Self-love sometimes has this misconstrued definition. Loving yourself does not mean that you will wake up every morning with the mindset, “I’m the most beautiful person in the world.” Self-love is that little voice you need to have in your head that tells you, especially on the days you don’t feel so beautiful, the one that says “hey I know things are hard right now, I know you don’t always feel beautiful on the inside or the outside. Despite all of that, though, you are still worthy of love and worthy of respect.”

On some days, though, listening or even finding that little voice can feel impossible. It is still so important to take care of yourself, though, especially on the bad days.

Growing up, my father always told me, “no one can love you unless you love yourself,” and I never believed that phrase to be true I mean my family loved me, my friends loved me, I had been in relationships where people had loved me. What I didn’t see, though, is that although all these people did love me, since I didn’t love myself, I never was able to truly see the love they had for me because I hated myself so much I didn’t believe that anyone could love me for who I am.

Loving yourself is so difficult, by far, one of the hardest things I have ever done. I promise any of you reading this, though, once you start to love yourself, everything changes. How you carry yourself, how you speak, your actions, and, most importantly, how you let others treat you thoroughly takes a 180-degree turn. Below I have added some very cliche but VERY true ways to begin and continue loving yourself, especially on the bad days.

  • Let your feelings be validated – Understand that you will have bad days and let yourself have them. Don’t beat yourself up just because you are feeling low. Have that bad day, sit in your room: cry, shout, eat a pint of ice cream. Do what you need to do to feel better and understand that it is okay to feel bad sometimes.
  • On the bad days, give yourself a little extra love buy yourself your favorite meal, get a face mask, binge watch an entire series and feel zero guilt about it, TREAT YO SELF.
  • Reassure yourself that the problem will pass Yes, the phrase “this too shall pass” is sort of a dumb cliche, but that doesn’t make it any less true. It may not be tomorrow, and it may not be next month or six months from now. But one day, I promise you this will all make sense. You will come out of this storm as a different person but as a stronger person (another great cliche)
  • Start paying more attention to yourselfThis is not selfish and is, in my opinion, the biggest step in loving yourself. Pay more attention to your own needs. If you’re unsure of those, I find that some deep meditation or yoga always guides me through self-reflection and makes me realize the things I am missing. Give yourself at least 10 minutes of alone time to truly reflect on your day and appreciate things.
  • Forgive yourself We have all made mistakes, terrible mistakes. If we let those mistakes take control of us, we lose sight of ourselves. Forgive yourself. No matter how terrible your error may be. Most people never have the intention of genuinely hurting others, and we are all trying to do what we think is best for ourselves and others. Sometimes we are wrong, and we mess up, but we can’t hate ourselves forever over it.
  • Practice the kind of love you desire to receive –  We spend all this time trying to find “the one.” The one who will love us unconditionally, the one who will always be there, always try to make us happy. When, in fact, what we don’t realize is that “the one” is ourselves. The more light we give off, the more light we attract. We are born lovable and with a willingness to love others. Fall in love with yourself. 🙂