’t look a certain type of way and all I can say is it is not a great feeling.
One of the reasons I actually wrote this post was because of a tweet I read. It spoke to me.
Self love comes with knowing the real you. You cannot love something or someone you do not know so in the same way, get to know yourself. That way, you’ll be able to love yourself .
Exploring who you are is no easy feat. Honestly! But I am here to help you figure it out.
First I want to give you some things to remember. As you progress in this journey of life, you need to have a strong mindset.
Self love has nothing to do with others. Respect yourself and exhibit some sort of self-esteem. Knowing that no matter what cruel things the world may throw your way, you are a unique individual with complexity that needs not to be understood. We are our own biggest critic but don’t critique yourself into depression. We all have depressive moments often in our lives, make sure to love your self when it seems as if nothing else in the world has love to give.
Make yourself a priority. Be kind to others but if something isn’t kind to your soul, don’t engage in it.
Remember you are stuck with yourself forever. Most people and things that we have in our lives are temporary and they are just passing by.
You are enough. Have always been and you will always be. One of the positive affirmations I tell myself when I feel low or not good enough. Short as it may seem, it goes a long way in making you feel worthy.
In order to love yourself, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you. Embrace your past and the lessons it taught you. That way you make peace with it and it can’t make you feel worse.
So some of the ways you can start your self love journey are right here and they don’t cost a penny.
Get enough rest. Sleep, take power naps or whatever gets your body some rest. That way, you get up feeling better and ready to tackle your challenges.
Exercise and drink a lot of water. The body is ours to take care of and if we don’t keep it in good shape and a healthy state, we definitely end up feeling worse about ourselves.
Keep a journal. I know some people do not like writing that much but one thing about keeping a journal is that it is at your own pace. You don’t need to write in it everyday and you get to add whatever you feel like. If you’re wondering what to write in it, try writing what you love about yourself or the good things in your life, your dreams and aspirations, your to do list or any random stuff you see when you go out in the world. When you regularly do that, trust me you’ll be able to get stuff off your mind and in to your trusty journal.
Make a list of positive affirmations and read it everyday. Even better, you could record it and listen to it whenever you feel low. If you aren’t your number one support system, then other people can not be able to support you that well. (refer to the above image for some examples.)
Know what you want and don’t settle for less. Sometimes we take what’s on the table when we don’t have many options but when you are in control, never ever let yourself get half things. It’s like putting so much effort in to making a cake and you let it come out half baked. Do not accept half love, half friendships, half relationships. Generally anything that doesn’t make you feel so good about yourself shouldn’t be in your life.
That takes us to the next point. Surround yourself with people that make you feel better. Be it friends, partners and even family. You have the right to choose who goes and who stays. It’s your life after all.
Take care of yourself. This can be in the small ways like getting up, saying a prayer, washing up and dressing nice. It goes all the way to buying Yourself something nice or taking yourself on a vacation. Treat yourself right.
In the world we live in today, social media has brought up most of the issues people face concerning self love. So take a break. I discussed This is in Confessions of a Socialholic. Do check it out if you need it.
Make a playlist for yourself. Music is a drug. It’s like therapy. I have a couple of friends that say music healed them and it helps me too. There’s no greater joy than plugging in your earphones and vibing to something beautiful. It helps you to also get in tune with your soul. I shall compile a playlist in the next post with a couple of self love songs from different genres to start with.
I know it is hard, but if you are trying, that is enough.