I’m sure you hear it all the time, it’s important to love yourself. Well, I believe you can’t fully love yourself until you get to know yourself and can appreciate all the things that make you, you. This is not an overnight process by any means. In fact, it is ongoing and will last the rest of your life. While that may sound daunting, it is also exciting! We are ever evolving, growing, learning, and changing. The things you love about yourself now will most likely be very different from the things you love about yourself in 20 years. The most important relationship you will ever have in your life is the one that you have with yourself, so if you haven’t started working on it already, start now!
Take a minute and think about two to three things that you love (or at least like) about yourself. The process is pretty similar to when we pick out things that we don’t like or wish we can change about ourselves but can be much harder. It is easy to compare ourselves to other’s looks, confidence, or grades and wish ours were better. But this is where we need to flip the table and think instead about the things that make you feel great! If you feel stuck, ask your friends or family to share with you what qualities they appreciate about you (maybe it’s your kindness, humor, strength, or that you’re a great listener!). This can help open your eyes to how awesome you are!
Remember that when it comes to self-love, you need to work on loving ALL of you, which means both your mind AND body. It can sometimes be harder to love your body when we constantly compare ourselves to models in magazines and bloggers on Instagram. But for a second, just think about how amazing your body is. Can you walk, run, or jump? Does your body heal when you get sick? These things may sound simple, but they are actually things we should be thanking our bodies for! Our bodies are strong and resilient; that alone should be a reason to love yourself.
It took me until I was 22 to realize how much I loved and appreciated my body and mind. I was running my first half-marathon, with five miles to go and my body ached. My legs wanted to just give up. But, my mind pushed me forward and kept me going until the finish line. I remember feeling so proud of myself, in a way that I hadn’t felt before. I realized that I was stronger both mentally and physically that I had previously believed. I still get that same feeling every time after I run. I have now run four half-marathons and will continue to run more because I know that I can. I am definitely not the fastest or best runner, but that doesn’t matter because it is something that I do just for me. I encourage you to find something that you enjoy doing and then thank yourself for being able to do it.
– Rebecca S., Girl Talk Intern