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  • Writer's pictureStella Tersteeg

Practical tips on loving yourself more

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

Self-love is not something you “just” practice all day, every day. Working on loving yourself can be an intense project for yourself, about yourself that hopefully ends up with you as the happiest version of yourself. Honestly? It all starts with telling ourselves that we deserve to be happy and that we deserve to tell ourselves that.

You deserve a lot of credit every time you choose you over everyone else. Unfortunately, most of us tend to downgrade ourselves constantly, comparing ourselves to others, who “obviously have it better than we do”. This topic resonates with me as well and that is why I wanted to write about it and tell you that you are not the only one feeling straight-up shitty sometimes, after scrolling through your Instagram feed.

I think we all know the feeling that there’s always someone else who is more beautiful, more successful and more fun than you are. And we can do it all day long. It’s that girl in the supermarket or that jogging woman you come across in the park. And especially young women who grow up in the era of social media, it can be particularly difficult to focus on how amazing we are ourselves. There’s this perfect life that is created on social media, to show the best sides of us. And it keeps on growing because of the obvious survival bias: we only see the ones that succeed, who have the most likes, who have the perfect picture, because the ones that don’t, don’t stick around. We are not exposed to the “un-perfect” women as much.

Well, I want it to be time for us to stop comparing ourselves to others and start seeing the beauty, potential and power that we all have inside of us. So I want to ask you, to ask yourself, the following questions. It is a way to self-reflect upon yourself and hopefully find some answers that can help you feel great and empowered!

How do you see yourself?

If you look in the mirror, what do you see? You, like every other, will most likely come up with 100 things you don’t like about yourself.

Do you think you are too fat, too skinny? Do you see the pimples on your face or the cellulite on your legs? Do you feel you have watched too much Netflix that day and do you punish yourself for it? Do you consider it a failure that you didn’t manage to get up and do everything on your to-do list?

If you talk yourself down and criticize yourself, it is not difficult to praise others for what you think you are not.

To whom do you compare yourself the most?

How do you feel after you have scrolled through your social media feeds? If I speak for myself, I always feel somewhat anxious and unfulfilled after having spent some time on Instagram. It is not empowering to see every other health influencer tell you what they do to get that six pack they have and that you should do it too.

Maybe you compare yourself the most with your own friends or family. Maybe you envy the life of that one fashion model or that one online influencer that seems to travel the world for free without having to work for it. What keeps you from stopping to look at them and starting to look at your fantastic self?

What and/or who makes you feel good about yourself?

Try to surround yourself with positive influences only. What - or whose company - is it that you truly enjoy? What is it that makes you happy and feel good?

I myself really enjoy smashing a super sweaty workout or having dinner with friends, cracking a good laugh. It improves my mood by going for a walk, long or short, or going to the market on Saturday and buying a fresh loaf of bread. I try to sometimes leave my phone at home, not to be bothered and to be in the moment with myself. I can highly recommend you try it too, just to see how it works for you.

Sometimes, it can be hard to think of what makes you happy. You can start by eliminating what doesn’t and go on and think deep of the days where you felt amazing and happy. When was that? And why was that? And is there a way you can recreate what you did that day or with whom you were while doing it?

Tips to create daily moments of self-love

  • Start your day with a little token of love. Put a kind post-it on your mirror and say it out loud; compliment yourself on how your hair or make-up looks.

  • Make yourself a delicious and healthy meal. Go all out with banana pancakes, if you have the time, or fluffy overnight oats to take with you on the go.

  • Consider unfollowing one person every day on your social media that makes you feel bad about yourself.

  • Support other women that are close to you. Call them or text them, and compliment them on something you honestly appreciate about them. Do good and feel good, it’s an absolute win-win.

  • Wear that one pair of jeans, dress, skirt or top in which you feel beautiful, and tell yourself! It might feel awkward, but just stand in front of the mirror and compliment yourself on how great you look.

  • Write down three things, big or small, that you want to celebrate about yourself. Maybe you remember Admiral McRaven, who told us you can start the day with a win early by making your bed. Well, that’s true for so many other wins throughout the day.

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