Three Things You Can Do Today To Love Yourself A Little More

Isn’t it funny that as human beings we are born wanting love, and for the most part, trained to give love, and yet we have the hardest time loving the person we spend the most time with – ourselves?

For some, this isn’t a hard thing to accomplish at all. Some people are born full of self-love and self-confidence. For the rest of us, the task may be a little more difficult. I’ve struggled (still do) with feeling comfortable in my own skin. I have gone through phases in my life when I am too emotionally dependent on another person to know how to love myself alone. I have gone through dark times when I was convinced I was a bad person and a terrible human being who didn’t deserve love, let alone any good thing that came my way. I felt that I had made so many mistakes and hurt so many other people that I was not destined to find happiness. And I think the one thing that makes me the saddest, even now, is this plain and simple statement: I did not like myself.

It has taken me a long time to get to the point where I can finally say that not only do I like myself, I love me and I think I’m pretty fucking great despite some not so great things I’ve done in my life. I think the process began about three years ago, and I am just barely dismantling some of the shitty voices I’ve let myself believe.

I don’t believe there is a quick list you can follow or simple steps you can mindlessly complete that will make you love yourself tomorrow. But I do believe it starts with a small decision of wanting to change how you think about yourself. And with that in mind, I will share the three things that have made the biggest difference on my journey to loving myself in hopes that they may give you a kick-start on your journey.

1. Look at yourself as you would a child. 

This is basic self-love psychology 101, I know. I heard it and read it several times throughout the years, but it didn’t actually hit me until a few months ago when I found a picture of myself in the first grade. I’m six years old and I have a big bow in my hair and I’m smiling at the camera and I think my face looks kind of silly. It makes me laugh, but it also warms my heart. When I see this picture, I see myself but in a different light. This silly little girl with her paint splattered outfit had no idea what it meant not to like herself. She liked Cabbage Patch dolls and watching movies with her brother all night long and writing stories and going to school because it was fun. She liked glitter and roller skates and Mary-Kate and Ashley were her absolute favorite people in the world. She could never decide between Oreo’s or Chips Ahoy, so she always ate both. And somehow, throughout the years, for several different reasons, she got a little lost and started to believe she was not worth being loved.


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I found a big, colorful frame for that picture and put it on my dresser so I can see her big brown eyes and her big round cheeks every morning when I’m getting ready and remind myself that I’m still that little girl. I would advise you to do the same. Find a picture of yourself as a child that you love and frame it in a frame that makes you happy. Then, put it somewhere you can see it every day.

As we grow up, we begin to be so hard on ourselves. We become trained to believe we are not good enough and that we aren’t good persons. But that is not true. Once you really start seeing yourself as a child, you can re-train your brain to be easier on yourself. All children make mistakes. That does not mean they are bad children. All children do bad things. That does not mean they should be punished forever as a consequence. Children are learning, and so are we as adults. We are always children. We are always learning. We shouldn’t continue to yell and berate and put ourselves down because we made a few (Several? Tons? Doesn’t matter.) mistakes in our lives. You would not yell at your little brother or tiny niece or baby cousin and tell them they’re not worth a damn thing because they did something dumb, would you? (I REALLY hope not!).

If you have trouble with this analogy, a variation is to picture your best friend instead. You would NEVER tell your best friend that they sucked or that they were ugly or that they did not deserve love. So why would you say it to yourself? Just maybe don’t frame a picture of your best friend alone and put it on your dresser. That’s creepy.
2. Affirmations – Write them everywhere. 
I am a total yoga-loving, manifesting, intention-setting freak and I will not apologize for it. I don’t care if you think affirmations are dumb because they work. How else do you expect to train your brain to believe something if not by constant repetition?

I read a book called, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteemby Nathaniel Branden. One of the affirmations Branden writes in the book is, “I choose to value myself, to treat myself with respect, to stand up for my right to exist.” Isn’t that powerful? You have a right to just exist without doing anything at all or proving anything to anyone. Now imagine how much more powerful it would be if we actually believed it. And after we believed it, practiced it.

Write affirmations everywhere and repeat them to yourself when you see them. Put them on post-its or write them on your mirror or set them as the wallpaper on your phone. Currently, I have a dry-erase board in my bathroom with the affirmations that speak the most to me right now. Every morning as I’m doing my make-up and every night as I take it off, I read those affirmations and repeat them in my head. Even if you think they are not making a difference, keep doing it. You’ll be surprised on what your subconscious picks up.
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3. Spend time with yourself.

