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How to actually learn to love yourself

by Sulvey Polanco

Love yourself first.

It’s hard. When it’s innate, it’s even harder. From birth, we’re suffocated with advertisements and illusions that dictate what beauty is. Through photoshopped models and beauty influencers telling you what to eat, what to wear, and how to look, we’ve grown up with the ideology that if you don’t look like them, you aren’t beautiful.

What we often fail to notice is that beauty is not linear. It comes in different shapes and sizes. It’s unique to each individual. We shouldn’t be forced to abide by society’s newest fad or latest trend controlling us to act a certain way to achieve the oh-so-raved-about vision of beauty.

Unfortunately for many of us who don’t feel like we fit the spectrum of what “beauty” is, it’s hard to imagine us feeling any sort of body positivity to ourselves.

These 5 tips are key to learning to love yourself in all your entirety, the way you deserve to be loved:

 

1. Stop comparing yourself to others

It’s inevitable. There will always be people that you perceive as “better” than you. But that shouldn’t be the case. It’s important for you to realize you can never be someone else, but you can be a better version of yourself. It is OKAY to admire someone else’s beauty, but you shouldn’t aspire to be anyone else. You are beautiful regardless of what anyone else looks like.

A variety of Vogue magazine covers with Rihanna's cover in center

 

2. Find things you love about yourself

I’m not going to be unrealistic and tell yourself to look in the mirror every night and tell yourself ten things that you love. Instead, you need to challenge yourself to stop focusing on things that you don’t find appealing to yourself and focus on things you actually do like. This is tricky at first and can make you extremely uncomfortable, but once you start finding things you love about yourself and genuinely appreciating them, the other things fade in comparison.

A makeup bag reading "flawless" with brushes, lipsticks and an iphone spilling out

 

3. Do what makes YOU happy

You shouldn’t rely on anybody to be the main source of your happiness. You are your own person and nobody has the right to dictate what you can and can’t do. A key ingredient to self-love is doing more of what makes you happy doing regardless of what others have to say about it. The main person you should aim to please is yourself.

Group of 3 men and 1 women wearing glasses and laughing in front of sky scenery

 

4. Learn that you are more than just your looks

There are so many aspects that go into somebody’s beauty. Beauty is not solely based on looks, but instead involves who you are as a person. How much you weigh or how much makeup you wear does not determine your self-worth, and you shouldn’t rely on someone’s approval to validate your beauty. I used to find myself focusing so much on the number on the scale, but after a while, I started to realize how silly that was. Your weight is just a number, it doesn’t determine your beauty.

Hand holding white measuring tape

 

5. Be kind to your body

To love yourself, you HAVE to treat your body with the love and respect it deserves. This can come in many forms. Whether it be feeding your body things you love eating, attending your favourite yoga class, or treating yourself to skin care, pampering yourself will make you feel beautiful inside and out.

Open novel, 3 pears, and cup of tea on top of knitted blanket

Bottom line, you are loved and you will get through whatever life throws at you. Don’t allow anyone to knock you down and diminish your worth because you are worth SO MUCH MORE than you think.

You are beautiful, inside and out.


Want to know more about mental health? Check out why talking about mental health is SO important!

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