PLANTING SEEDS OF SELF LOVE
As I struggled with discovering my inherent value, I was obsessed with the idea of being confident. I searched endlessly for resources and ideas to cope with my depression. There was something inside me that needed care and love. But I didn’t know how to reach it. I wanted so badly to crawl out of that hole that kept me miles away from the sunshine of knowing and loving myself. Apparently my self-esteem was low, but what is self-esteem and how do you build it?
I began to plant little seeds of what I thought would give me an escape from the darkness.
Next, I followed mental health community blogs and psychologists, like @SadGirlsClub and @Dr__Lauren. I thought about sweet mantras to tell myself.
Then I continued my normal exercise routine. However, though these seeds were planted, they definitely took a while to bloom. Through the years, the worst storms came and nearly washed out those seedlings.
The storms swept me to a point lower than I have ever felt before. But they also somehow led and moved me to a point where I was equipped with all the tools through each of those battles I conquered. I learned how to accept myself for who I was, as flawed and broken as I had definitely been. This acceptance led me to learn to give myself what I needed. I learned about the beauty of acting through every interaction solely for yourself.
DOING THINGS TO CHANGE HOW YOU FEEL
Now, that does not mean that every once in awhile (quite often throughout the day, actually) that I get a swept again by some mini storms causing me to feel out of control, worried, and a little lost. As I was writing this, I felt bothered by my isolated position. I am literally quarantined in bed with chickenpox. Who gets chickenpox when they’re 22? I scrolled through social media and started to doubt myself. It’s easy to not question your life and whether you are doing good enough or not when we are constantly seeing other people’s lives (the good parts). So I decided to do something for myself that was not affected whether I was sick and alone, or not. I began to write this, listen to some good music that soothes my heart and enjoy my company.
HERE ARE SOME LITTLE THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO TO SHOW YOURSELF SOME LOVE:
- Journaling- My therapist recommended this to me. It gives physical space to your thoughts and feelings. When you feel really down and unaware, or even unworthy, of the space you take up; this gives you some clarity of who you are as a human. It can physically validate your thoughts and feelings when you are able read and see them.
- Read a book, enjoy your creativity- Getting in touch with your imaginative side, whether an art, crocheting, writing or listening to music and singing along, can be so helpful. There are studies describing how important creativity is for our brains as humans. One study defined creativity as “the ability to produce original and valuable ideas or behaviours.” We are in charge of our own, ORIGINAL creative experience; no one else!
AND DON’T FORGET ABOUT NUTRITION
- Drink water- Yes, everyone says it, but it really is THAT good for you. Drinking some H2O physically gives you what your body needs to efficiently run all its intricate systems to stay alive. It also allows you to be present in the moment and be aware of the physical act of kindness you did to care for your body’s needs. It’s also hella good for your skin’s health.
- Enjoying food alone- If you can cook and prep your food, that’s a plus. Sit down after getting your food prepared or ordering it for yourself, and enjoy the space you take up at that table or wherever you like to eat. There’s no one else to talk to and be with, but yourself, while you’re nourishing that body of yours with some food and energy.
These little acts are not meant to dramatically give you self esteem; but rather to instil in you some expectation that you are someone that deserves love, and that some of the best love can come from you in such simple ways.
I was expecting to live the life I wanted when I was constantly being shaken by what was around me. I became aware of the space I took up once I started listening to it and doing those little things to water my blooming seeds. It does not take money and face masks to pay for this personal care that only you can give to yourself. It starts with acting out the voice that is looking out for what is best for you.