I have a confession: I used to be a mean girl. I’ve called a girl ugly. I’ve made fun of her for her weight. I told her she was worthless. Who was this defenseless girl I was so awful to?
Everyone judges themselves. We hold ourselves to standards we wouldn’t expect out of anyone else. I always did. I was the worst about it. Sure, we should have standards, but expecting perfection and then hating ourselves when we don’t reach it isn’t the way to go. We need to learn to love ourselves. Being in a healthy relationship with yourself is one of the most important things you can have in life. You are the only person you will have to live with for your entire existence. You’re stuck with you, so you need to learn to be nice. Here are the first steps to start being kind to yourself:
1. Stop comparing yourself with others
There’s no need to compare. Whether you judge your life by someone else’s or vice versa, you’ll get nowhere. To quote a line I’ve seen floating around the Internet, “Don’t compare your behind the scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.” That’s probably some of the best advice I’ve read online. Once you start realizing life isn’t a race, things will get a whole lot better.
2. Be kind to others and you’ll find yourself being kind to you, too
Kindness is contagious. Allow others to make mistakes. Once I understood that others were human and I started giving them the benefit of the doubt, I started doing the same with myself. Not only was it refreshing not getting frustrated with the errors of others, but it was also nice to not beat myself up every time I made a mistake.
3. Look in the mirror every day and acknowledge your beauty
So many of us have insecurities about our bodies. Guess what though? You’re beautiful. Start recognizing that. Look in the mirror. Touch your stomach. Wave your arms in the air. Do all of this without any negative thoughts. If you start spending time looking at and giving care to your body, you’ll find it’s not so bad. Remember the lotion challenge? It’s like that.
4. Write down everything you like about yourself and what you are proud of doing
For most of us, it feels weird to compliment ourselves. Writing down a list of traits you are glad you have and things you’re happy you did is an indirect way of paying yourself a compliment. Love the way you rock your curls? Write it down. Proud of yourself for overcoming your anxiety when you made a presentation at the last meeting? Throw it on the list too. You deserve to recognize how amazing you are.
5. Take care of yourself
If you want to be nice yourself, you have to treat yourself right. Eat right. Exercise and get enough sleep. Start yoga. Write or paint. Do things to help take care of your body and mind. Make yourself a priority, and don’t apologize for it.