Learning how to love yourself is hard. Learning how to love and accept who you are in a society where impossible standards of perfection and beauty are continually impressed upon us is even harder.
Often, people think that learning how to love yourself and effectively practicing self-love is setting apart some time in your weekly routine to light some candles, throw a bath bomb in your tub, and put on a facemask. I enjoy all of these things just as much as the next person, but there is more to loving yourself than scented bubble baths and deep-cleaning charcoal facemasks.
Practicing self-love is never this romantic. It often comes with an uncomfortable amount of self-disciple, healing, and behavior correcting.
Here are 10 things to continually keep in mind when learning how to love yourself most effectively:
1. Tomorrow is a new day.
We often get caught up in the day-to-day events that take place in our individual lives. This can make getting through even 24 hours seem mentally and physically exhausting. Remember to breathe. Take everything you face one day at a time; tomorrow brings new opportunities.
2. You don't have to be perfect.
Society tends to perpetuate this faux idea of perfection. The concept of owning your individuality and uniqueness becomes foreign when there is so much pressure to be perfect. Perfection is an unattainable goal, and it's okay not to be perfect.
3. Having a bad day is OK.
Bad days are inevitable. You spilled coffee on your brand-new white shirt, woke up 30 minutes late and missed an important meeting, and forgot to pack your lunch – that's okay! It's just a bad day, not a bad life.
4. Making mistakes is a part of life.
Like I said earlier, perfection is an unattainable goal. Making mistakes is a part of growing up, they're also inevitable – and that's also okay!
5. Small steps are still progress.
Progress is progress. Today you are further ahead than you were yesterday. Tomorrow you'll be further ahead than the day before. Learning to love yourself is a slow, tedious process that won't be easy.
6. Asking for help makes you strong.
In case you haven't heard it before – it's okay not to be okay. If you have a bad day, going through a rough patch, that's okay!
Asking for help from your friends, family, or from professionals is completely normal. Admitting that you need help is one of the strongest and most beneficial things you can do for yourself on your journey to loving yourself.
7. It's OK to say 'no'.
One of the hardest things I have had to learn in my journey of self-love is that saying 'no' is okay. Trust me; your friends will understand when you say that you don't want to go out. Put yourself first; you'll thank yourself later.
8. Not everyone will like you.
You will have people that don't like you – and that's okay! Remember that bit about perfection being unattainable? Being a people pleaser is mentally draining (I know this from personal experience). My mom always told me "if you live your life always aiming to please others you'll never experience genuine happiness" – and she's 100% right.
9. People love and appreciate you.
Despite coming across those people who won't always like you, there are plenty of people in your day-to-day life who love, cherish, and appreciate the influence that you bring to their life. You are valued and loved more than you will ever believe, never forget that.
10. Beauty comes only from within.
There is only one of you made exactly the way you are – one of a kind, unique, special. Rather than dismissing the things that make you unique, accept them as the things that make you the most you that you can be.
Learning how to effectively practice self-love daily is a journey, not a race. While this journey will be long and can seme somewhat tiring, it will be worth it.
Remember you are beautiful and worthy of a life filled with love and happiness.