#47 TRENDING IN Mental Health & Self Love 🔥

The ABC's of Self-Love: Ideals to Implement in Your Life for Self-Improvement

Mental Health & Self Love

April 23, 2023

I do enough, I have enough. I am enough.~ affirmations

I think the ages that we are now are probably some of the hardest ages in our lives—we have all the physical changes we’re experiencing, we’re progressing in our academic careers pushing for the best universities and seeking to open new doors. We absorb new information. We meet new people.

We grow and succeed. But sometimes we fail. We fall short.

We struggle. We become so absorbed in the lives of others that we forget our own. And it becomes difficult to cherish who you are as an individual.

There’s no single pathway to finding yourself and loving yourself for who you are and not who others expect you to be. I’m still unlearning toxic habits with regards to what I absorb and how I treat myself but also other people because something I've come to realise over the years is that self-love determines how you treat other people. Undoubtedly, I love me.

But I’m still on my self-love journey. I think that’s fine. Healthy even.

Because we evolve over time and our relationships with ourselves should evolve too. So, I've devised a list of practices and ideals that I’ve implemented in my life—in the form of the ABCs!

1. Accept

Accept the circumstances. Accept how things turn out. The reality is that life isn't always perfect.

Life never follows a linear pathway. It’s a rollercoaster, a journey, a process, a story filled with ups and downs, loves and losses, growth and shortcomings. And the difficult part is accepting this.

Especially as we dislike discomfort. It’s easy to stay in a zone where things are familiar and feel safe. But the only way to grow as a person and love yourself every step of the way is to accept that things aren’t always going to be smooth sailing. But nonetheless, know that you will be alright.

2. Breathe

Sometimes, all you need is to inhale and live in the moment. Find it within yourself to just let everything else go and focus on you and how you feel at the moment. When things are going well, decipher what it is that makes you feel good about that moment and hold onto that feeling.

If there’s something that makes you feel less than great, get to the root of why it makes you feel that way. And don’t be upset that things aren’t perfect. Part of learning self-love is loving yourself through the good and the bad.

3. Confidence

If you don’t feel like a naturally confident person, sometimes you’ve got to fake it till you make it. There are always times where your confidence wavers—I like to think of myself as a confident person but there have been many times where I've lacked faith in myself. So, to regain my confidence, I find something to remind me of how fantastic I am.

For me, it’s public speaking. I love being up in front of people, telling anecdotes all in pursuit of teaching my listeners a lesson. Speaking thrills me.

It’s where I can be myself. Find your happy space. The space that makes you feel like you.

4. Devote

Devote time towards your physical, mental and emotional healing. You spend the most time with yourself. You shouldn’t make your body and mind a miserable place to be.

Start by taking a breather. Think about yourself as an individual. What are your strengths?

What are your areas for improvement (none of us are weak)? Figure those out and treasure them. Your strengths are what make you unique and areas for improvement make you human.

Together, they make you, you. And if you don’t cherish them, you can't expect anyone else to.

5. Energy

Your time and energy are invaluable. As are you as a person. You need to focus your energy into things that serve you both in your journey of growth and your pathway to loving yourself more.

That means toxic people, toxic environments, toxic thoughts—they all need to go. Start channelling your time into things that make you smile, that make you feel safe, things that make you feel like you.

6. Focus

Focus on the things that make you happy. Whether it’s your work, your friends, your family, but most importantly, yourself. If you truly seek self-love, you must start by acknowledging that the most important person in your life is you.

The only opinion that should matter is yours. The only emotions and feelings that you need to protect are yours. Now, this is not to say that the feelings and opinions of others aren’t of significance; it’s just that there should be a level of priority. You matter and your feelings come first.

7. Grow

Growth is so important as we navigate through this journey that we call life. Growth in terms of your mindset and approach to the way you lead your life. Growth in how to decide to treat yourself and others.

Growth in your belief systems and morals. And if that means holding onto what you’ve always known, continue to do so and better yourself through cherishing these values.

8. Health

Your health isn’t just physical. It’s mental, emotional and, if you believe, spiritual. It’s important to look after every part of your health, because if one aspect of your health wavers, it takes a toll on every part of you.

Look after your body. Eat the right things. Sleep at a reasonable time.

Give yourself time to breathe. Talk to people if things aren’t going as well as you’d like. You’ll be okay. I promise.

9. Impact

Consider how your actions affect yourself and others. I’ve come to realise that the way you treat others is a reflection of how you treat yourself. And if you’re like me, you’ve had periods where you’ve treated others better than yourself and, whilst being kind is an important life skill, it no longer matters if you’re not kind to the most important person—yourself.

10. Joy

Ensure to celebrate your successes. You deserve to be happy and feel happy about whatever you’ve accomplished, no matter how big or small and no matter how anyone else may feel. You need to be your biggest cheerleader and that means feeling good about whatever you do and achieve.

Go out shopping. Treat yourself to nice gifts. Take those spa days.

Allow yourself to feel the happiness. Feel the joy.

11. Knowledge

Knowledge in itself is a powerful tool, but in this case I'm talking about knowledge of yourself, the people you have around and how things make you feel. I think this is definitely the hardest thing to do on the list and I'm still working on it. It sometimes is difficult to unpack your emotions, especially when you feel so many at once and you don’t know where to begin.

