Our society is inundated with this blaring message that in order to find love you must first love yourself. While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with this message, my issue is with the fact that the journey of self-love is often tied with trying to find your “true love.” Why can’t we simply learn to love ourselves for the benefit of ourselves?
It’s key to love yourself not just so that someone else will love you, but also so that you can live a much more comfortable and liberating life. How can you go on living a productive and fulfilling life if you have yet to accept yourself fully? I’ll admit that self-love is a process, so do not be afraid to start that journey (if you haven’t already) because most of us will be on this journey for quite some time. But if you’re one of those people who have already embarked on this path to self-acceptance, and self-love then you are on the right page already.
So check out my 23, yes 23, Ways to Embrace Your Splendor.
- Daily Affirmations
These are honestly some of the best things to apply to your daily life. Think of a daily affirmation as your life’s mantra. Think of 3 positive keywords you want to be reflected in your life and state them daily in the mirror to yourself.
For example, “I am powerful, phenomenal and precious.” You can even go as far to say something along the lines of “I am a treasure and should be treated with the utmost respect.” For those of us who saw Girls Trip, we can link this back to the Regina Hall’s character Ryan who was constantly found repeating a self-affirmation in her time of distress.
Although I’ve never really watched much of it but to those of you who are Being Mary Jane fans, I’m sure you all are familiar with her season 1 post its all over her mirror. If you practice this daily affirmation exercise, I can reassure you that it will help to boost your mood for the day. It’s especially helpful when you repeat and mediate on these words in the morning before going about your day.
- STOP comparing yourself to others
This is probably the worst thing one can do, especially in today’s society. Nowadays we are inundated with pictures, updates and such of others that we barely have time to look at ourselves. While that guy or gal might have what appears to be what you want, you do not know what they went through in order to get that desire. Your journey can only be compared to one person and that is…YOU.
I cannot stress this enough. Writing has gotten me through some of the worse times in my life. You don’t have to be an Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, or Edwidge Danticat. Just get yourself a nice little notebook or hell a sheet of receipt paper (I did this at an old dining hall job I had). But whatever it is, just write how you’re feeling at the moment. Express yourself. Even if you just open up the notes app in your handy dandy device, just type a few words throughout the day to check in with yourself. Hell, it can be as simple as “You good sis?” Yes I call myself “sis,” sometimes. Don’t judge!
Nor do you have to type like this….
- Be Real With Yourself
If you know that you cannot do a certain thing for whatever reason, don’t try to pressure yourself. Always push but don’t pressure. Be happy with you are at the moment and understand the importance of being transparent with yourself.
- Play Dress Up!
Sometimes we just need a day where we slap on some lip gloss or even chap-stick. Do up our hair, put our nicest pair of clothes on and strut our stuff.
- Take a Media Break
This goes back to #2, we’re so used to scrolling, clicking and liking to the point where we set up certain standards for ourselves. These standards are often subconsciously developed from what we see on TV but nowadays it’s especially from social media. But guess what? You can control what you see on your newsfeed. Unlike the days when we were growing up with just TV as our main source of media, we can control what appears in our feed based off of who we follow. Regardless, there might be people we follow who seem to be doing better than us which can cause our insecurities to surface while taking a daily scroll. Don’t believe the hype!
- Strengthen Your Body
Sometimes the best way to be more comfortable with yourself is to tone up. While this doesn’t mean to develop a rigorous workout plan, some of us, myself included, needs this in their life. Set goals for exercise that caters to your specific body type, and your mind as well. This can be done by reading more, paying brain games and of course making physical activity a part of your daily life.
- Remember Your Story
We all have different reasons as of to how we got to where we are today. Remember the beauty in your past and the ugliness too. Those two factors are what have guided you to the life you are living now. Your story is unique and beautiful just like you are. You have just as much power to positively impact the world as the next person. You just being you is enough already.
- Switch Up Your style
This is not to sound superficial but if you want to love the skin you’re in more, then take more time to groom yourself. Now grooming can be different for various people. So don’t think it only means throwing makeup on or wearing the latest trends. Add a little bit more flavor to your usual style. Make it your own. Whatever it is, sis make it pop.
- Accentuate YOUR favorite features
We all have at least one thing about our bodies or our personalities that we love. If you can’t think of it immediately, think about it for a little then jot some thoughts down. Whatever that thing is for you, find it, embrace it and accentuate it. It could be your smile, your legs or your humor. Take that splendid feature of yours and rock it like nobody’s business.
