Five ways to Fall in Love with Yourself by Helena Holdsworth
How we treat ourselves sets the standard for others. As Rupi Kaur writes in her collection of poems Milk and Honey, ‘how you love yourself is how you teach others to love you’. Having a strong sense of self-worth is not only the foundation for healthy relationships, but also for our overall wellbeing. Believing in ourselves enables us to break free from self-imposed boundaries fostered by doubt and allows us to live a more authentic and courageous life. In a society that values selflessness, practising acts of self-love may sometimes feel silly or selfish. We’ve listed five ways you can fall in love with yourself, with the hope to inspire you on your journey to self-acceptance…
The way in which we talk to ourselves has a significant impact upon our actions and self-esteem. While accountability is positive, we can sometimes judge ourselves too harshly, holding ourselves to a higher standard than we would with others. If you often find that the commentary inside of your head is critical, it may be time to challenge these thoughts. Identify and reframe your inner monologue by remembering to talk to yourself as you would a friend.
Social media has become a breeding ground for negative comparison. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing everything we see online, but the content is often curated to showcase the best bits. It’s like comparing your whole entire book to another person’s glossy front cover. We are able to manipulate our feeds so that our lives look perfect on the outside, though on the inside it’s often another story.
If you find that online comparison culture is affecting your self-esteem, try reducing the amount of time you spend online or curate your feed so that you come away feeling inspired rather than disheartened. It’s also worth confronting the negative comparison with some introspective work. Ask yourself why a particular person makes you feel you a certain way. Perhaps they trigger thoughts surrounding areas in your life where you might be lacking. This reflection will enable you to understand yourself better, which is a strong step towards learning to love yourself.
Ikigai is the Japanese philosophy for a more fulfilling life and translates as ‘a reason for being’. It combines the following pillars: something you love, something you’re good at, something you can be paid for and something that can contribute to society’s needs. As we are all unique individuals, everyone’s ikigai will be different. Whether big or small, awakening your ikigai will lead you to find a greater sense of purpose within yourself.
Daily journaling is an amazing way to understand yourself better. If we don’t pause and reflect, it’s easy to repeat mistakes or behaviour that is no longer serving us. The LSW Mind Notes journal provides guided prompts and review pages to help you reflect and recognise patterns across the weeks and months, so you can identify and evaluate areas for self-improvement. Increasing your awareness around daily habits and how they make you feel, will create greater confidence in your ability to do what’s right for you. These positive changes will enable you to create a life worth falling in love with.
Spending time alone is just as important as the time spent socialising. Your happiness shouldn’t depend on others and learning to feel comfortable in your own company is a key stepping stone to self-love. Instead of waiting around for invitations or social opportunities, treat yourself to solo dates. Much like the traditional kinds, solo dates can consist of visiting an art exhibition you’ve been wanting to see, or eating a delicious meal at a restaurant. Utilise these opportunities to reconnect and care for yourself, taking them as a reminder of how worthy you are.
On some days, using these techniques may help more than others. Remember that however far along you are on the path to loving yourself, just like any other relationship, it takes patience, time and commitment.
By Helena Holdsworth