Incredibly Motivating Habits, Why They're Important and How to Do Them
By Alexa Santory
Learning to Love Yourself
Falling in love with yourself is a lifelong, satisfaction guaranteed, happy, healthy relationship. But like any relationship, it requires work. The good, the bad, and the stuff you don’t feel like doing. You’re not going to fall in love with you overnight. We tend to be our own worst critics and view ourselves in a much harsher light than we would our rosy-colored lovers, which is why the journey to unconditional self love is just that, a journey. Bumpy at times, but worth the trouble in the end. Today’s Beauty School lesson is all about learning to fall totally, unabashedly, head-over-heels in love with yourself.
How To: Fall In Love….With You
Oftentimes, love for other people comes a lot easier than love for ourselves. It’s much easier to give than it is to sit and reflect on what we need on a personal level. Maybe we think we’re being selfish. Maybe we’ve been told that liking yourself too much is conceited and self-centered. I say, don’t listen to those things. Because, not to be confused with narcissism, self love is actually a good thing. So how can you start this journey? If you’re struggling to find a good starting point, understand that self esteem and self love go hand in hand. You can’t really achieve one without the other. Starting work on building your self esteem is a really strong place to start building love for yourself. Getting rid of that shame and that feeling that you’re not good enough is the foundation for unconditional self loving.
Here are some approaches you can take to start your self love journey:
Self reflect. Sounds scary, I know. But we have a tendency to lose sight of ourselves when we’re focusing on other things or people. Learn yourself and your habits and your quirks, because they’re what make you who you are. Accept certain things about yourself and embrace them. Think about situations that could have been handled better had you been more understanding of yourself and work towards making it better moving forward. Self reflection is a great, productive way to learn yourself on a deep, emotional level. Self reflection is essential to having a strong relationship with yourself so you know where you stand with yourself.
I love hearing Andrea's journey to loving herself, super inspiring.
Write down all the things you like about yourself. Take your time and think beyond the physical (although those things are important too) and write down some nice words about yourself. You’ll be surprised at how good you’ll feel when you’re finished. If writing isn’t your thing, tell it to yourself in the mirror. Words hold weight, and the ones you use towards yourself shouldn’t be so heavy.
Spend time with yourself. Become your best friend. Take yourself out on dates. Detach yourself from your phone for a day. Block out the world for a little bit and focus on you. Being alone and doing what you wanna do is a sure fire way to build a loving foundation.
Grow from criticism. People are always gonna have a lot to say. It’s up to you to decide what you want to internalize and grow from, and what to ignore. If it’s not something that can benefit you in the long run, ignore it. Otherwise, take these things as lessons. You can’t see yourself the way others see you, and sometimes we need a little reality check. Consider it a blessing that the people who care about you are willing to be honest with you for your own good.
Forgive yourself. You’re a human being with flaws. You’re not gonna do everything right all the time (shocker, right??). Don’t dwell on past mistakes and instead look at every misstep as a lesson towards becoming a better you. The quicker you are to forgive yourself, the quicker you are to forgive other people.
Be more aware of your feelings. Think about why you’re feeling that way and do what you need to do to give yourself what you need. If it means taking a day to reconnect with yourself, writing down what you’re feeling, or even giving your body something it needs, do it. You are in control of how you feel.
Fix the things you don’t like about yourself. You’re not gonna like everything about yourself. Recognizing and working to change those things will help you fall deeper in love with yourself. Personally, I tend to reject any type of help from people when they can see I need it. I’m working on opening myself up more emotionally to those who care because I know they want to do right by me. And I know that once I open up, they’ll feel more inclined to do so, deepening the relationship. Pushing people away is something I do that I don’t like about myself, so I’m actively working on it to better myself and my relationships.
Practice self care. Audre Lorde knew what she was talking about when she told us that self care is self preservation. Do it by taking care of your body and what it needs. Drink lots of water, get plenty of sleep, talk to the people you love. But at the same time, set boundaries for yourself and protect your precious time and energy. Be kind to yourself.
Figure out what matters
We all have a lot going on in our lives. All of us, all the time. Oftentimes we lose sight of the things that really matter. And in some pretty tragic cases, those same things could be taken away from us at any moment. Figuring out what matters most to us is similar to practicing gratitude towards the good things in our lives. Taking a step back to realize what’s most important in this life will help lead to a positive, more loving mindset -- towards others and towards yourself. It doesn’t take a tragedy or something traumatic to figure out what matters most to you. Make a list of all the things that hold importance in your life, then from that list, prioritize which things matter the most. It could be your family, your spouse/significant other, you career, your home, your money -- whatever it is, identify them and make those things your priority. Putting your energy into productive things will help you refocus and contribute to a healthier, more loving state of mind.
What does self love mean to you?
“As I’ve gotten older, I realized that people’s ‘disapproval’ only stemmed from the lack of love they had for themselves. Self love to me means that you’re able to look in the mirror everyday and love the person looking back at you. Being in complete admiration of your soul even on your worst days. With all the hate being spewed at us constantly, being able to appreciate ourselves for everything we are and everything we aren’t and being just fine with that. It’s one of the hardest battles to fight but one of the most rewarding struggles to conquer.” - Allyson O., 23, NYC
This week we're sharing with you some wonderful women to add to your social feeds. You're already online, why not optimize that space?
