Ultimate Guide to Self-Love
Remember when I said 2018 would be my year of self-love? I’m making progress! Let’s rejoice, haha. It’s a miracle.
How has this transformation happened? I have a couple examples. My sleep habits have improved, as well as my eating habits, and I’m somehow forgiving myself for my stupid mistakes. Like getting into a car accident in January. Talk about a kick in the bank account, ouch.
However, to tell you all the truth, my 2018 self-love regime got off to a rocky start. 2018 taught me that I need to let go of what’s not working in my life in order to truly make positive changes.
Now I feel ready to fully commit myself and embark on my own personal “Journey of Awesomeness.” Having an idealistic mindset opens many doors. I still don’t know if I believe in the “Law of Attraction,” but hey, who knows.
Finally there’s no better way for me to embrace the concept of self-love than offering advice to my amazing online community. YOU. I’m so thankful for you guys! You help me stay motivated. I mean it.
Without further ado, I want to share some of my greatest self-love tips with you lovely folks. I know a lot of my readers suffer from anxiety. As a result, I don’t want to only give travel advice on this website. While travel is a big part of me, of us, we need to show ourselves kindness in our “run of the mill” daily lives too. So, in addition to my travel advice, I’m offering (free) guides to help you improve your quality of life.
You deserve only the best, nothing less.
Tip #1: Nourish Your Body
You only have one body in this life so you need to take very good care of it. Love your body like it’s the most beautiful guy/girl in the entire universe. Woohoo!
Okay, now this is easier said than done. To be honest, I’m not a fitness junkie. I’ve never gotten “into” healthy eating instagrams or any of that stuff, because body image is a sore spot for me. Instead of motivating me, fitness quotes and blogs and instagrammers always make me feel like I’m not good enough. Not cool.
Furthermore, my eating habits are a huge vice of mine. Why? I adore junk food. Potato chips, ice cream sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies, chicken fingers, crispy french fries, all of it. If I was allowed to eat anything I wanted with no consequences, my diet would resemble those crazy Mukbang videos you can watch on Youtube. Don’t search if you’re hungry.
Despite all of this, eating well makes you feel physically better. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, get those vitamins into your system and your mood will improve. Exercise is also very important to keep your body happy and satisfied. As for me, I recently signed up for Kickboxing classes to not only feel physically stronger, but to make some new friends in the process.
Tip #2: Expand Your Social Circle
Yes, you need to expand your social circle to truly feel some self-love. I’m not saying your life should resemble a popularity contest, but it’s important to have meaningful friendships. Humans are social creatures. I know I like my alone time, but if you’re all by yourself, watching Arrested Development reruns 24/7, then eventually depression sinks in.
How do you expand your social circle? My advice is to check out MeetUp and Couchsurfing, and see what events are happening in your area. Go alone if you have to. I promise you will strike a conversation with someone.
If nothing appeals to you on either of those sites, then go to trusty Google and sign up for a cooking, art, or fitness class, and you’ll totally meet people with similar interests. You may not meet a brand new best friend, but expanding your social circle gives you more to look forward to and you’ll feel more content with yourself.
Don’t forget to deepen the quality relationships you already have! The grass is greenest where you water it, after all.
Tip #3: Work on a Project that Excites You
For me, my lovely travel blog is my main project. Writing about travel makes me smile. Duh. On weekends, I’ll sometimes wake up early with the sole purpose of writing a new blog post. That’s love.
I also like knowing that my posts help people, specifically people who may be too scared to travel, without a little push from me. My “project” allows me to help the travel community. It’s important to me. I feel awful (no joke) when I don’t update my travel blog.
It’s time for you to create, build, and finish a quality project that you feel amazing about.
Remember projects come in all shapes and sizes. For example, my best friend likes home improvement and art projects. Another friend of mine likes to write novels even if she never wants to go through the hassle of publication. Go with your passion and run with it.
Working on a project forces you to complete a product. This completion brings you a sense of self-worth and pride, because you contributed something brand new to the world and loved putting it together.
Tip #4: Give Back to Your Community
Nothing quite inspires self-love like giving something wonderful to your community. Generosity always seems to brighten my mood, that’s for sure.
So look into local causes. Help at a soup kitchen. Volunteer at an after school program or a local library. Work a phone hotline. Your services won’t go unnoticed or unthanked, and you will feel proud of yourself for making a difference in your area. Even helping one person is awesome.
As for me, I plan on fostering cats and dogs once I move to a more pet friendly environment. I’ve always loved animals, but my traveling lifestyle (plus the costs of food and vet bills!) makes it difficult for me to own a pet. However, by fostering, I can give animals a temporary home in a cost effective way that helps my local community.
