10 Ways to Love Yourself
by Michelle Smith
1. Embrace wonder
Life can easily become work, then friends, repeat. Learn to be out of the mundane sort of rut of life and discover more than just having fun with friends. Explore nature on a daily basis, learn to go beyond and explore the unknown. On a clear night, go outside and look up at the stars for a minute and appreciate them. Take a trip to the beach and watch the waves lap in on the shore and appreciate. The more I embrace times of wonder, the more my soul feels rested and fulfilled, the more I can dream to see even more one day!
2. Do Yoga
Nearly skipped this one for fear of what people might think but seeing as I’m all about the honesty. My work is physically and emotionally demanding so I do yoga to strengthen my body and de-stress. There’s so many types of yoga and as long as your yoga teacher isn’t leading you into something that is clearly not worship to Jesus then yoga is an amazing way to teach you how to relax with breathing exercises and keeping fit in general. Yoga can massively decrease anxiety and stress but just be aware of what you’re agreeing with spiritually if you do it. I can’t recommend it enough!
3. Swim in the sea
Being privileged enough to live by the sea means you’ve got to swim in it. Even if it’s cold! I have a couple friends I know who love a swim in the sea, I text them when I know I need that time out. We run into the sea, even if it’s freezing cold make sure we get fully in head to toe! Sometimes we have to run back out and quickly wrap up in our towels. It is always the most liberating experience and we always laugh. It’s just you and a vast expanse of unknown deep water. When you can’t shake your bad mood, a swim in the sea will shake you out of it!
4. Embrace the silence
Life can get really noisy and it can get real noisy inside ourselves. Take time to sit in silence, have a cup of tea, sit somewhere comfortable and breathe. Be aware of what thoughts come to mind and your breathing. This is the best way to start the day, even if it’s just five minutes this practise can change your daily perspective.
5. Sleep well
Make sleeping around 8 hours a night a priority and not something you do as you feel. Get your sleep in, the average adult needs around 8 hours a night. Having more than that doesn’t always help either but sometimes days can feel super long for some reason, so much happens and our minds can be running on overcharge. Take a twenty minute nap if you can on those never ending long days, they cut the day up and when you wake up you’ll feel different about it all.
6. Have breaks from my phone/social media
…Because it can rob you from being in the moment and seeing the person in front of you. Set your notifications to ‘off’ in your phone settings. I turn my phone off for a couple of hours a day if i know work or family don’t need to get hold of me urgently. Allow yourself to be bored, it leaves room for your mind to find something else to think about that is more meaningful and beneficial to you. Listen to Caroline Leaf’s podcast on social media and the mind (this woman is amazingly intelligent) :
7. Embrace a passion
Whatever it is-dancing, singing, music, science, politics or art. The point is you love it, so embrace it. Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. Watch how God is faithful in your faithful pursuits.
8. Know you’re loved
If we know how much God loves us, loving ourselves in a healthy way will come naturally. Remind yourself of the people in your world who love you. Give your most time and energy to these people.
9. Make an effort
Be kind to yourself. Smell good, have more showers and invest in your appearance as a whole. Don’t overthink your appearance because we are all totally different but aim to be the best version of yourself that you can be.
10. Look ahead
Sometimes something will happen in the day that reminds me of someone or something in my past that hurt me, it’s normal. The more I dwell in the past I’m actually choosing to set up camp in my past. My body and everyone else around me are moving forward, but I’m stuck. A key part of loving yourself is actively choosing right thinking. It is actively choosing to have vision for the future and go for it, letting go of the past.
Live for today but hold your hands open to tomorrow. Anticipate the future and its changes with joy.