Self-love is hard, y’all. Even knowing that the lack of it may be hurting you and your efforts to lead a more fruitful and fulfilling life, once you get into that self-destructive pattern it’s a desperately hard one to get out of.
Here are 6 tips to help you create healthy patterns and learn to love yourself better.
Enlist an accountability partner.
The fact is that you are not going to be able to change these destructive patterns on your own. Find someone you trust who can keep you accountable and support you when you’re having a bad day.
Find better friends.
There’s an old adage I love that speaks perfectly to this point: “it’s hard to soar with eagles when you’re surrounded by turkeys.” Or, as my mom always used to say, we are the company we keep. If you’re surrounded by negative, critical, or unhappy people, you’re likely going to end up the same. Find some positive, encouraging friends who can lift you up instead of drag you down.
Change your scenery.
This is a common trick I use. As soon as I catch myself going down an unhealthy mental path of self-flagellation, I try to pick up and leave wherever I am. If I’m working from home I go to a coffee shop. If I’m talking with someone I ask to change the subject. The important thing is that you change your mental space, but often changing your physical environment can be a huge head start to that endeavor.
Stamp out perfectionism.
In my husband’s line of work they have a term called MVP. Every time I hear it I harken back to my sports days and the Most Valuable Players. In his field, however, MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product. In other words, just get it out there and then makes changes as necessary. Perfect is the enemy of done. You’re never going to be perfect, so cut yourself some slack and start getting stuff done instead.
Don’t compare yourself to others.
I like to say that we often compare our realities to other people’s fantasies. We look at our dirty messy lives, don’t see any of that on Instagram or Twitter, and wonder what is wrong with us. Remember that your friends all have dirty, messy lives, too. They’re just choosing not to show that on their social media accounts.
Focus on someone else.
One of the best ways I’ve found to turn my negative thoughts around is to stop focusing on myself and go help someone else. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Visit a hospital. Call out bingo at an old folks’ home. Spend time at an animal shelter. It’s amazing how much more manageable your problems seem when you’re focused on something else!
What tips do you have to help learn how to love yourself better? Let me know in the comments!