First off I want to say that what I am going to tell you here is not a quick fix. After years of self-hatred and training your brain to always believe the worst in yourself, it will take months and sometimes years to reverse those negative thoughts. By taking small actions every day, you will begin to notice a shift in your thinking and weeks from now, you will be able to look back and notice a change. It will happen slowly but it will begin to happen. Start today with these 5 ways to step into self-love.
I’m NOT going to say these steps are easy. Because they are not. For years I struggled with self-hate after a sexual assault and these are the steps that I personally took to begin to fall in love with my body.
Today I want you to stop and truly listen. Listen to what I am saying. I know how you feel. I have been there. Been afraid to wear a swimsuit to the beach with my kids. I questioned myself when I put on leggings. I have been the woman who wears long pants to avoid anyone staring. So today that changes.
You need to begin with yourself. So my first step for you is going to be hard and difficult. It is the step I always recommend when I do any type of speaking on self-love. It is going to be 1 of the hardest steps. I still to this day, complete this step every morning. You will cry. You will avoid eye contact. You will avoid looking BUT this step will start to empower you in ways that you weren’t expecting.
STEPPING INTO SELF LOVE COMPLETELY
How many of you avoid mirrors? How many of you avoid mirrors with clothes on? Well, we are about to get real and take you to the next level. EVERY morning you have a shower, I want you to strip naked (obviously because I highly doubt that you shower in a bathing suit) and look at yourself in the mirror. Take your body in. Soak up every part of your body. I told you this was going to be hard.
My aim for the first time was 5 minutes. I didn’t even make it to 1 because I could barely look at myself. You don’t need to say anything. Just stare at yourself. Every day try and increase the time you do this even by just 30 seconds. Now after 5 days I want you to take it a step further. I want you to pick the body part that you despise the most and while you look at it in the mirror, I want you to list 3 things about that specific body part that you are grateful for. So for instance, I struggled with my stretch marks for a very long time. The 3 (yes there are so many more) things to be grateful for are….
#1. I carried 3 healthy children inside to full term. So many women wish for this.
#2. Those children have given me 11 years of memories. Birthdays, first steps, and so much more.
#3. My body was capable of stretching to provide life. Think of how truly amazing that in itself is.
You need to begin to change your thinking from negative to positive. Do this every day!!!!!!
How many times have you weighed yourself and have gone up .2, .6, or more and reacted negatively? You beat yourself up and think that you should have eaten less. You focus on the number so much that everything else about you fades away and you become obsessed. This was me. I would weigh myself daily, sometimes multiple times a day because I wanted to see that number go down. I’m here to tell you that THAT NUMBER DOESN’T DEFINE YOU!!! It’s just a number.
I want you to throw out that scale. Forget it. You don’t need it. Focus on more of who you are and not what you look like and your life will begin to change.
You have all heard of affirmations correct? Who here uses them? I use them in my life and I love them. It truly is a way to again, change your thinking from negative to positive. Affirmations are a great way to focus on something that you do not like in your life and begin to see it in a different light. Words are powerful. We, as women, tend to repeat the negative in our heads over and over again. No matter how many compliments we get, it is the 1 mean thing that someone says that takes over and makes all those other compliments wrong. Here are a few examples of great affirmations that you can add into your life to help begin the journey to self-love.
I am embracing my whole self.
I am enough and always have been.
I am more than what appears on the outside.
I am allowed to be who I am meant to be.
I fall in love with myself more every day.
Pick one or create your own. Say it when you begin to feel like you are struggling with something. Repeat it every morning and before you fall asleep.
Something that really worked for me as a way to get out of my head is to write it all down. Get it out on a piece of paper or a pretty journal. Keep a journal with you while you do Step 1. Write all your feelings out. Get the words out of your head.
I find that as women, we tend to replay the negative in our heads. It’s a trait that we are really good at and journaling how I felt, really helped me get those toxic thoughts out of my head. Once they were out, they no longer had the power over me that they used to have. Plus there are so many different ways to journal. Make it your own. Have fun. Use your creativity to get out of your own head.
We have all heard the term self-care but do you feel as if that term just isn’t feasible in your life? Well, I’m here to tell you that it is. I actually heard someone say that self-care is just a phase. WHAT?!?!?! Self-care isn’t a phase and it can be added into your day.
Let me tell you a bit about what self-care did for me when I first began my self-love journey. I was lost, confused, and didn’t really know who I was anymore. I had become a mom and that was all I was. I lost my identity. In a way to regain parts of me, self-care played a HUGE role. It allowed me to find out what I loved to do, what was missing in my life, and it allows me to be the best mom I can because I am no longer giving my all to my children. I am refilling my own self to ensure that I am where I need to be and who I am supposed to be.
I get it. Self-care can seem daunting but it really isn’t. You can add it into your life easily. It doesn’t need to cost money. It doesn’t even need to take up a lot of time. You can begin by adding 10 minutes here and there to your days.
A FEW EXAMPLES OF SELF-CARE ARE….
Face mask. Either a DIY one or a store-bought one.
A long shower or bath. Light some candles and lock the door if you are a mom.
Grab a book and read for 10 minutes.
Get your significant other to make dinner instead of you.
Create a chore list and assign every one certain days. Then you aren’t doing everything all of the time.
Get outside in the sunshine. Soak it all in.
Go out for dinner with your girlfriends.
Call someone that you miss.
Take a free course on Udemy.
As I wrap this up, I want you to sit down and get out your planner. I want you to write in over the next 2 weeks, 2 days a week where you are going to do some self-care. Plan it like an appointment. Keep it. This is important. I also want you to start the mirror today.
I want you to remember that you can’t fail. There is no failure when it comes to self-care. You will begin to see what you like and don’t like. Don’t feel obligated to continue with something even though you hate it. Also, remember that 30 minutes of self-care and self-love isn’t going to retrain your brain into automatically loving who you are in the present. It will take time. It will be messy, hard, depressing, and bumpy. There will be days you want to throw in the towel and walk away but believe me when I say, YOU CAN DO THIS. You deserve to love the skin you are in. You deserve to be proud of who you are today. You deserve to love YOU.
If you walk away with 1 thing today, I want it to be that you are worthy of everything you want in this life. Just because you aren’t where you want to be doesn’t mean that you won’t be there. Through this journey MY biggest lesson was, To get to where you want to be, you NEED to love where you currently are. Embrace you. Embrace life. Embrace the good, the bad, and the ugly. Once you do that, there is no stopping you on your journey to completely falling in love with yourself.