RelationshipsSocial Issues

Love Yourself

In a world where we pay close attention to which celebrity is dating whom, what’s going on in politics, and how to impress your boss, thinking about yourself can be the last on your priority list. But it shouldn’t be. Your relationship with yourself is more important than you think. Loving yourself can make you happier, encouraging you to reach your goals and get you through hardships.

Self-love is defined as the “regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.” Google then goes on to specify that this is not a conceited characteristic but rather, something we should strive for. Everyone may have different definitions of what self-love means for them specifically, but the central idea is clear: it’s all about YOU. 

I know it’s been said one too many times: we must love ourselves first before we love anyone else. People react to this statement in all different ways. Some may say, “well, of course I love myself!” while others wonder, “where do I start?”. No matter your level of self-esteem, it doesn’t hurt to learn and grow as a person. Try incorporating the following actions and ideas daily and see how your overall outlook on life changes.

Take Care by Taking a Break

Rest well. This doesn’t have to mean going into hibernation mode to catch up on sleep (although it can — if that is what a break means to you then by all means, do it!) But on a smaller scale, you can simply step away from your responsibilities for a short while. Take a deep breath and recollect your thoughts. This is a good way to reduce stress, recharge your energy levels and improve will power.

Another way to take a break is to pamper yourself. Take a bath, have a good meal, exercise —whatever you do, make sure it’s something you actually enjoy.

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Accept & Uplift

Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparisons are unfair because they don’t take into account how different we actually are — no one person learns the same things, has the same experiences and has the same skill sets. This gives way for a lot of negativity and that isn’t something we need more of. 

Sure, friendly competition is great but it isn’t everything. Sometimes we get caught up when we see that someone has something that we want or is doing something that we want to do. I would suggest to look to others for inspiration and leadership rather than competition. Or even, don’t pay attention to other people at all. Instead, focus on what you do have and be grateful. 

Once you start thinking more about yourself rather than other people, you can begin to concentrate on how to change for the better. The way you talk to yourself about yourself has a large influence on how we think, feel and act. Too often we get stuck in a negative mindset, putting ourselves and others in a bad mood. So why not be positive? Believing in yourself, celebrating your strengths and imagining what you want and who you want to be can greatly improve your personal perceptions.

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Be Comfortable Being Alone and Express Yourself

We spend a lot of our time interacting with other people. So when we are alone it can be quite intimidating and awkward. But being alone is something everyone needs to be comfortable with: it’s going to happen at some point in our lives. Ultimately, we need to be able to be happy by ourselves as we cannot always be surrounded by others. There is power in knowing that we do not need others to make us feel happy or loved, that we can do this on our own.

Use this time alone to reflect. What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Write down your thoughts as there are many benefits to journaling. Any form of self-expression works: singing, painting, dancing, etc. Whichever medium you choose, you are giving yourself an outlet to have fun and explore what you like and dislike. Knowing your interests and limitations can help you decide what’s best for you.

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There are plenty of ways that we can practice self-love; these are only some of them. When you take the time to get to know yourself, you can start using these suggestions to be more accepting and loving. In turn, you can use the positive energy that you have built around yourself and spread it to those around you. Loving yourself first truly allows you to love others. 

Author

Love Yourself
Co-op student @UTSC. Probably thinking about pizza.