April 21, 2011

Love Yourself

As I was going on a three mile(!!) run this afternoon, my mind began to drift and I thought about self love. This is something that I both continuously strive for and struggle with, but ultimately something that's incredibly important to me.

What does it mean to self love?

It means accepting your faults, your quirks and your insecurities. We all have them; they're bound to creep up on us and try to ruin our day. The bottom line is: it's okay to have those thoughts. It only turns bad if we harp on them, letting them control our lives and bringing us to a negative, dark place. Having those thoughts drift in and beyond our minds allows us to know that we're human - we feel insecure or sad or terribly lonesome - it's normal. Just breathe, move forward and try to smile.

Dismiss "hate" talk

"These jeans give me an awful muffin top."

"I'm breaking out so bad; I look disgusting."

"I just need to lose 10lbs, then I'll be happy."

"No one wants me because I'm not skinny enough."

Does this sound like you? Or someone you know? Because these are things that I have both said and heard many times throughout my life. It's only recently that I realized that saying, or thinking, those things won't change them. All they'll do is make you feel worse; those words will stick with you and perpetuate self hatred. It takes just as much effort to say a negative thing about yourself as it does a positive. So, take a minute and say something nice.

Are you a runner? Then love your strong, powerful legs which allow you to run.

Do you do yoga? Then admire your flexibility or focus.

Did you do well on a test or a paper? Congratulate yourself and your accomplishment.

Think of the little things that you've done that make you feel special, beautiful, and alive. Those little things will add up.

Tips to help you love yourself

1. Spend 10 minutes meditating every day. Just sit, smile, and zone out. I always like to smile while I meditate because it truly aids my happiness. Meditating will allow you to be more focused and feel cleansed.

2. Make sure to laugh every day. If nothing funny comes up, just laugh for the sake of laughing. You may feel silly, but so what?

3. Compliment others. Spreading love makes others feel good, and will make you feel good. Also, I'm one who believes in karma, so if you're kind to others, the kindness will come back to you.

4. If you're having a rough day, confide in someone close to you. Talk to them, hug them or just spend time with them. Do anything you need to have that support and to feel better.

5. Do something that makes you happy. Run, bake, do yoga, watch mindless television, or dance around your apartment in your underwear. Do anything that puts a smile on your face and keeps your mind off whatever is upsetting you. You'll be amazed at how much doing something that brings you joy can change your mood.

All we can do is take things one day at a time. Some days we'll feel great, others we'll feel depressed or anything in between. Allow yourself to feel those emotions, without letting them control you. Those emotions allow us to know that we can feel, which is important. Be in the moment, and then let that moment pass.

You can do it. I believe in you.

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