Like, actually do it. Learn to love spending time with yourself. You can’t fall in love with someone if you don’t actually know them. But how the hell do I actually do this, you ask. I had the same problem. Even when I was spending a night in or just having some “me” time, I would distract myself with a book or a movie or scrolling endlessly through social media. This isn’t loving yourself just because you’re chillin’ alone.

It sounds a little odd, but don’t you think you need to ask yourself questions to get to know yourself? Ask yourself what you like, what you don’t, what you hope to accomplish in your life, how you feel this exact moment. Ask yourself things you would ask someone you care about or want to know or find interesting. Ask yourself what you believe and why.

I like to do this by journaling. When I don’t know what to write, I just go on Pinterest and search something like, “Knowing yourself.” Yes, I am still aware that this sounds dumb, but be assured that links like “50 Questions To Get To Know Yourself Better” will pop up and you’ll have a ton to talk about with yourself so there are no awkward silences. You’re welcome!
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If that’s too weird for you, then go ahead and buy yourself this journal by Meera Lee Patel. It’s a beautiful little work of art and helps you figure out just who you are.

Finally, take yourself out on dates. Do something you’ve always wanted to do alone, like going  to the movies or taking a trip or reading a book at a cool coffee shop. It sounds scary, but it’s also pretty fun not to worry about anybody else and just do your own damn thing for once. Also, if anyone has a problem with you being there alone, they probably just don’t like themselves. At least you’re working on you.

Tips for Dealing with Anxiety

I’ve suffered with anxiety for several years now, but significantly more so over the past five years. I’ll save my complete and comprehensive anxiety tale for another post and another day. For now, I want to share some of the things I have found helpful in my recent battles with anxiety.

Before I begin, I want to acknowledge that people suffer from anxiety at different levels. When my anxiety attacks are at their worst, I feel short of breath, paralyzed, and panicked. I feel as though my heart is going to beat out of my chest. If I’m alone, I’ll typically have crying spells that feel like they start out of nowhere. As I’ve learned (and am still learning) to cope with my anxiety, I want to emphasize that these coping methods work for me at different times. These are relatively simple and quick exercises that help ground me, but they are by no means a type of medical treatment. The best thing I did to learn how to cope was to seek out a professional therapist/psychologist. But more on that below.


Yes, I know there is a lot of hype over meditation and mindfulness right now, but I’m here to say that I completely stand behind it. Ha! In no way, shape, or form am I a skilled meditator (is that even a thing?) nor even a consistent one. But, you don’t have to be to reap the benefits of this magical little exercise. I first came across meditation techniques when I was studying for my bar exam in 2017. Bar prep was one of the most fun times of my life…NOT! It was miserable and I hated every minute of it. It was, in fact, the saddest and most difficult time of my life thus far. During this time, my nerves and my anxiety were full blown out of control and I was willing to try anything to just get my breathing and thoughts under control. Enter the Calm app.

The Calm app offers free guided meditations for everything you’re feeling, from anxiety to procrastination to low self-esteem. I prefer guided meditations because A). I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, B). I need someone’s voice to lead me back to the meditation when my thoughts are wandering off, and C). I will likely fall asleep if I don’t hear someone’s voice while I have my eyes closed. Of course, they offer non-guided meditations. The best part of the app is that you can choose timed meditations, starting with one or two minutes. During bar prep time when every single second felt precious to me, these two-minute exercises cleared my mind and slowed down my breathing. It was also very soothing and I really began to look forward to these little gems of relaxation  time before starting my day or during study breaks.


Again, during bar prep (I can’t emphasize enough how great this time was for me, y’all) I discovered how beautiful and helpful yoga was for me. I had tried yoga several times before and loved it, but it wasn’t until this period in my life that I also discovered how beneficial yoga was for my anxiety. There are several different types of yoga classes, but I recommend a beginner vinyasa class in a chill studio. I say chill because there are yoga studios and yoga classes that are more focused on fitness and stamina (and they are amazing!), but for someone like me, a full-out endurance type athletic event kind of yoga class will do the opposite of helping me relax.

