Why is that we’re often kinder to our friends, families or even strangers than we are to ourselves? If you’ve heard yourself giving great advice to loved ones, yet ignoring that same advice for yourself, then you need a little bit of self-love.
Sadly, living with low self-esteem is a super common problem – especially among the fairer sex. In a survey done by Dove, only 20% of British women surveyed said they were happy with how they looked.
Whether it’s how you look or how you feel, learning how to truly love yourself is not something that comes overnight, but by taking baby steps, you can hopefully start to at least appreciate yourself.
It’s easy to find things you love about someone else, but a whole lot harder to compliment yourself. Dig deep and find something that you really love about yourself, whether it’s a physical or mental thing. Perhaps you love the way you work under pressure? Or the fact you love to laugh at stupid cat videos? Maybe your best quality is that you’re an ace friend? Or that your thighs are so strong they could crack a nut? However small, write it down so you can remember it. And perhaps also add to it occasionally.
We’re not talking about running marathons or losing three stone here. We’re talking about celebrating those little things that you do every day. Maybe you managed to wrangle three small children to the pool – on your own. Or perhaps you ran for two minutes longer than last week. We are so guilty of either living in the past – thinking of what we could’ve done better – or the future – worrying about what’s coming up, that we rarely live in the here and now. By congratulating ourselves daily for those small wins, we can slowly start to build up our confidence. Write down these daily achievements so you can remind yourself how far you’ve come.
So, what is a mantra exactly? Well, it’s literally a short statement that is repeated frequently. The idea is that if you say it regularly, it will become embedded in the brain and help motivate you. Come up with something that really resonates with you and that you can recite every morning to give you that get up and go. Think of it as a little extra confidence boost. To get you started, here are some ideas:
I don’t have to be perfect to be confident
I can accomplish anything I set my mind to
I am a unique and worthy person
I can be healthy whatever my size
Each day, I work to make myself more the person I want to be
I am worthy of love
From improving self-esteem to helping with anxiety, daily meditation has been proven to have lots of benefits. First and foremost, it really does help to stop that daily chatter – you know the sort, when your brain constantly tells you that you’re no good. If you’re new to it, aim to try five to ten minutes a day of guided meditation with the help of an app like Headspace or Oak. Just taking time out of your busy day for a few minutes can really help give your brain some space and ensure you’re emotionally in a better place.
In our busy lives where being tired and overworked seem to be a badge of honour, self-care seems to be at the bottom of everyone’s list. However, you cannot function well if you’re running below par. Think of yourself as a big jug of water. You spend your day refilling everyone else’s cups but when do you fill yours? Whether it’s taking time out for a daily swim, reading a book, going to the cinema with a best friend or baking a cake, it’s so important to do something that you truly love and which nourishes you.
It may have been written over 30 years ago, but Susan Jeffer’s Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, is still as relevant today. Basically, she says that if you push yourself to do things that scare you, not only will they no longer have any hold on you, but it will also boost your confidence. Pushing yourself to try new things, some of which won’t go well, will help you grow, stop doubting yourself and realise that you can do more than you’re capable of!
After all this hard work, it’s time for a reward. Whether it’s binge-watching a new series on Netflix, a huge big cupcake with your afternoon cuppa or buying yourself a new lipstick, go forth and treat yourself. Go on, you know your worth it!