This year I’ve decided to fall head-over-heels in love with myself. Almost that 90’s R&B kind of love but with no bumping and grinding. I’m a hopeless romantic in denial, but within the first month that I turned 30, I recognized that I couldn’t welcome the supportive and nurturing romantic love that I desired while ignoring the fact that I also needed to give that kind of love to myself.
For a people-pleaser like myself, this realization sparked within me what Oprah would call an “Aha Moment.” Often, I’ve done things to make other people happy but would never think about doing the same thing for myself. I might go out of my way to buy someone an expensive gift but deny myself something with the subconscious belief that I wasn’t worth the expense. Once I realized that in many ways I denied myself, love, I had to start accepting the fact that I’m deserving of the love that I give to others.
So how have I started this quest towards self-love? First, I started outlining the treatment I required from others. Such as deciding when to stand up for me, end relationships, or not give as much of myself to those who can’t reciprocate. I’ve also decided to incorporate the following categories into my life multiple times a month to elevate my happiness:
Performing acts of self-love and nurturing
Executing acts of personal growth
Trying something new
Doing something social
Traveling somewhere new or outside my general area
So far, I’m liking this self-love thing! I’ve noticed that my anxiety has slightly diminished and I feel more confident, energetic, and emotionally healthier. It feels pretty damn liberating to be what society calls “selfish” now and then and I can’t wait to see the person who I’ve grown into towards the end of 2017.
As women, we’re often told that our self-worth comes from how we make others feel but we’re rarely taught how to make ourselves feel good. In the end, our greatest and most endearing relationship will always be with ourselves so we might as well love the person that stares back at us in the mirror. Therefore, I challenge you to take less than two seconds out of your day that might be filled with deadlines, obligations, a commute, and tedious tasks just to tell yourself, “I love you.” You might be surprised that directing these three simple words towards yourself can be just as energizing as a cup of coffee.
Astrid Heim | Contributor