How to Practice Self-Love
Not seeing your friends for awhile or being at the age where your friends are getting into their first relationship can cause feelings of loneliness and insecurity among those who are not in romantic relationships. Because we are taught to look outwards for validation, we often overlook the importance of our relationships with ourselves. Self-love is a lifelong connection that is equally, if not more, fulfilling than our relationships with others. While it may take time to develop a positive relationship with oneself, it is worthwhile. Apricotton has provided a list of helpful practices that you can incorporate in your day-to-day life in order to strengthen the love you give yourself!
Choose to Surround Yourself with Positive People
Believe it or not, the first step to loving yourself is by choosing to build relationships with people who lift you up, rather than put you down. If you accept toxic behaviors or criticisms from your friends, you will begin to speak to yourself in the same detrimental way. By surrounding yourself with people who love you for who you are, you are more likely to accept yourself.
Set Aside “Me Time”
The key to practicing self-love is to carve out dedicated “me time” in your daily routine. This time should be spent alone, checking in with your emotions, and getting to know yourself a little better. Gratitude journaling is a popular way to spend “me time”, a routine where you write down what you feel grateful for in your life, and celebrate your accomplishments (from big to small). This is a great way to build self-confidence, and a great tool to find validation internally. This is a perfect opportunity to recharge after being socially, or academically overwhelmed from your busy day-to-day life.
Find Your “Thing”
It has been proven time and time again that engaging in leisure activities and hobbies will have a positive impact on self-esteem. A great way to show yourself love is by making the effort to engage in activities that you truly love. Whether this be a creative activity, such as painting or playing music, or a passion as simple as watching films, spending time doing your “thing” will help you gain a better understanding of yourself. These hobbies are particularly beneficial when they create opportunities for personal growth and development, where new skills can be learned over an extended period of time. In this sense, hobbies can help prove to yourself just how amazing you are, and help facilitate positive “self-talk”.
Listen to Your Body
Although self-love is a mental game, treating your body with care is a crucial step on the journey to loving yourself. By tending to your physical needs, you will learn how to better tend to your emotional needs. This requires taking adequate rest when you are feeling sick and eating food that makes you feel good, as well as happy. These strategies will set a precedent for the way you should treat your mind - taking breaks when you are feeling overwhelmed, and asking for help when you need it.
Limit Your Time on Social Media
While you are probably tired of being warned of the negative impacts of social media on self-confidence, I am here to remind you once again. It is next to impossible to accept your authentic self when you are fed a never-ending stream of ideals from heavily curated social media accounts. Although eliminating social media use altogether is an unrealistic goal for many teenagers, I would recommend reallocating some of this time to spend doing things you love, or speaking to the people you love. By distancing yourself from unattainable standards of perfection, and reminding yourself of why you are amazing in your own right, the journey to self-love will happen naturally.
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About the Author
Kate is a business student at Western University, who enjoys hiking and canoeing in her free time. As the oldest of three sisters, Kate has a passion for sharing advice, and helping girls build a sense of self-confidence.