10 Ways To Love Yourself
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Politics and Activism

10 Ways To Love Yourself

When you don't really love yourself

10 Ways To Love Yourself
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If you're like me, you are in a constant battle with the little angel and devil on your shoulders over what's best for you. A lot of time, you pick the wrong choice even though you know it's wrong. Why? Why would you consciously choose something bad for yourself? Would you do that to a friend? Put them in a bad situation? No, but maybe you'd do it to someone you didn't like.

So, why don't you like yourself?

Why don't you like yourself enough to not do bad things to yourself? That's the better question.

If you're like me then you probably wouldn't even do something bad to an enemy, because you strive to always at least try to be a good person. It honestly feels easier to be nice to other people, even when you can't be nice to yourself. Because in the back of your mind no one could possibly deserve bad treatment more than yourself.

You can do this without even knowing it. Taking out your anger on yourself, even if it isn't your fault. Like when your best friends all hang out without you, but instead of texting them and telling them that they hurt you, you sit in your bed telling yourself that they've secretly hated you all along. You subtweet nasty things on Twitter. That'll show them. You go out to a bar and drink a little too much and party a little too hard. To prove you're happy all by yourself.

Or when that guy that you liked so much moves from you to your "friend" in less than 5 minutes, and she goes along with it. Instead of confronting them, you sit in the mirror and tear yourself apart. Why aren't you skinnier? Prettier? Smarter? It isn't fair to yourself. If your best friend came to you with those issues you would tell him/her that they were crazy and that it has nothing to do with them. So why don't you tell yourself that?

I'm not going to lie. It's hard to like yourself, much less love yourself all the time. Or even sometimes. Because if anyone knows all the awful things you've done or all of your flaws it's you. Right? How could you possibly be nice to someone who you know is so far from perfect.

This is how you love yourself. When you don't love yourself.

1. Find something that makes you feel amazing. MMA. Dance. Working out. Blogging. Running. Reading. Teaching. Whatever it is. Do it. There's no better way to start loving yourself than giving yourself something you really like about yourself. Find something that makes you like yourself.

2. Put yourself in service.

There is nothing that makes it easier to like me than doing things for other people. It takes the focus off of yourself and puts it on someone or something that deserves attention. And like I said it's really easy to be understanding to others when you don't hold yourself in any position to judge. Use this time in your life to serve others who are in need.

3. Make a list.

Every day. Make a list of things you did that day that made you feel good. Make another list of things you did that made you feel bad. Sometimes it's easy to ignore the damage we do if we don't acknowledge it. So make yourself acknowledge it and figure out why you did it. Don't do it again. Eventually, hopefully, the good will start outweighing the bad.

4. Surround yourself with good people.

Toxic people are your No. 2 enemies, right behind yourself. They will not help you get better because they like being better than you. They need you to need them. They're like leeches, sucking the happiness out of you. Kick them to the curb. You deserve better than that, even if you don't feel like you do.

5. Be alone. Sometimes.

This is a hard one for me. But, if you're in a position where you are finding it hard to love yourself, you are probably struggling to really love other people in your life. Specifically significant others. It can be so easy to be in a relationship. You can be the perfect so because it's so much easier to focus on someone else and their life and needs that it makes it easier to ignore your own. But if you're focusing on them then you aren't focusing on yourself and you need space to figure out what you want and what you need. So give yourself that time and space. If they're the one for you, in the end, they will wait for you to be happy.

6. Practice a little vanity.

Ok, I know vanity is a sin. However, in this case, I really mean practice some self-love. Loving your body can be one of the absolute hardest things to possibly do. So get dressed up, do your hair and makeup and take a selfie. I have had people tell me I am so conceited for taking selfies and editing them and posting them on Instagram or Facebook. What they don't know is how hard it is for me to be okay with myself and how I look. So when I have the confidence to take a selfie, I do it. You should too.

7. Think happy thoughts.

This is hard but try to only think positive things. If you've ever watched How I Met Your Mother, think about Marshall and his corporate job, where he only allowed himself to speak positive things about his job. If you start to have a negative thought, don't finish it. Or if you do finish it, follow up with a good one. Keep a folder in your photo album on your phone or notes page of motivation quotes or things that make you happy. Set an alarm on your phone for every hour or so of something happy.

8. Practice good hygiene.

This sounds dumb. But bare with me. Every day, practice some self-care. Take a shower, listen to music you like. Wash your face, use shampoo and body wash that smells amazing. Get out, lotion up, do whatever else is in your routine. Practicing self-care, the same way you would take care of a baby, is showing yourself some love. Think about how Jesus washed people's feet. Taking the time every day to take care of yourself is an amazing start to loving yourself.

9. Healthy life.

On the same track, do something every day towards a healthier life. Take a walk, read some scripture, go to the gym, cook a healthy meal, something on the road to making yourself a healthier person. Just because you don't like yourself, doesn't mean you should do more damage. The way I think about it sometimes is that I shouldn't be allowed to make choices for someone I'm mad at because I might not make very good choices. Well, you HAVE to take care of yourself but you shouldn't be allowed to make decisions to make you like yourself even less while you are mad at yourself.

10. Forgive yourself.

This one is hard. And it's something you have to do every single day. Just convincing yourself that you're worthy of forgiveness is hard, but you are worthy. No matter what you have done, big or small. You deserve forgiveness. It's hard because you have to live with the decisions that past you has made, but you can forgive yourself and move on. Forgive your past you so that present and future you can have a shot at being happy. They always say forgiveness only hurts the person who's mad. So forgive yourself, for you own sake.

So, I know it isn't easy. Liking yourself is hard, loving yourself is harder. It won't be easy. The most important thing you can remember is to make good decisions for yourself even when you're not happy with yourself. You deserve to be happy, so make choices that future you can be happy with. You can either be your own best friend or your own worst enemy. Trust me, life is a lot easier if you choose to love yourself and be friends than hate yourself and be enemies.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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