10 ways to love yourself
by Brittany Pelaia (July 24, 2018)
Self-love, a hot topic brought to the surface by a sea of millennials who are no longer satisfied with being unsatisfied with the person they see looking back at them in the mirror. From body positivity, to mental health awareness, our generation has proudly begun the journey to not only accepting who we are, but being content and in love with who we are as well.
I am Brittany, 19 years old and about to be a student at Bethel Conservatory of the Arts, where I’ll soon start studying for a drama major. When I look back over the years I have spent on this earth already, they’re riddled with seasons of insecurity which are interrupted for a short time by accomplishments that made me proud to be me. But recently I realized that is not the way I want to continue on with my life. I want to love myself, and be proud of who I am. Even if all I’ve done that day is use my spare email address to get a free month of Netflix.
Self-love can be a daunting task; because no matter how long you work at it, just like in any other relationship, there are days when you don’t feel in love with yourself. It is a constant choice; a choice that even the most body positive, mentally healthy person has to make. I want to give you lovelies some easy, fun, and realistic ways that you can give yourself the love you deserve, starting now.
1. Do things that make you happy
This doesn’t have to be anything complicated. Whatever it is that brings a smile to your face (having a rockin’ cup of tea, painting, acting, cooking, thrift shopping) schedule in time during your day to make that happen. If you don’t know what it is that makes you happy, show yourself you care and ask yourself! At the end of the day, I make sure to have time to disappear into my favorite blanket with a warm cup of tea, and watch shows that have performances that inspire me as an actor.
2. Embrace being alone with yourself
How are you supposed to get to know, and ultimately fall in love with yourself, unless you know who that is? I love baths, and skincare during times like these. I also love to read a book, or watch a movie and then take the time to process through my thoughts about it.
3. Face your pain
Whatever it is that keeps you from loving yourself (an insecurity, a past relationship that left you broken, an experience that is holding you back from loving your life) there is no better time than now to look it square in the face and process it. Also, love yourself enough to get the help you need. Find a friend who is safe to process with, go get counseling or therapy; being strong enough to admit you need other’s help is such a courageous thing to do. Recently, I got a new job and I couldn’t understand why I was having such a difficult time adjusting to the new environment, and why I wasn’t comfortable around some of my coworkers or even in my uniform. I then realized, that a past experience was being triggered, and at first I tried to ignore the pain I was going though. I began getting muscle pain and headaches, and everyday at work I was angry and frustrated. Until I processed through what I was feeling with my sister, and had a damn good cry about it. My physical pain left, since I wasn’t trying to ignore what I was going through emotionally, and I returned to work the next day confident and feeling really good.
4. Treat yourself how you’d want a significant other to
Obviously I can’t answer this for you, but some things I like to do are buying myself my favorite international snacks, or a good cup of coffee.
5. Celebrate your accomplishments
AKA: Treat yo’ self. Honestly, this has helped me so much in terms of loving myself. After an audition I like to do something from bullet point number 1, like thrift shopping, since I can’t go all of the time due to being college student on a budget.
6. Put a limit, or completely cut out, things in your life that make you not want to be you
For me, Pinterest can be really dangerous in this area. I can get to a point where the more I scroll through aesthetically pleasing pins, the more unhappy I am with the life that is actually in front of me. Not saying Pinterest is the devil, I get killer recipes and outfit inspirations from there all of the time, I just know myself well enough to know when to put it down. Also, I recently took a two week break from Instagram because I found myself negatively comparing my life to the snapshots of ones I was double tapping.
7. Find your passion
This isn’t a super easy one, but it is a really important one to loving yourself for the long-haul. It takes the first point (what makes you happy?) to the next level. Doing things you’re passionate about is a surefire way to be in love with the life you’re living, and yourself. Although, it is important to add the things you do to who you already are, instead of letting them completely take over. I’ve found that I was passionate about acting at 13, but I only found this out when I faced my fears and jumped into it. It was super scary at first and I probably wasn’t very good, and I didn’t know it was my passion until the end of the first production I was in. Remember to give yourself lots of grace, and lots of time to figure this one out. If you’re curious about something, just try it! You never know, it may turn out to be your calling.
8. Invest in your dreams
This point is, in my mind, closely connected to the previous point. Take the time to invest in yourself, you’re worth it! Get connected with people who are also passionate about what makes your heart skip a beat. Apply to your dream school. Make plans and save up to travel to your dream destination. As I’ve said before, there is no better time than now!
9. Be surrounded by people who know and love the real you
Sometimes, the best way to learn something new is to see it being done well. Surround yourself with people who know who you really are, and love every bit of you. Also, it is really nice to have someone around who will call you out when you’re being an asshole to their friend (meaning you).
10. Keep making the choice to love yourself
Nothing can substitute your choice. If you want to live a life full of love for yourself, you have to choose it; and keep choosing it. It is possible, and yes you will have bad days where it is really difficult and you won’t feel it at all, but you’ll also have really great ones too where you wouldn’t want to be anyone else in the world. So keep choosing you, because you’re worth it.