How to Love Yourself?
So we all know we have to practice self-love. The message is loud and clear and plastered all over social media.
And for women with acne, it is even more important to listen to this message because we are suffering more than average women. Research shows that women with acne have more anxiety and depression than women without acne, and we also have lower levels of self-esteem. Acne is truly more than a physical condition – it affects us mentally and emotionally as well.
What does self-love mean? How do we really learn how to love ourselves? How do we learn to look into mirror each and every day and love what we see, even if our skin is inflamed and angry?
How did I learn to love myself and slowly put my life back together?
Like anything, learning self-love takes effort. It is developed, not acquired. We learn self-love as we take actions that support our physical, psychological, and spiritual growth. It grows through actions that help us mature – and self-love helps us:
– Accept our weaknesses and well as our strengths
– Have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning
– Become centered in our life purpose and value
– Expect fulfillment and happiness through our own efforts
What are some steps we need to take to cultivate self-love?
1. Become mindful
Before you love yourself you need to know what you really think, feel and want. And you need to act on this knowledge, instead of what others want for you. Being still with yourself, via mindfulness or meditation, is critical to really understand yourself.
2. Set boundaries.
This one was so difficulty for me but learning to say no to anything that:
a. Depletes your energy
b. Harms you physically, mentally or emotionally
c. Doesn’t express you are
3. Bring the right people into your life that take pleasure in your happiness and success .
Either take them out of your life completely or minimize the time you spend with them. This is especially difficult if you have had to leave my husband , but luckily he became sober over 6 years ago and he is now constantly working on himself. So, so grateful for that.
4. Know your harmful behavioral patterns and remain focused on what you need, not what you want.
I have a tendency to remain stuck in the past, ruminating on incidents that were upsetting to me. When I find myself doing that, I stop, remind myself that this is not helpful and intentionally shift my thoughts.
5. Forgive yourself
We must accept our humanness and the fact that we are going to make mistakes in order to truly love ourselves. it is okay, it is part of our growth, and self-punishment or rumination is not love.
6. Practice good self-care.
Of all the points here, this is the easiest one and the default action we tend to take – During this period in my life, I was consumed with good self-care. As an ND I ate the perfect diest, took the right supplement, did the yoga daily and read all the right books. This work really kept me afloat, but it is only part of self-love, and it is not the solution.
7. Live intentionally.
Make decisions that support the type of life that you want to live. Practice gratitude and manifesting. You will love yourself more when you are able to live in line with your vision and purpose.
8. Get help in learning these skills.
I never would have learned how to love myself without some solid guidance. I found a tough-love therapist who truly called me out on all my shit and made me take responsibility for my own happiness. My husband and I also both work with Alcoholics Anonymous to dig deep and heal.
When he stopped drinking and went into recovery I made the decision to stop drinking as well and fully embrace the philosophy of AA, which has helped me so, so much. It’s tremendously smart, and I recommend following a 12-step program even if you are not an alcoholic. This is a great option if you cannot afford therapy – checkout ALANON or ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics).
Thank you so much.