For the past few years, I’ve spoken quite a lot about self-love and body confidence. I think we all deserve to love our bodies and be confident with ourselves. However, I’ve never really thought about how you can fall in love with yourself as a person rather than a body.
Both our minds and bodies are deserving of love. Not just from other people, but from ourselves. If anything, it is even more important to love yourself. The person you spend the most time with is yourself, so surely you should at least like that person.
It Isn’t Easy to Achieve
I’m not pretending that it is easy to fall in love with yourself. We all know how tough it is to love yourself. Especially when we aren’t taught to love ourselves.
Our society doesn’t teach us to love ourselves. Instead, we are constantly bombarded with messages that encourage us to dislike or change ourselves. Whether it is in-your-face or more subliminal, the message we are fed is always the same: you aren’t good enough.
It is absolutely everywhere. And it is all so that someone can make money with their new ‘skinny’ tea or anti-aging skin cream.
When you consider that society is telling us otherwise, it is radical but difficult to love yourself. Learning to love yourself is a journey. Sometimes I know I’m amazing and tell myself. Other days, it is much harder to remind myself.
At the centre of learning to love yourself is treating yourself with love. You have to practice all types of self-love – physical, mental and spiritual. If you don’t treat yourself with love, then how are you ever going to love yourself?
Be Kinder To Yourself
When you love someone, romantic or otherwise, you think and act kindly towards them. Well it isn’t any different when you are learning to love yourself.
I know that I always go on about it, but being kind to yourself is so important. You will never love yourself when you are being a dick to yourself. That’s pretty obvious really.
We are all way too hard on ourselves which is understandable when we consider what messages we are being fed by society. It’s easy to pick out our flaws and beat ourselves up. But you don’t deserve that.
What you really deserve is to love yourself. Everyone is worthy of loving themselves, and the first step towards it is kindness. We all need to just be a bit kinder to ourselves.
Treat yourself with the compassion that you show towards others. You wouldn’t let your best friend or sister beat herself up or constantly let her say how she’s not good enough. So don’t let yourself do it.
Being kind to yourself is a daily thing. It’s reminding yourself consistently that you’re amazing. Checking yourself when you notice horrible thoughts or punishing behaviours. It’s being aware of how you are treating, thinking or speaking about yourself.
If you need a little kindness boost then write a list of compliments that you can always use to remind yourself of how amazing you are.
Take Yourself On Dates
I don’t think we spend enough time doing fun things by ourselves. We are usually either at work, taking time to rest or socialising with our pals. We spend so much time juggling things that we forget to spend time with ourselves.
When I saw that Estee Lalonde (the ultimate babe) takes herself on dates, I became obsessed with the idea. It is so simple but powerful. Spending time with yourself can really help on the journey to loving yourself.
All those exciting and lovely date ideas you have in your head for when you find a partner? Don’t wait around. You don’t need someone to take you on them. Take yourself on those dates and enjoy them.
Whatever is on your ‘date ideas’ list in your head, go ahead and do them. If you want to spend the day exploring art galleries, treat yourself to a spa day or take a cooking class, then what is stopping you?
You don’t need to feel weird about what people think about you being alone because, if we are being brutally honest, nobody pays you that much attention. Plus, the more often you spend time alone the easier it will become.
So why not take yourself on a little date? Spend some time being by yourself and comfortable with just you for company.
Put Yourself First
How often do you put yourself first? Probably not enough, right?
We always want to please everyone. The fear of pissing someone off is real. We try to make sure everyone loves us which usually means that we don’t put ourselves first.
The only person you should always be trying to please is yourself. That doesn’t mean that you can become a completely self-absorbed prick. Don’t go around pissing off everyone. Still make your loved ones a priority, but don’t forget yourself too. Making yourself a priority isn’t selfish.
At the end of the day, your life is there for you to live. That means that you have to put yourself first sometimes to make sure your life is what you want.
Nobody else is going to do it, so make sure you’re looking after you. Set boundaries to protect yourself. Say no to things that don’t serve you or your happiness (nope, that doesn’t include work or doing the dishwasher).
But also, remember to say yes. Say yes to new things. Put yourself out there. Take risks and experience everything that feels right.
Ultimately, live a life that you really want. One that brings you happiness. Putting yourself first will help you learn to love yourself because you are creating a life that protects, fulfills and serves you rather than making you feel unworthy.
Go On & Treat Yourself
As I said, we don’t have to wait for a romantic partner to go on exciting dates with. We can do it for ourselves. And it is the same for romantic gestures.
The phrase ‘treat yourself’ gets thrown around a lot by us millennials. And if you use it to justify that fifty quid Topshop dress or yet another meal out when you’re drowning in your overdraft then you’re not being loving towards yourself.
[Related Post: Five Self-Care Ideas That Don’t Cost]
However, that doesn’t mean we should stop treating ourselves altogether. When it comes to learning to love yourself, treat yourself the same way you would a romantic partner. Just doing something lovely for yourself – it doesn’t even have to cost money!
Be a bit more romantic towards yourself. Buy yourself a bunch of gorgeous flowers because you’re amazing. Write yourself love letters or notes of self-love in your diary. Give yourself a pamper – whether that’s getting your nails done or just a soak in the bath.
Just treat yourself like a goddess because you deserve it! It doesn’t matter how you do that. All that matters is that it sparks a feeling of being loved by the most important person – you.
Learning to love yourself isn’t an overnight journey. These tips aren’t magically going to make you love yourself. It’s something you have to do consistently. You have to wake up every day and set the intention to love yourself – whether you’re going on a solo date or focusing on compassionate thoughts.
Whenever you need to, do these things (or whatever works for you), to guide you in learning to love yourself. Over time, you will have to think less about loving yourself because it will become more natural and easier.
Have you got any solo date ideas that you could do? What do you do to help learn to love yourself?