Let’s be real, it’s hard being a girl sometimes. There’s pressure everywhere to conform to beauty standards, body standards, performance standards. It’s exhausting, right? And I know a lot of people will say that they don’t let these things bother them or they just rise above it which is absolutely incredible. But it’s just not realistic all the time! We all fall victim to comparison, body shaming, you name it.
Today’s post is about 4 steps you can take to give yourself a little more love and make yourself stronger the next time comparison comes knocking.
1. Take time to be alone with yourself: Take it from an introverted homebody, spending time with yourself can be one of the best ways to truly get to know yourself. We can feel pressure to always be out and about with others or feel shame/guilt when we opt for a night in. I know that I face this quite often, and I’ll feel like I’m letting people down when I stay back to work on my blog or stuff from work. Start with one night a week where you say ‘girl, bye’ to any FOMO or guilt about staying in. Find what you like to do best when you’re alone! Filling out your planner for the next week, baking, journaling, starting a new Netflix show, watching YouTube makeup tutorials, meditating, you name it! The more that you begin to enjoy your alone time, the more effective it will be for learning more about yourself and who you are.
2. Take care of yourself: Something that I struggle with is questioning if I deserve to treat myself. I’ll think “did I earn the opportunity to sit at home tonight and binge on Netflix?” But what I’ve found is that if we wait to “deserve” something like self-care, we’ll never feel like we’ve earned it. This will also create ever rising standards for these activities because we’ll want to outperform ourselves each time to really deserve the treat. Instead, let’s treat ourselves more often because our brains and our bodies need it!
- Plan a solo spa day (at home or at a local spa)
- Go for a walk alone (on a safe path and during broad daylight, of course 😉
- Try a new workout class or go to one of your favorites: exercise can be tough to prioritize but it can make a HUGE difference in how you feel, how your brain works, and how you feel about yourself.
- Discover a recipe on Pinterest and get your chef on
Just think of anything that you wouldn’t normally do for yourself!
3. Combat perfectionism aggressively: Let’s get really personal. I refer to myself as a recovering perfectionist. I came out of that womb as a perfectionist, baby, and I lived a good portion of my life being a slave to perfectionistic demands over my life, my body, my friendships, my academic performance, etc. etc. It wasn’t until college (with the help of a cognitive behavioral specialist) that I began to attempt to call out and reroute my perfectionistic thoughts and expectations and combat them with more realistic, self-loving thoughts. Now don’t get me wrong – I still suffer from perfectionism on a daily basis because it’s something that will always be with me. But I like to refer to myself as ‘in recovery’ from its harsh hold on all aspects of my life. What I didn’t know was that perfectionism can arise in more situations than just academic ones. It can affect your expectations on your friends, your family members, not just yourself. It can leave you paralyzed from doing anything from the fear of not being perfect. My recommendation is to read this sheet here about perfectionistic thoughts and how to reroute them. After reading, write out in a journal the thoughts that you experience most and think of 3 tactics to combat/reroute those thoughts! Even if you consider yourself Type B, you feel the pressure to be perfect in some aspect of your life. It affects all of us!
4. Start journaling: This is something that I am going to start this month to get a handle on anxious thoughts that come up especially in this season of my life when I’m not sure what’s next after college. We can get so much unwanted stress from fear of the unknown and writing out what we fear most can help us attack those fears or realize we can disregard them. When this was recommended to me, I was a bit skeptical because I was viewing it as keeping a diary or something and that seemed so sixth grade to me. But journaling has so many scientifically proven benefits for our brains and our stress management even as adults. Think of this less as a diary activity and more as an opportunity to be alone with your thoughts. Write about what’s scaring you, bringing you stress, exciting you, or big plans you want to make. The more you and I put these thoughts to paper the closer we’ll come to solutions and greater self-discovery. This will give us confidence in ourselves because we know ourselves and believe in ourselves!
What are some ways that you like to show yourself some love? Or what are barriers to loving yourself that you face? Please share in the comments if you’re comfortable!!