Saturday, 1 March 2014

Falling in Love with Yourself

Valentines Day has come and gone - heart-shaped chocolates and wilting red roses are half price or less in shops and supermarkets, and singletons everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief.

Love isn't something which you can confine solely to one grey day in February each year; it should be felt and shown every single day. Telling your friends, family and partner that you love them and care for them should be, and probably is, something you do on a daily basis. But how many of us do the same for ourselves?

I have recently become very aware of the importance of loving yourself. Most of us will constantly put the feelings and needs of others before ourselves in all relationships, whether they are a friend, partner or a member of your family. The problem is that the majority of us then forget to treat ourselves in the same way.

There's the old saying that you should 'treat others how you wish to be treated'. Of course, it goes without saying that this is a good motto to live by; but how about turning it around, and saying 'treat yourself how you wish others to treat you too'? This makes a real difference to the way you see your attitude towards yourself. Your loved ones would never be harsh, critical and oppressive on a daily basis towards why should you do it to yourself?

Image my own - please do not use without my permission.

The sad fact is that I know a lot of lovely people who struggle in this way and, I have to really admit, I am one of those people too. It's all too common that we wake up in the morning and harshly criticise what we see in the mirror, pointing out our own flaws; the two extra pounds you maybe gained over an indulgent weekend away; the cluster of spots gathering under your left cheekbone; the overly-bushy eyebrows which will (probably) never stay slim and symmetrical. It doesn't just stop there; you ate too much at lunchtime; you're struggling to meet the deadline at work or at uni because you can't quite grasp something; you don't have the energy to go to that class at the gym this evening. Days are spent feeling inadequate, unattractive or imperfect, and you beat yourself up about the smallest things, especially on bad days. But would your loved ones ever talk to you like this? No. So why on earth would you talk to yourself in that way?

For some reason, criticisms like this are almost acceptable in our minds when we say them to ourselves. However,  if they were uttered by somebody else to your face, it would be harsh, cruel, and completely necessary. This is exactly why it's astonishing that we do this to ourselves on a regular basis. So many people, myself included, put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to be perfect, to try harder - but whatever happened to loving ourselves for who we are, flaws and all?

Showing yourself some love is a really important thing to do, and isn't just something you should do on special occasions. Taking a step back and complimenting yourself, or trying to see the bright side, isn't going to be easy, but it's important to bring in a little positivity and love into your life. Otherwise, days can drag by, and you'll never truly be happy - and we only have one life to live.

Image my own - please do not use without my permission.

I've always been to harsh on myself, and from personal experience have trouble seeing the positive side of things. Throughout my time at university I never felt I was working hard enough; I'd blame myself for relationship troubles of any kind, and would mentally punish myself if I overindulged in ice cream or chocolate for an evening. To be honest with you, I still do this now, but I'm starting to realise that this is just not healthy.

I've started to try to feel a little more confident and a little more positive about things, building up self confidence and happiness. If you struggle to treat yourself as you wish to be treated by others, maybe you should start doing this too. I can promise you that all is not what it seems; nobody will notice your bad skin, let alone point it out; eating a huge pizza (followed by Ben and Jerry's, of course) in one evening will not make you morbidly obese, and nobody will judge you for  skipping that gym trip for one evening if you're just not up to it.

It's hard for me to practice what I preach, but let's all stop for a moment and appreciate ourselves. We only get to live one life, and self-inflicted misery is not a great way to spend your time on this earth.

I'm going to start loving myself a little more this year, and I hope you'll join me in doing so. After all, we're all pretty wonderfully unique!

I'm hoping to write a few blog posts on this theme, and I'd love to hear what you have to say about this too, so let me know in the comments below.



  1. Great post Jo, everyone needs a reminder to be a little kinder to themselves - me especially! xx

    1. Thank you Tayler :) I think it's something we can all work on! xxx