Everyone’s always telling you to be yourself, that authenticity is essential and that the people that matter will love you for who you are. But the first step toward being yourself is wanting to be yourself, and people will love you even harder when you love yourself first.
But how do you want to be yourself? How do you get to the point of unconditional self-love? With all of society’s standards and expectations, it can be a difficult journey. However, it’s a journey worth taking, as feeling comfortable and confident in your own skin is the best gift you can give yourself. Here’s how to make it happen.
1. Feed Your Body Properly
Contrary to what you may have been taught, you don’t have to be a size 2 to feel beautiful. In fact, your weight and clothing size are nothing more than arbitrary numbers. However, when you give your body the love and attention it deserves, you will inevitably feel better both inside and out.
To adopt a healthy diet, it might be helpful to try eating intuitively while making sure you’re consuming the proper amount of fruit and vegetables. In other words, eat what you want when you’re hungry, but be mindful of what you’re putting in your body. Don’t restrict, because restriction leads to binging and unhealthy habits. Instead, recognize hunger cues and fulfill them with essential vitamins and nutrients — you’ll find your energy levels will increase and your mood will improve.
2. Treat Your Skin Kindly
No, washing your face with a bar of soap isn’t going to get rid of those pesky pimples on your chin. Having a consistent skincare routine is an important step toward feeling confident in your own skin, as everyone feels better when their face glows. Figure out what face washes, toners, and moisturizers, and more work for you; you might even want to try out vitamins for acne to see if oral skincare is effective. Either way, a steady skin care routine will provide healthier skin as well as structure and pattern in your daily life.
3. Surround Yourself With Positivity
Everyone has that one “Negative Nelly” friend that just never seems to see the cup half full. As hard as it might be, cut them off. In order for you to get to a place of complete self-love and acceptance, you need to surround yourself with the people who build you up instead of tear you down. Spend time with those that compliment you, value you, and make you feel loved and appreciated. Your self-love journey is about you, but it’ll be easier with good friends and family supporting you along the way.
4. Stop Obsessing Over External Validation
It’s human nature to want others to like you. You might be someone who obsesses over feedback at work or a weird look from a stranger in a coffee shop. However, you shouldn’t place too much value on what others think or say about you. Rather, it’s far more important to learn to put your own thoughts and feelings first. You can learn to let others’ opinions go, but you’ll never be able to shake your own. As long as you like who you are, don’t feel like you have to change.
5. Practice Gratitude
Even on your lowest days — when you feel like nothing you do is good enough and your self-esteem is on the floor — practice gratitude. Remind yourself of all of the things in your life you’re thankful for, whether it’s a sunny day or your new puppy, or a delicious cup of coffee. It’s easy to take the good stuff for granted, and intentionally being thankful can shift your perspective and give you some of your confidence back.
Right now, you may think you’ll never love yourself the way you deserve. You’re wrong. Learning to feel comfortable and confident in your own skin isn’t easy, but these tips make the process just a little bit easier.