It is okay not to feel like yourself and not know why, but when there are constant periods of sadness, as much as you should reach out for help, try also within yourself to get to the root of what’s making you feel other than yourself. Once you master this skill, you can work towards ensuring that negativity doesn’t get the best of you.

12. Laugh

Laughter and smiling are such a beautiful gift and, if anything, life is short. Spend time around people that make you feel good about yourself and remind you to make the most of every moment you have. Establish a unique support system to gain advice to help navigate through anything.

Friends, family, colleagues—anyone that makes you feel safe and will remind you that life is beautiful. And if you’re lucky enough, you’ll find your people. The people that make you laugh until your stomach hurts. Because laughter is the best medicine.

13. Mindfulness

It’s important to practice breathing and controlling your thoughts. The mind is powerful, and it can make you believe things that aren’t true about yourself. Don't live your life with your thoughts controlling you.

I know from experience that it’ll have you thinking all sorts of negative things about yourself. Hold onto the positive and even when a negative thought comes through, learn to be able to convert it into a constructive building block for your next milestone. This, in the long term, helps you build a positive relationship with your mind.

14. Nature

I feel a deep, spiritual connection to the natural world. It’s chaotic but harmonious. Busy yet still.

Bright and beautiful. Sitting outside in the natural world and taking in the fresh air, absorbing the harmonious ways of the outside world, feeling a gentle breeze pass over you and the hairs on your arms arise and goosebumps cover you. That is the true power of nature.

15. Optimism

It's easy to complain that things are difficult. And to some extent, fair enough. Life is hard and things are hard too.

But being optimistic is a greater challenge. And it's not for the weak. But by looking on the bright side of life, you appreciate the gifts that you’ve been granted, and you appreciate and cherish your best qualities. In pursuit of self-love, it is essential to try and be positive.

16. Peace

Protect it at all costs. If in pursuit of self-love, you need to find inner peace. Be content with the beautiful unique individual that is you.

And separate yourself from toxic people. It's important to be surrounded by supportive and positive people that remind you how incredible you are but also help you understand your humanity. They establish themselves as a safe space to ask questions, make mistakes, and be yourself.

17. Quest

Life is an adventure. And it’s impossible to be perfect. We will never get things right all the time.

But the alternative isn’t to dwell on what can’t be but rather to celebrate what is and one of which is the incredible human that you are. Instead of stressing over how you want things to be, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride of wherever life takes you.

18. Relax

It’s important to take time out to sit and just appreciate the person that you are. It’s easy to get caught up in the unknowns and worry about the future, but the only moment that matters is this one. The present moment.

Learn to let go of the past and put the future to one side—the future comes in due course. For now, how do you feel?

19. Self-care

This comes in many forms: shopping, skincare, makeup, mani-pedis, sleep, binging on Netflix, yoga, running, cooking and so many others. The point I’m trying to make is that there is no one way to look after yourself and make yourself feel good—you need to find what works best for you.

20. Thought

No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent. The mind is a powerful tool and if you let it, you’ll be thinking all sorts of negative things about yourself. It’s the same with what people tell you.

If you let them, you’ll lack self-esteem. It’s easy to give into the negativity and believe what haters think and say. So choose the difficult decision.

Choose to love yourself. Let your mind love your body. Let your body love your mind. And let yourself love everything about yourself.

21. Understand

There is a lot to grasp—who you are. What is your calling? What makes you happy and what doesn’t?

It’s a journey and I think that’s what makes learning self-love so beautiful and important—you’re constantly growing. growing in your understanding of yourself, growing in your understanding of others, growing in your understanding of what life means. Live to understand and understand to live.

22. Value

Value yourself & value your mental health. Value the people who value you and your mental health. Treasure the time that you have and spend it loving yourself.

23. Warmth

Spend time doing things that make you feel good. Spend time around people who make you feel good. Do things that make you feel good about yourself, and spend every day of your life being happy with who you are.

24. Xylophone

There aren’t many words that start with x and xylophones make cool sounds.

25. Yoga

Yoga has helped me love myself physically. Because my body is unique to me. It’s perfect for me.

It’s gorgeous to me. And that’s all that matters. Beyond this, though, yoga has helped me solve my inner conflict and become one with myself.

It has helped me better understand who I am and has thus increased the love I have for myself. Yoga is a beautiful thing.

26. Zen

Zen time allows me to feel whole. And you need to find what helps you feel complete. Zen time for me is closing my eyes, shutting out the rest of the world and focusing on how I feel. Try it sometime.

Self-love and self-understanding come hand in hand. To love yourself, you need to know yourself, understand your likes and dislikes and never compromise these for anyone. Celebrate your little wins.

Celebrate your big wins. Smile when things go right. Breathe when things go left.

Be content with all that you have. Be thankful for the present moment. Take care of yourself, try to love who you are and may peace and happiness come your way.

Olaronke Bamiduro
20k+ pageviews

Writer since May, 2022 · 21 published articles

Olaronke "Ronke" Bamiduro is an 18 year old sixth-form student from London, UK and has just finished her senior year at sixth form. She is passionate about the power of the voice and the importance of expression. Olaronke enjoys reading, writing, yoga, cooking, netball, discussing new ideas and self-reflection.