I always thought that self love was something that was already in everybody, already in me.
How can you not love yourself right? Of course you do. Of course I love myself.
Looking back, I was just ignoring and resisting this complex term. I read about burnouts all over the place and judged them: until I totally crashed in 2017. Until I didn’t function anymore, I lost myself, became completely hung up on somebody and I couldn’t see straight anymore.
Everything went to rye.
The days passed by and at some point, I looked at myself in the mirror thinking: WHO the hell is that girl staring back at me?
Dependent, needy, insecure, the weight of the world on her shoulders, tired and lonely.
I realized that I didn’t have any love or appreciation towards myself. That ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, was the most sad but oh-so fantastic discovery ever!
Because now, after months of mid 2017-drama, reflection and analysis, I can’t imagine NOT feeling that love and appreciation when I look into a mirror. I am seriously grateful for that huge mental breakdown, because as weird as it might sound, I needed it. It was one of the best things that happened to me and I am not the person that I was a year ago.
So, to inspire you and spread some love around, here are my do’s and don’ts in case you feel lost right now:
Whatever you are feeling- write!
Just take a piece of paper and a pen or your laptop and write down everything that pops into your head. No filter, no need for that. Your are writing to yourself. I started doing it everyday, whenever I felt like it and felt shocked and relieved at the same time to see what was on my mind.
I am still stunned about how fast feelings and my state of mind can change. I am shocked when I read some things that I wrote down. I was so lost and I am so grateful for where I am now.
2. Listen and read
There are so many inspirational, motivational speakers who have such good stories.
Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Mel Robbins, Simon Sinek – just press play and I am sure that you will hear some things that give you a different perspective. I often just woke up an hour before work, played a video and just listened with a cup of tea, in the dark, on my couch.
It becomes clear that we are the ones who can make a change. No matter what you are going through, change your mindset (baby steps!) and you can change anything. Sometimes you just need to hear it from somebody with more experience.
3. Be thankful
For the smallest things in life that you actually always took for granted. A roof over your head, your health, the fact that you can take a breathe without experiencing difficulties. Start small, start writing down 3 things to be thankful for every day. It’s addictive and when you are on a thankful frequency, there’s no room for negativity.
4. Think positive
I discovered that people (including me) seem to be programmed to think negative. It’s just easier, for some reason it feels comfortable to complain. As soon as you shift your thoughts, you’ll be surprised what things are possible. Think about the things that you already have and go from there.
5. Take care of yourself and make yourself happy.
The most important one of all. Take walks, breathe in fresh air, listen to great music, enjoy (healthy) food that you love, prepare for things, read, but also: have fun nights with your friends, let them know how important they are to you.
6. Enjoy being by yourself
(Most) of us are social creatures and we don’t like to go anywhere by ourselves. I didn’t either, but at some point it started to bother me, so I got over myself. Go take that dance class where you don’t know anybody, go to that cafe and have a glass of wine by yourself (I have the best excuse ever, I have a dog), go take a walk, go to a concert. After a while, you might realize what you missed out on staying at home, by yourself. Go out!
7. Just feel it
As this is a very emotional process that you are going through, you will experience some down-moments too. Just let them in, cry your eyes out, shout, punch (not people, take a pillow). Let emotions run free. You will feel good after.
1. Search for love, confirmation and appreciation outside of yourself.
Because if somebody else loves me, I must be worthy of love. Biggest mistake that I made and I fell even deeper into my whole mess. You are in for disaster to start a fling or relationship, because you don’t feel complete/yearning for love. The only thing you will find is another incomplete person and you don’t need that.
Don’t let someone find you, until you find yourself.
2. (over) eat, drink, or sleep around.
It might feel like those are things that you are in control of, but make sure you stay away from these three. Do not become dependent on food, alcohol or sex, or anything for that matter. The only outcomes you will get are getting drunk, getting bigger than you want and getting/feeling used. You don’t want that sweetie darling!
3. Hang around with negative people.
They might be dear friends and you might connect so well, because of the fact that you both think in a very negative way. Believe me, as soon as you change your perspective, you begin to see that people can suck energy and spirit out of you. Best case scenario: they will see your change, be happy for you and grow with you. Most of the time, it’s rather the case that they will kick you down again, because they can’t handle you changing.
Maybe you can reconnect at a later stage, but for now – leave it alone.
4. Measure your own state with other people.
Stop, right there. Of course, we are always looking at people who are already living the life. With social media flying around everywhere, you will likely get lost in all picture, perfect lives. Darling don’t, just don’t. That life is not real life.
5. Think about everything that you desperately want to change.
When you are in the middle of an identity crises, nothing seems to be good enough and you most likely want to change everything. Remember, baby steps. Just write all of your hopes and dreams down and think about what you already have. Step two: think about what you would like to accomplish in the future.
Baby steps, darling!
6. Punish yourself for feeling this way.
You are not going to feel any better creating negativity. What you give energy to, grows. After going through it myself, I discovered that everybody is fighting an inner battle once in a while. Don’t kick yourself down.
In time, everything will fall into place.