If you’re unsure where to begin, ask friends, family, and co-workers to point you in the right direction. You’ll find a service that appeals to you.
Tip #5: Surround Yourself with Positive People
This point more deeply elaborates on my suggestion of expanding your social circle. It’s important to make new friends and nourish your old relationships, yes. However, only associate with individuals who bring light into your life. Our time on earth is too short to cater to people who have no desire to connect with us. Be picky.
Don’t spend time with toxic people. Emotional manipulators. Chronic borrowers who don’t return your stuff. Complainers and narcissists. WHOEVER. Cut all of them out of your life to make space for people who matter and make you feel like you can take on the world. You deserve better than lackluster relationships.
And don’t feel afraid to start demanding better treatment either. You’re not crazy or selfish to demand excellence from those who you allow into your life. The people who care will stay and meet your high standards. The ones who don’t care will get lost, which is only a win for you, I promise.
This rule can apply to both dating and friendships, and believe it or not, family members. We make our own families.
Tip #6: Learn and Develop a New Skill
You are never too old to learn a new and nifty skill to enrich your life. You can add so many cool hobbies to your “bag of tricks,” which will impress everyone around you. Need some ideas? Study a new language. Take an Italian cooking class. Participate in drawing lessons. The world is your oyster.
Don’t be afraid of failing either. Practice makes perfect. And the biggest failure is never trying. I thought I would look stupid at my kickboxing class, but I absolutely loved the work out and now have unlimited membership until summer rolls around.
What other skills am I learning? Well, I recently joined a Young Professionals hiking group that I’m looking forward to in the warmer months. I never was a big hiker, but I hope to develop a deeper appreciation for it, and eventually make it to all the National Parks in the United States. We’ll see how I do! Who knows. Maybe I’ll transform into a “real” camper, hahaha.
Do something new! Don’t be scared. You’ll only improve yourself.
Tip #7: Travel Someplace that Thrills You
Ahhh, yes, of course. You know me. I eat and breathe travel. And travel brings lots of self-satisfaction and love.
So go someplace new and exciting! A place you always wanted to see in person but made excuses for why you never went there. And if you can’t find a travel buddy, then board a plane yourself and go on an epic adventure all by your freakin’ self. I think everyone – especially women – should travel alone at least once in their lives to reconnect with themselves. It’s healthy.
Don’t have the money to jet halfway across the world? Then organize a local getaway with yourself or friends. You won’t regret it. And sometimes the gems we find in our own backyards are just as awe-inspiring as the wonders of the world.
Travel also builds confidence, resilience, and a whole host of other empowering character traits. Is it scary? Sure, sometimes. The rewards, however, outweigh the fears by a long shot. You got this.
Tip #8: Say Something Nice About Yourself Everyday
Our brains fall into negative self-talk easily. Too easily, if you ask me. Was this supposed to be an evolutionary trait of some sort? I don’t get it.
Have you ever once really thought about all the horrible things you say to yourself on a regular basis? “Why are you so stupid?” “Why did you forget your credit card again?” “Why are you so fat in those jeans?”
If you ever spoke to other people the way you spoke to yourself, then you would (understandably) have no friends at all, and heck, you would deserve to be alone. Oh, and I’m sure you’d be fired too for being such an ass.
So stop the negative self-talk. It’s unhealthy and won’t instill strong self-esteem. Instead I encourage you to find something awesome about yourself every day and say it aloud.
Tip #9: Show Gratitude
We always seem to focus on what we lost rather than what we already have in our possession. We take people and objects for granted, and then complain we don’t have enough money, a hot enough boyfriend, a cooler apartment, faster car, yadda yadda yadda. I live in the USA. Here, people are constantly chasing after “a better life” before allowing themselves to feel happiness.
What a joke.
Try to remember all the blessings in your life instead of moping about that BMW you can’t afford yet. And sure, sometimes the world is a tough and unforgiving place. Sometimes it’s damn hard to see through the fogginess and realize we still have some gems in our back pockets. But I promise you, you always have something, even if it’s small, to be grateful for.
Let’s think. Hmmm, for example, if you’re reading this post right now, then you have internet access, are able to sign onto a computer or use a smartphone, and you have free time to sit and read travel blogs. You have the eyesight to even read the words. You CAN actually read period. That is more than many people can confidently say.
And please, while we’re on the subject, don’t take people for granted either. You can’t stick a person on a shelf until s/he is needed to entertain you. Doesn’t work that way. You never know when someone may be gone for good. Show appreciation before its too late. Having no regrets will only grow your sense of self-love.
Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.
How do you accomplish self-love in your daily life? Share in the comments.