- Buy Yourself Something Nice
I cannot stress this enough. I understand that everyone’s financial situations are different but there is a helping hand in the app world called Groupon. During my short time as a teacher I used up Groupon to visit nearly every massage parlor, spa or nail salon in New Orleans. If you’ve never had a massage, trust me you are missing out on sweet, sweet splendor. So as my bestie Sam and I often say to each other “Treat yo self!” aka our favorite Parks & Rec line of all time.
- Appreciate Your Differences
Perhaps you feel as if you are an anomaly of some sort or that you’ve never fit in (that’s me). Learn to embrace those differences. We must remember that no one in the world is built like us and therefore we all bring something splendid to the table. Your differences just might be the inspiration someone similar to you needs to see in order to build more confidence within their self.
- Stop Judging Yourself
Listen here sis, there are far too many struggles in this cold world to worry about. Judging yourself should not be one of those struggles. Let that judgmental mentality go and allow yourself to enjoy life while you can.
- Respect Your Body
A lot of us treat our bodies like dumpsters. We dump all types of trashy foods into it as if it doesn’t take us from point A to B every day. Our bodies treat us so well but they’ll treat us even better the better we take care of it from inside to out. My advice would be to fuel it with the proper nutrients, surround it with the right energy and burn the right amount of energy off too. Don’t just allow anyone to occupy your space, time or your body.
- Find What Makes YOU Happy
If that means binge watching hours of old episodes of Spongebob or Living Single while scarfing down some (healthy) snacks or going for a run. Find something that brings you joy in the day and specifically make it a part of your daily routine.
- Take Yourself Out
This is another thing I’ve grown to love this year. Some call it masterDating and I love it. I’ve gone to concerts, dinners, and the movies all on my own. In fact, I sometimes prefer that because then there are no expectations that I have for others. I know myself best so I know that being in my company won’t let me down. Going out on your own can seem a bit scary at first but trust after the third time you’ll be a pro. Yes to masterDates! During your moments of solitude, you also get a chance to truly learn what it is that you love.
- Watch daily Motivational Videos
I am a motivational video junky. Literally if you go through my YouTube video history or watch later list, all you’ll see is in relation to personal development or regarding living your best life. Trust me it helps. If you watch one everyday for at least 5 minutes before starting your day it can give your soul a nice boost of energy. It’s like an espresso shot for your mind and spirit. Some of my favorites to watch are Les Brown, Lisa Nichols and Ralph Smart (Infinite Waters).
- Sip a Splendid Drink
Wine? Daiquiri? Smoothies? Or a simple sweet tea on the rocks? Choose your flavor and sip your beverage in peace. If you aren’t already up on the smoothie wave, I urge you to get on it. I have one at least 3-5x a week. But, this is about YOU. Find your favorite drink, blast some music and sip that tea, wine, or smoothie.
- Treat Your Body
You don’t even need a spa for spa treatment. YouTube and Pinterest are stock full of DIY spa ideas for your home. So if you’re an introvert like me you don’t even got to leave the comfort of your own humble abode. You can even hit up your local pharmacy for some mini facial packets. I’ve used a few that are so relaxing and rejuvenating for my skin. Another way to treat your body is to cook yourself a good meal…or order one. But, if you are not a big cooker, trust me it can be relaxing once you get the hang of it. Not everyone is the kitchen friendly type and I understand.
- Laugh More
Did you know it takes more energy and muscles to frown than to smile? I would insert a link with stats about this little fun fact but I’m too tired to do so at the moment. So google it. Anyways, there is so much to smile about in this world and to laugh about. Yet we tend to get some caught up in the circumstances that make us cry so much more than those that can bring us tears of joy. I tend to laugh a lot because I make silly jokes to get myself through the day. You can find standup specials everywhere or if that’s not your wave watch Teletubbies (I promise you won’t stop laughing).
- Take a Damn Nap
Enough said. Sleep. That is all.
- …Just Breathe
There’s a song I would hear on the radio as a kid that has always been a favorite. Basically there are times when all we need to just do is breathe. Part of embracing the skin your in is accepting your life for what it is. Now if you are trying to get to the next level you should being making strides towards that. However, it is okay to just breathe and take a break. Give yourself a break when it is necessary.
- Drink Water
Look, I ain’t bout to play with you sis. Drink your damn water and go! People out here having all these different conditions and come to find out some of y’all just parched. Quench your thirst, love yourself and moisturize.
Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,