Recently, in a channel devoted to discussing mental health issues, someone asked “How do you love yourself?” I posted this list as a response, which is the guide I’ve used on my own journey to self-appreciation.
- This is a life-long project. Start by loving yourself even though you don’t love yourself. Love the journey. Love that you’re not perfect. Goals are great, but now is also great. Unconditional love applies to yourself, too.
- Learn to love the things you’ve been taught are not lovable. ALL of you deserves love. Identify where and when you learned you were not lovable, and tell that person to GO AWAY. You don’t need their voice to be your inner voice anymore.
- Catch yourself when you’re not kind to yourself. Give yourself a do-over. What would you like to hear yourself say instead? Repeat multiple times per day.
- Meditate to learn to make it easier to hear that voice EARLY before it gets carried away.
- Nurture your community. Have friends (real friends). Serve others and volunteer. Feel like a valuable part of the world not because you make someone else money, but because you make someone else smile. Take space from any people in your life who put you down, even if they’re “just kidding”.
- Exercise, eat well, take breaks, take vacations, etc. Pay attention to the media you’re taking in and how it makes you feel. Make changes if necessary. Start a gratitude journal. Start a nurturing, calming hobby. Spend more time off screens. Fake it until you make it.
- Know that it TOTALLY IS POSSIBLE to love yourself. If you never have, it can feel impossible. Which means anything you do towards that goal just feels like going through the motions. If you really, truly believe that YOU ARE LOVABLE but somehow you’ve been poisoned into thinking otherwise, then you can attack that poison with enthusiasm! And you can start to see that evil as what it is, which is an outside invader.
A huge help for me, personally, is truly allowing myself to feel God’s love. When you’re standing in that light, it’s really hard to believe the lies your scumbag brain tells you. And you have a perfect model to follow when it comes to growing into your love for yourself, and then by extension, your love for everyone else.