Maryam Hansaa's Instagram account is an instant must-follow. She posts powerful bits of affirming words and insightful phrases that make you think. Follow her for the right messages that always seem to be on time.
Self Love Routines for the Mind
Practicing healthy, loving habits with your mind on a daily basis will make the self-love journey even more rewarding. Since self loving really starts on the inside, here are some of our favorite activities that help build a more loving mind.
Meditation is a great way to put the mind at ease and focus on the task at hand. It’s about being mindful, conscious, and present -- three things that are important in all facets of life. Meditation is an amazing way to decompress from the stresses of everyday life. In many ways, meditation is self care in its purest form -- blocking out the world, focusing on the moment, not worrying about what has been or what’s to come. Take a few moments out of your day to sit (or lay, whichever works for you), focus on your breathing, and be present. If you feel like you can’t focus or your mind won’t stop running, try a guided meditation. These offer instructions, calming sounds, and positive words to guide you through the process. Meditation can seem intimidating, but getting the hang of it makes a world of difference on your approach to life, your energy, and your overall mood.
Journaling is an excellent way to express yourself and your emotions in a productive manner that’s also personal. If talking about your feelings is something you’re not quite comfortable with, pick up a journal, find a good pen, and just let it all bleed out on the page. It’s a beautiful and creative way to release and let go without the pressure of explaining your feelings to another person, which can be intimidating at times. It doesn’t have to be a novel everyday, it can just be a few sentences checking in with yourself. However you choose to do it, there’s no right or wrong way. Also, having a journal that’s appealing to the eye will make you feel more inclined to write. This is my favorite way to practice self care and self love. I’ve been journaling on and off since I was in junior high. As someone who has a hard time opening up and saying how they feel, writing things down take the weight off quite a bit. Plus it gives me a chance to flex my writing muscle on a personal level. You can also challenge yourself to journal about self love for a month with these fun prompts!
Affirmations are a powerful way to bring positivity and light into your life. We spoke about using kind words towards yourself and this is the best way to do it. I’m a firm believer in speaking things into existence. Speaking positivities over your life will make you feel more inclined to do the work required to get the things you want. Self-affirmations have a psychological background, meaning they’ve been studied and used by social psychologists to figure out how people adapt to information or experiences that are threatening to our self-concept. AKA, how we act when we use negative words about ourselves versus positive ones. Positive affirmations can help reduce self-sabotaging behaviors, ease stress, and repel negative thoughts. You can incorporate them into your journaling, or just write them down in general. You can tell them to yourself in the mirror, or even listen to them in a podcast. However you choose to do it, always remember that the words you choose about yourself reflect. Choose wisely, everyone has plenty of good in them.
Self Love Routines for the Body
These are the healthy habits to establish in your life that will feed not only your soul, but your equally important outer self as well. This is also my chance to tell you about how much that $20 face mask is gonna change your life, at least for a little while.
Exercise! Get your body moving! I am by no means telling you to go join a gym or become a marathon runner, but getting your body moving and your blood flowing is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, while also helping you look good too. Even if you’re just going out for a walk, being outside and feeling fresh air on your skin can make a huge difference. Plus, it’s a good way to spend time with yourself and get to know your body better. As someone who actively hates the gym, I get to know my body better through yoga. I love it because it’s a uniquely personal experience but everyone in the room is on a similar vibrational level. After a really good class, I feel like I’m floating on air (and like the baddest b**** in the world, tbh). It’s a challenging way to get in touch with yourself -- mind, body, and soul. Plus you get a little bit of meditation done as well. Taking an hour out of your day to focus a little more on moving your body is an excellent form of self care, with a ton of physical benefits too!
Beauty routines are a comprehensive, therapeutic, fun way to practice self care. It’s also probably the most popular way to perform it, and with good reason. The beauty industry prides itself on being able to provide people with gratification through their products. Pampering yourself is an excellent way to improve how you view your physical self, and it’s a good place to start if you’re having trouble with all the inner stuff. And honestly, there’s nothing quite like taking a long shower then putting on some body butter right after. Ooooh. Develop a skincare routine and do it every night. Put on makeup that makes you feel pretty. Cut your hair into that style you’ve been too scared to try. Get plenty of beauty sleep because a lack of it really does show up in your appearance. Try that $20 face mask! Luxuriate and pamper yourself because if you don’t, then who will?! Developing habits that make your outer self feel good, will make the work for your inner self that much easier. I’m the queen of beauty routines as self care and developing these routines has definitely made my self love journey a whole lot easier. They’re also great because they give you a sense of control, which is nice when there’s a lot of things we don’t have any control over. At least I get to choose to spend the $20 on this face mask!!
EAT FOOD! Um hi, I don’t know if you know this, but eating can be rather therapeutic. Eating is the most natural form of self care because we need it to survive! Also, food is delicious. Give your body what it needs and eat when you feel hungry. More importantly though, develop a diet that suits you. Junk food is okay in moderation, but filling your plate with fruits and veggies will give your body the nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals it needs. Plus, incorporating more whole foods into your diet can improve your mood and energy levels, too! Eat the foods you like, eat what comforts you, but also eat to fuel and energize your mind and body.
Friday we look at simple ways to create positive change in your life. It's going to be a good one.