Recently, I've had the pleasure of totally rethinking how I think of myself. I’ve been working on my mental health, grown as an illustrator and designer, and have found a new love and appreciation for myself and my gifts. This newfound love for what I can do has shed a new light on the love that I can have for who I am. The way I speak, act, dress, love, communicate, learn, teach, encourage, and live my life. I find loving all aspects of self to be very important. I believe that it is imperative to only be what you want to be. Only act how you want to act and be accountable for yourself when you don't.
I’ve found that one of the most important things in life is learning to love yourself. Self-love takes effort, energy, motivation, and practice. It's a process, there's a learning curve, and you can fall off track and get right back on just like any other thing. Self-love should be a goal and it shouldn't just be about how you look. Love is about a deep affection for yourself and everything that you are.
The love that we want from others can also be found in ourselves. With yourself, its practice, it's learning what you want and what you need. Accepting love from yourself can make it easier to understand what type of love you can, and should be, expecting from others.
HOW DO I SELF CARE?
Practicing self-care daily is one of the easiest ways to show yourself, love. Adding and keeping loving yourself in your daily routine can keep you happy and healthy like exercise and eating your veggies. It can be as easy as keeping up with a daily skin routine, or writing in a journal every night before bed and as difficult as telling yourself that you're beautiful on your ickiest days. It keeps your mind a little brighter and your heart a little lighter. This time allotted for loving yourself, your time alone, is a special and intimate interaction between yourself and yourself.
It is easy to say you love yourself, but the actual act of love is truly a test. Here are ways that I try to remind myself that I love myself every day:
Skincare: I have a set nighttime and morning routine. I also try to do a face mask once a week (I use Glossier’s Mega Greens Galaxy Pack detoxifying face mask).
Hair: I oil my scalp every morning, style my hair every day, and deep condition once a week (usually on Sundays). Taking care of my hair is therapeutic and it's almost like taking care of a plant. You have to give it love, moisture and be consistent.
Mirror: I take a good look at myself in the mirror every morning. Grateful for my health, beauty, and ability to love what I see.
Self Portraits/selfies: every now and then I’ll take a cute photo of myself or do a mini photoshoot by myself or with my sister. I like to capture my own beauty because I’ve seen myself change so many times over the years. I can see how my style and my overall look have evolved. I can appreciate that I’ve found a style/look that is more me.
Meditation: Meditation is the ultimate “me time”. It’s literally just me and my thoughts. It's a beautiful, peaceful moment in time and it is one of the most difficult for me to keep up consistently.
Rest: Rest is and always will be important. Whether it’s simply giving myself time alone to recharge or actually getting a full night's rest, it’s important. I’m a night hawk and I would absolutely stay up until 1 am for no reason. I have to force myself to go to bed by 10 pm just so that I can be well-rested for the next day.
Telling people how I really feel: Over the years I’ve learned that telling it like it is is so much better than holding your tongue. Telling people how I feel about their actions makes it so that I’m choosing to have better relationships. It's having respect for my own feelings and my own happiness.
Practicing self-love is hard. It’s a challenge, it's a teachable journey, a reachable goal. It strengthens your mind and your soul. It's one of those things that only you can keep up with because it's you taking care of yourself. One on One. You vs. You. It's personal, intimate, and tailored specifically for you and your needs. The journey of self-love yields growth. It teaches you that your insecurities can be transformed into strengths and that your bad days are just that, bad days. Personally, my journey from chubby, shy, crybaby (nothing is wrong with any of these btw) to me now, has yielded tremendous growth. I often look back on my younger self and realize that the insecurities are a part of the person that I am today. They’ve made me strong and unique. I still have some of these insecurities and have been working to love them, but as I said, self-love is a challenge, its a journey and it is a reachable goal.
If you have any particular topics that you'd like me to write about then please leave a comment. Feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!