Practicing Self Love

Practicing Self Love

I never thought I would be one of those people who preached about practicing self love. But here I am, telling you how I practice it and methods that have worked for me. I never thought that I even needed to worry about practicing self love because I thought I already liked myself enough. But when words of negativity came to my head and when I was asked if I actually liked myself my immediate answer was no. Which is so weird to me. I never thought that I would come to this conclusion and I spent time going back and thinking about when I reached the turning point of liking myself to not. I’m still working back to getting my mind in that “happy place” and here I’m going to share with you a few methods that have worked for me.

  1. Yoga…

I’ve been practicing yoga for a while now. I remember when I went to my first class at a studio back home and I think of all of the middle aged women who applauded me for being so young and how smart I was for starting my yoga journey at such a young age. I was 10. Yoga wasn’t as popular or trendy as it is now so for several years I attended classes that had very few people in them. Keeping yoga in my life has been difficult has I’ve gotten older but I always notice that I need it most when I’m the least inclined to go to a class. Being still and focusing on your breath actually helps contrary to my stressed mind that thinks I don’t need it.

2. Journaling…

Journaling was something I always admired about people who actually did it but I can be very forgetful and inconsistent so it was something I never caught onto. It wasn’t until this January when I had a lot on my mind and felt discombobulated that journaling actually stuck with me. I notice that when I’m feeling emotional or stressed about a situation and I don’t want to talk about it writing it all down actually helps. Sometimes I don’t even want to write but after I force myself to do so, I feel a lot better.

3. Combating negative words with positive ones…

Whenever I have a negative thought about myself or a situation I try to find three positive things about the situation or myself. This can seem silly and dumb but it’s helped whenever I’ve reached a peak in my self deprecating mood.

4. Getting outside…

I’ve grown up spending most of my time in the outdoors. As a child, when I was home, my parents rarely let us spend time in front of a TV or screen. My sister and I would spend hours running around with neighborhood kids riding skateboards and playing tag. As we’ve grown older and travel more, 80% of our time we spend outdoors, hiking, mountain biking, or running. So, when I feeling stressed or I’m not happy with myself I make sure to get outside. Running has played such an important part in my life and my success. Some of my favorite memories were running a 40 mile solstice run with some friends in high school.

5. Eating healthy…

I was never one of those kids that brought Lunchables to school. I envied the kids who got to bring Oreos and cookies as their afternoon snack. My mom always sent us with fruits and veggies, insisting that the packaged lunches would destroy our systems in the long run. Processed food was not something I grew up with and even though I hated it when I was younger, I’m so glad my mom never let us eat that stuff. When I was in middle school I became very conscious of what kind of food I ate. I stuck to a gluten free and mostly dairy free diet all through high school. Everyone thought I did it because it was becoming trendy but I always tried to explain to people that Celiac runs in my family so trust me, I’m not trying to be trendy. Cue the eye-rolls and chorus of “whatever”s. It wasn’t until last spring that I finally got tested and was told that I do have an intolerance to dairy and gluten. I cannot stress enough how much food consumption is tied to heavily to your mental health and state. Whenever I would try to eat bread or dairy again I would wind up in a lot of physical pain but also my mental state would turn groggy and irritable. So, to keep myself a happy smiling person I stay away from gluten and dairy as much as I can. I do have to admit that I feel awful for being such a high maintenance person but hey, the alternative is a lot worse. Trust me.

Those tend to be my methods of practicing self love/keeping my mental state in tact the best I can. I still have my bad days though. Even when I put all of these methods into action somedays you just need a break and time to wallow. Which is okay. Staying off of social media and surrounding yourself with people who can help is a good idea.

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