All of us need to practice self-love, but how do we begin? Below is a list to help you get started.
- Write it Out: Write down five new things you love about yourself every day and constantly repeat those characteristics to yourself at least three times a day. A tip for this is repeating them every time you sit down to eat a meal, as this is a usual occurrence three times a day. When you repeat them to yourself, really BELIEVE them to be true no matter what the adversary may be trying to tell you at the time. I also find it helpful to write it on the notes in your phone so you have them with you at all times.
- Make Time for You: Life can get busy and it’s so easy to get wrapped up in school and work. However, it’s incredibly important you take time to do something YOU love every single day. For those of you with children feeling as though this is selfish, it’s actually the opposite. Your children will take note as they follow your example and grow to do the same acts of self-care for themselves. No matter how busy your life may be, it is always possible to carve out a little time each day for you – it’s just whether you’re willing to make it work.
- Spirituality: Whether you are an active Christian or simply just trying to figure life out, it is crucial you look to a supreme being for guidance each and every day. This will help you get into the truth of the fact that you are sent to this earth for a purpose and therefore have tremendous worth. Seek ways to grow this relationship each and every day; this may include scripture study, prayer, church, etc.
- Get Physical: It is important to take care of yourself physically in some way every day. This can be as simple as five crunches to five miles of sprints. Whatever you feel like your body needs that day. This can totally tie into making time for yourself too if something you love to do is an active activity.
- Practice Truth: Practicing truth each day is essential to not only staying out of unnecessary drama, but also to keep yourself grounded so you are more able to focus on your needs. This can be as simple as replacing a distorted thought like “Sam is always awful to me” into a truth statement such as “Sam must be having a hard day and taking it out on people. I wonder what I can do to help her.” Showing kindness to others reflects kindness to ourselves and vice versa. It is crucial we show ourselves love by respecting and showing love to those around us.
This is a starter list to help you get going on your daily journey of self-love. You are more than welcome to add more topics if you feel necessary as well. Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to me in the contact section if you have any questions or need further explanations! I challenge you to start this list today and by doing so you will begin to push yourself to become the best YOU starting with loving YOU!
Guilt is a gift; shame is toxic. Guilt helps you be able to recognize what you did wrong and remember it so you to not make that mistake again. Shame on the other hand, says statements such as “I am bad” or “who does this?” – statements in which beat yourself up. There is a distinct difference between the two but it can still be easy to mix up in the moment.
Shame portrays itself in two different ways: self-denigration and self-adulation. Self-denigration is an act of feeling like you don’t matter to yourself or anyone. An example of this includes: “I always mess up. I am the worst. I am a problem and am less than others.” Self-adulation is covering up your shame with pride and acting as though you are better than others. Examples of this include “I will never mess up. I am the best there is. I am always right and a gift to society.” It is human nature to sometimes stumble into these thinking patterns; maybe not as extreme as the examples, but still in the same family. Realizing you are in distortion is the first step, and getting yourself into the truth of the situation is the second.
Guilt is taking responsibility for your actions, WITHOUT beating yourself up about it. Guilt says things like “I messed up” or “I need help” or “I choose poorly.” You are analyzing your behavior, not your identity. Guilt is healthy and encourages change if you let it. Without guilt, we would continue to make the same mistakes. However, shame is absolutely unnecessary and is coming entirely from the adversary. I challenge you to stay in the truth of a situation when you find yourself becoming trapped in self-adulation or self-denigration. You can do this by simply remembering what the TRUTH is and remove that from what your pride or the adversary may try to tell you.
It’s so easy for people to get wrapped up in drama and not stay present. However, differentiating the truth from distortion helps you maintain a clear mind and a positive outlook on life. What is truth? Truth is stating the things you absolutely know to be the truth in a situation. Distortion on the other hand, is making up stories in our heads that don’t match up with these truth statements. It is crucial we replace our constant distortions with affirmations of the truth. One example follows: “Sadie always ignores me; I must not be a good enough sister to get her attention.” This is total distortion! The truth is as follows: “There could be numerous reasons why Sadie isn’t talking to me and it has NOTHING to do with my worth. I am a daughter of God and am always good enough no matter what. I am responsible for myself and myself only.” That feels WAY better than the first version and this is what the truth is. At the end of the day, we all have infinite worth and any thought that tries to tell us the opposite is coming from the adversary. It’s okay to have thoughts of distortion and it’s actually human nature to go right to the defensive side. However, it is up to us whether we let these thoughts linger or replace them with affirmations of the truth.
Another example is as follows: “My roommate always takes my stuff. She doesn’t even respect me and things like this are always happening to me. Everyone walks all over me and I’m sick of it.” These sentences reflect living in shame. It is out option to look at ourselves like the target, but beating ourselves down is only dramatizing a story and being extremely unkind to ourselves. The truth is as follows: “I wonder if my roommate knows I don’t like her taking my stuff. I know this tends to happen a lot so I think I will politely ask her if she could ask next time. I can’t control so if she doesn’t change, so I will set boundaries to show love to myself. I know my worth and her taking my things has nothing at all to do with my personal worth.” Speaking in truth is truly like a breath of fresh air! It increases your energy immensely and helps you think in the best mindset possible. I challenge you to replace those negative thoughts with what you know to be the truth in the situation. It’s crazy difficult, but so possible! If you continue to work and practice at it, it will soon become second nature!