With the new year in full swing and everyone switching their mindset from celebration to self-improvement, it can be even harder to tap into loving ourselves than we may have previously experienced. With the rush to ‘get fit’ after the holidays including cheap gym memberships, supplement sales, and many other advertisements being thrown constantly at you, it doesn’t offer much variety in the messages we’re receiving.
I see no problem with wanting to get fit as the new year begins, nor do I see a problem with rushing to join the gym and taking advantage of the discounts. I too began my gym journey as a New Year’s incentive to get fit, and personally love seeing the new faces at the gym through the season. I more so want to draw attention to how we feel about ourselves during this time.
Like myself and I’m sure many others, self-love has not come easy, nor does it come effortlessly. Over the years I have worked hard at learning to love myself both physically and mentally, and I can honestly say I’ve come a long way from the girl who couldn’t find one nice thing to say about herself, to a woman who loves each and every one of her quirks. But that being said, it’s not to say I don’t feel the pressure to drastically improve myself as the New Year approaches.
It’s hard to sort your thoughts out when you have a constant stream of mixed feedback coming right at you. You’re being told you’re perfect just the way you are, but you also simultaneously are being told theres many areas you can improve in. Hence the constant barrage of advertisements and unsolicited advice coming directly for you.
Or, you may feel as though you’re finally in a good place. You’re finally working towards loving yourself the way you truly deserve. And then the New Year hits, and you see social media blow up over people starting new exercise regimes and diets, having you question why you aren’t jumping to do the same.
If any of that resonated with you, your feelings are completely normal. Self-love is not so much a destination, but more of a never-ending journey. As we change and grow, the love we have for ourselves must change and grow with us. We learn to appreciate the new things we are capable of doing, as well as letting go of the stage of life we are no longer in. Self-love is not linear, nor can it be predicted. Self-love can be exercised and practised, but definitely not purchased. Self-love is a lifelong lesson of learning to see yourself as home, and building a companionship with who you are.
That being said, its OK to feel as though you don’t love yourself as much today, or this week. Maybe there is something pressing you want to change about yourself. Maybe you are undergoing a massive life change and aren’t sure how to love what is going on. All of those feelings are completely normal.
I find especially this time of year, with the New Year self-improvement train chugging full speed ahead as we cruise right into the darkest, dreariest months of January and February, it can really be hard to completely be in love with yourself. We are all coming down from the holiday high, the sugar has been thrown out, the family has gone home. The twinkly lights and wine have been tucked away for a better time. There are no foreseeable holidays in the near future. Theres approximately 4 solid hours of daylight, 2 of which are usually covered in cloud. All of this creating the perfect storm for a blah mood, which truly feeds into how we feel about ourselves.
With all of this being said, I want to highlight that it’s important we still engage ourselves on our self-love journey. Often times when we don’t feel great, we can’t see the greatness we hold within ourselves. When we don’t see that greatness, we stop doing things for ourselves. We stop tending to the small details, such as participating in self-care, taking extra time for ourselves, and investing in ourselves. This may be skipping a workout, not taking time to do something we truly enjoy, or neglecting our health in other ways.
With this new year, I want to change that pattern. I want to break the cycle of coming down hard and fast after the holidays and neglecting ourselves. I want to inspire you to feel the burning desire to focus on loving yourself, despite the mixed signal overload in regards to self-improvement. I want you to continue on your self-love journey without a second thought. I want you to spend time with yourself each and every day, exploring who you really are and falling in love with that person over and over again.
Below I’ve listed three simple things you can try to incorporate in your daily life to continue on your self-love journey. Try adding one to your daily routine to see how you feel!
Spend five minutes looking at yourself in the mirror
Look at yourself and truly study yourself. Study the symmetry of your face and the shape. Take note of all of the contours, lines, spots, freckles, scars, wrinkles, or dimples. Find one thing you love about your face, maybe it’s your sparkling eyes or full lips, maybe the shape of your face or the configuration of your features. Compliment that one thing. Repeat this every day until you truly believe what you’re saying. Then, try complimenting another. Repeat the next step until you have fallen in love with the person in the mirror.
Invest in yourself
This may mean a lot of different things for a lot of different people, but to keep it simple, do something for yourself that completely benefits you. Whether this be starting a workout regime/going to the gym, purchasing a new appliance to aid in healthy cooking, enrolling in a course to better yourself, or simply starting a new habit to work towards creating a lifestyle change, investing in yourself is a huge part of self-love.
When we invest in ourselves, whether it be time, effort or money, we reap the benefits and rewards. When we seriously invest in ourselves, we can begin to see changes in lifestyle and overall well being. Start today by looking at something you want to do for yourself, and figure out how to make that happen. If you’re still stuck, you can visit my previous post 10 Things You Can do to Change Your Life Right Now for ideas.
Stop comparing yourself to others
This one is a biggie, and is by far the hardest thing to do. It’s SO easy to compare ourselves when everyone’s highlight reel is constantly on display. But it’s important to remember just that: everyones highlight reel is on display. We all have a selfie we’ve never posted or days where we don’t feel like posting about our day because nothing truly happened, and so does everyone else.
It’s important to remember that we are all in different stages in our journeys, and we are also all on different journeys. There’s no sense in comparing your day 1 to someone’s day 578, especially if you’re not even on the exact same journey. Look at your own accomplishments and feel proud for how far you’ve come. Measure your success by what is important to you, and whether you’re achieving your own goals at your desired pace.
Despite the constant nagging feeling to rush out and change everything about ourselves at this time of year, it’s important to prioritize our self-love. Developing a deeper appreciation for who you are as a person, as well as all of your strengths and positive attributes is a magical feeling. You are your oldest, dearest friend, and it makes it way easier to last a lifetime with yourself if you’re not fighting yourself every step of the way. Tap into self-love and embrace wherever you are at on your self-love journey. You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.
Did anything resonate with you? Where are you at on your self-love journey? Let me know in the comments!