For a long time, I truly underestimated the importance of life-affirming, self loving habits. Since the realization of their importance, they are the very building blocks I’ve used to build my dream life and get to a place I’m very happy with.
Some were relatively simple – like figuring out where to live (“where I would vacation!“) – and some things were harder – like Letting Go. Here are 4 Self Love Habits that helped me change everything and put me on a path to wellness, recovery and renewed self-esteem!
4. Long, Hot Baths
Taking a long, hot, luxurious bath every day and treating myself to some meditation and alone time has been key in developing and consistently keeping deep rooted self loving habits. A hot bath is one of life’s most simple pleasures, and with winter weather afoot it’s the greatest gift you can give yourself! Throw in some jojoba oil, epsom salt, rose petals, lavender or some body oil and you’ve got an at-home spa day!
3. Being Happy With My Body
Hey, I may not have Kardashian Kurves (does anyone, actually?), but I don’t think I’ve wasted a single second of my life hating my body, and I’m really proud of that. I learned pretty early on in high school (and after crying about it only a handful of times) that I was way more comfortable fitting into little boy’s t-shirts than I was comfortable with watching myself try to impress other people. I knew I had other things going for me than what I looked like (which really wasn’t much at the time). I knew if I could build on these things – my talents, singing, writing, reading, humor, and personality – that other good things would come, and that the people who stuck around would be the ones who were meant to be there.
I think this is probably one of the most important things that you can remember, and one of the things I will do my very best to instill in my daughter because even as Grown Women, we so often forget.
Does this mean I’ve never tried to impress anyone? Uh, are you kidding? I was still 15 once…
But it did instill an uncompromising standard in me about what exactly I was willing to compromise and under what circumstances. (I’ll put up with shit from my family, for instance, that I would never deal with from anyone else). But self-hate has always been out of the question.
If you’re unhappy with your body, you might not want to look at it. You might obsessively under-eat, and then binge eat, and then feel worse about yourself. You might avoid exercise because you don’t want to even think about the problem. You might eat junk food to comfort your bad feelings, and then make the health problems worse. This can affect school, your job, your relationships, your family life. I’ve seen girls torture themselves for years about something as simple and stupid as a stretch mark or some cellulite, which happen naturally. I’ve seen girls torture ME because they’re unhappy with themselves. What a waste of time!
That kind of anxiety is poisonous to carry around with you! Letting go and being happy with exactly who you are is so important to finding the life you want. Sure – I could probably use 10 squats or so more in my day, even when I’m already doing 50-100 reps as per my plan. But who couldn’t?
(maybe her. ^ she may not need any more squats.)
Striving for improvement is a wonderful goal – but comparison, jealousy or harping on comments from others isn’t helping to motivate you! Not giving a crap if other people are happy with my body has left me so much time to work on other super important things and gotten me way closer to my goals than wasting even a moment otherwise!
At least once a day tell yourself you’re beautiful in the mirror. Even if it seems and feels silly. Say it until you mean it! (Tweet this.)
2. Being Honest
It is impossible to achieve what you truly want if you are denying or deceiving yourself. It took this realization for me to truly change my habits. The minute you feel the relief of honesty with yourself, your life truly changes. This was the first time I really felt that I had “found the feeling” of Oneness with myself. For some people this never pops up as a problem, but many of us tell ourselves lies when we’re unhappy in our lives in order to make things easier to swallow. We do it to stay in relationships, or get out of them. To stay in a job, to stay home, or move out, or feel good about ourselves.
Whatever the case is, honesty is vital to making effective changes and identifying who you really are and what you really want. When you lie about who you are or what you really believe, you reinforce the idea that you need to pretend to be someone else or that you are not fundamentally “good enough”. Worse than that, you undermine virtually every other key principle for self improvement, because they are based on the premise that you have identified as your authentic self and your goals. Without the truth of who you are and what you really want, you cannot have clarity in life and you cannot achieve your dreams because you have no true direction.
You need to practice honesty at every level of your life, not just with yourself. When you are dishonest, you are effectively saying that you are not worthy enough, that you do not deserve good things and that the only way to get things is to lie or cheat. This appears in the form of lying, cheating, boasting, stealing, exaggeration… at the most fundamental level these things are not honest and are a negative affirmation to the self.
1. Forgiving Myself
The funny thing is, I know I have completely forgiven myself for things that a lot of other people have NOT forgiven me for. This sucks. For them.
Once I experienced complete compassion for myself, it was easy to let go of what I had done in the past and use it for exactly what it was: a formidable life lesson for the future.
Once we experience compassion for ourselves, self forgiveness is the next step. When we look deeply enough inside we see that keepings ourselves “unforgiven” is actually motivated by love. We hold ourselves as unforgivable in hopes that we never do that thing again because we don’t want to hurt anyone else or ourselves. This is usually unconscious, and it’s extremely self destructive if not worked through.
I invite you to look back on any experience in your past where you are carrying guilt or shame. Look at what your true intention was when you did what you did. You may have had a limited awareness of options and perhaps made choices that brought yourself and others undesirable results, but you did the best you could at the time. You need to see the truth of this for yourself – that all of your actions came from a basic human survival instinct, which in essence is loving yourself.
If you look deep enough you will discover that your truest intention was to take care of yourself in the best way you knew at the time. (tweet this.)
If you use this as the Life Lesson that all of our past is meant to be, you can use it as a source for good and loving behavior in the future.
Pick up Cured by Nature today!