Because you are truly special and one-of-a-kind…
Learning to love ourselves is a key tool to protecting and improving our mental health and wellbeing. When you master self-acceptance, you learn to let go of the things you can’t change and love the things that make you truly unique. Our top 10 tips can help you take one step closer to loving the skin you’re in and cherishing the qualities that make you one-of-a-kind!
Make time for the most important person in your life – YOU! Dedicating time to spend however you like is crucial to maintaining a healthy school/life balance. Self-care is anything you do to take care of your own physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Taking care of ourselves has never been more important and in a hectic world filled with pressure and stress, we all deserve downtime and a chance to relax and reflect. Discover different ways to practice self-care here.
- REMOVE TOXICITY
Do a deep-clean of your socials and remove any toxic people or accounts. Avoid toxic people and relationships in your real-life, too – being surrounded by negativity is draining and can make you feel less than your fantastic self. Not sure how to spot a toxic relationship? Check our top 10 signs here.
- LIVE IN THE MOMENT
Try mindfulness techniques and activities to help you learn how to live in the here and now. Mindfulness can help you destress and focus your mind, as well as teach you how to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us and the beauty that is YOU. Discover five ways to practice mindfulness here.
- ADOPT A POSITIVE MINDSET
Reframing your thoughts means replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. It’s about being more self-aware and checking yourself to avoid slipping into a negative spiral. Having a positive mindset means you’re less likely to fall into the trap of lingering on bad thoughts or feelings about yourself and more likely to embrace the brilliant stuff that makes you who you are. Get techniques to help you master positive thinking here.
- SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LOVELY PEOPLE
Now that you’ve ditched the toxics, it’s time to find your favourite folks! Spend time with people who truly value you. Friends who make you laugh, family who love you deeply, and people who generally make you feel good about yourself. If you don’t have someone in your life who fits the bill, maybe it’s time to reach out and find new friends and people who share your values and interests. Find out how to make new friends here.
- HELP OTHERS
It’s true – helping others really does make you feel better about yourself. A research team made up of psychologists at the University of Missouri-Columbia found that helping others is one of the most effective ways to improve our own well-being. (i) Volunteering your time to help others at your local food bank, charity shop or soup kitchen not only helps others, it boosts your confidence and self-esteem. Discover more about the benefits of helping others here.
- SPEND TIME ALONE
A good way to learn to love yourself is to spend some time alone. Being alone gives us space to breathe, practise a little mindfulness and a chance to reflect. You could use this time to read, chill, game or write – journaling your thoughts and feelings is a good way to get to know yourself and help you identify and resolve the stuff that’s getting you down or stressing you out. A good mindfulness journal with tips and prompts can help you sort through your emotions and get your thoughts on paper – check out our favourite journals here.
- BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
Positive affirmations are statements to help you overcome and challenge negative thinking. By repeating positive mantras, you can quieten your negative inner voice, giving yourself a brighter outlook on life. Choose a positive mantra such as “I am worthy, I am special, I deserve to be loved” and speak it aloud every morning. Repeat it to yourself in times of stress or doubt and believe in your own words – and yourself. Read more about positive affirmations here.
- BE KIND TO YOURSELF
We’re all guilty of being our own worst critics. There’s nothing to be gained from beating yourself up other than sadness, self-loathing and anger. Try to imagine yourself as an empty box and only allow yourself to put positive and kind thoughts inside. Show yourself some love and give yourself the credit you deserve to remind yourself why you are worth loving. Read more about being kind to yourself here.
- GIVE YOURSELF TIME
Learning how to embrace yourself takes time and practice. It doesn’t happen overnight, and that’s OK. You’ll have the odd setback and intrusive negative thoughts – we all do – but it’s how we deal with it that matters. When you catch yourself thinking or feeling this way, stop for a moment and take stock. Challenge your own negative thoughts; for example:
Negative thought: “I’m too short to get a boyf/girlf.”
Contradicting evidence: “That’s not true – lots of ‘shorter’ people have found love! And most people really don’t care about height.”
Getting into the habit of challenging our own negative thoughts is a good way to clear out the troubling trash in our heads and make way for positives to bloom and flourish. It’ll take time, but the more you embrace these techniques, the better you’ll be at embracing yourself.
- The Journal of Positive Psychology. (2020). Happiness comes from trying to make others feel good, rather than oneself. [online] Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17439760.2021.1897867?journalCode=rpos20 [Accessed 28 May 2021].