By Julia Reedy
On Valentine’s Day, we spend all this time expressing the love we have for our SOs and friends and family. But there’s one person you’re probably snubbing- you! If your self-love journey is in need of some guidance, here are a few steps on how to get started.
The first step to loving yourself is simply recognizing who you are. Real love comes after that mysterious, honeymoon phase of relationships (yes, even the one you’re in with yourself), so quit the mind games. What makes you tic? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Your passions? Your fears? Being straight-up with yourself is an absolute necessity for the journey towards accepting the inner workings of you. And don’t be shy about wanting to make some inner progress. Imagine you’re a professional athlete- you still have a coach, yes? You may have perfected the craft that is, well, being you, but there’s always room for improvement.
The purpose of meditation is to rise above a thought-filled and chaotic mind to find peace, happiness and bliss. And somewhere within all that happy goodness is not only the acceptance, but the love for yourself and your life journey. But this path from A to B isn’t a straight line. We recommend employing an app, video, tape, soundtrack, whatever to help you out. Headspace is free to download and try for 10 days, is perfect for people who have zero experience with meditation (each session is only 10 minutes), and is narrated by a guy with the most soothing voice vocal chords have to offer.
This classic medium is still pumping out plenty of relevant life lessons. ‘Self-help’ holds such a cheesy and dated connotation, so let’s call them ‘how-to-polish-the-diamond-that-you-are-guides.’ Try starting with You Are a Bada** by Jen Sincero. She gives a refreshing perspective on what it means to truly believe that you can push your limits and achieve more than what you’re unknowingly settling for. Books focused on motivation are perfect- they help to get to the bottom of how it is you as an individual can best approach internal change-making.
Sometimes a little virtual tap on the shoulder at a random point in the day is exactly what we need to remind us to stay the course. Text apps like Shine help you focus on personal goals by putting an emphasis on self-compassion and being kind to your weaknesses. Daily texts that help you set intentions prompt you work on the areas that may need a little maintenance all while loving and showing kindness to them.
Taking the time to create something you’re proud of allows you to take all this self-love and channel it into a tangible entity. When working on a long-term goal that has no defined end point, it can be difficult to visualize improvement. Recorded self-expression may be exactly what you need as proof. This can be something as simple as journaling at the start or end of every day and tracking how your mindset changes over weeks and months. Maybe you want to try a more artistic medium like painting and seeing how your expressiveness improves. Make a paper trail of your journey.