At the time, I attended yoga with a very close friend of mine who is a yoga instructor and ran her own studio. And it was the chillest, y’all. It was typically in a little house with little candles everywhere and open windows and relaxing scents everywhere around sunset. THE BEST. But since everyone can’t meet at this little house for yoga with my friend (especially since she moved to Bali. Yes. Bali! I want her life!) there is an alternative: Yoga with Adriene.

Yoga with Adriene is a YouTube channel you can access for free and practice in the convenience of your home. Her videos range from just a few minutes to about an hour and you can pick and choose what you feel like doing. Because you’re at home, nobody will judge your yoga skills and you can make your little yoga area as chill as you please. I recommend candles and dim lights! Also, Adriene is the coolest.

Walk or Jog or Just Go Outside 

If you haven’t picked up on it by now, I’m here to tell you that I am not the most athletically inclined person you may come across. Exercising makes me feel good because I feel like I’m taking care of my body and showing myself some love. However, I am NOT the kind of person that’s like, “I’m going to do some cross-fit and then run seven miles to clear my head.” Um, hard pass. It takes a lot less than that for me to clear my head. More power to you if you are that type of person! I kind of wish I were that way sometimes, but pushing myself that hard makes the voices in my head louder as opposed to shushing them. For the rest of us, simply getting up and moving or just sitting outside is pretty relaxing in itself.

Take A Bath!

In all of the apartments and houses I lived in throughout the years, none of them had a bath tub until this past year. And now I can’t get out of the fucking bath tub. I LOVE being in there! If you are gloriously blessed with a bath tub, start taking baths immediately. I know you’re thinking, “Taking a bath is so basic and that is not going to make me feel any better.” I agree – that’s why you have to be super extra when you take a bath. I recommend lots of candles, dim lights, music,  bubbles, a book if you’re into reading, and bath bombs from Lush. These are the only bath bombs that I’ve found to be fully effective and invigorating and just plain fun to throw in the bathtub. They smell so good and look so pretty! I swear sometimes I’ve felt like I’m high just listening to “dreamy vibes” on Spotify and watching all the colors and glitter swirl together. Take a bath, like yesterday.

Find Professional Help

I know that there is still a stigma around seeking the help of therapist. However, sometimes I forget because I’m so open about the fact that I see a therapist. And I love it! I’ve seen my fair share of therapists and counselors and tried a range of treatments from hypnotism to cupping to acupuncture. If that makes me sound “crazy”, so be it. At the different times of these treatments, they were all helpful to me. They helped me find methods to cope and they calmed my nerves. Except acupuncture. I’m not sure if it helped me or not, but I just did not like it. And that’s okay! Different things work for different people.

The thing about having experimented with different counselors and treatments, which is not a good or bad thing, is that I was never consistent for more than a few months. Again, I sought what was available to me at the time and I think approaching the treatments with an open mind helped their effectiveness. Don’t be afraid to try something new!

If you are ready to commit to actually talking it out or seeing someone, I recommend searching on Psychology Today. This is where I found my current therapist, and she is amazing! I’ve actually stayed consistent with her.

A couple things about seeking professional help:

First, it is not going to be an easy process.

I think simply arriving at the decision of wanting to seek professional help is a HUGE step. It’s not easy deciding you may give talking to a complete stranger about your deep-seeded issues a try. Like, what the hell, right? You don’t even know this person! But, this is their job. They listen to strangers and they help them cope. They went to school for that. And we all have bat-shit issues. It’s not that big a deal.

However, once you do take the step of seeking out a professional, be advised that it may not be a match made in therapy heaven on your first try. Even though all of these therapists are willing to help you, you will not have that “chemistry” with just anyone you sit down with. If you choose to make an appointment, and then that appointment turns out to be complete shit and your therapist is a full on weirdo, TRY AGAIN. Do not give up just because it wasn’t everything you hoped for the first time. I know people are vulnerable and delicate during this time of their lives when they feel they need professional help, so it is easy to get scared away. But don’t. Keep looking until you find someone you are comfortable with.

Second, emphasize PROCESS.

Once you do find someone you’re comfortable opening up to, do not think that you’re going to attend one session and be cured of all your mental ailments. Let’s get real. You didn’t develop your issues overnight, so why would you expect to be rid of them overnight? Calm down, crazy! (Just kidding. We’re all a little crazy. Who cares?) It’s a slow process. Even after you’ve attended for a while and you’ve learned to recognize your problem areas, you are still going to have days when you throw everything you’ve learned out the window and mess up. It will feel like you are right back at square one, but trust me, you aren’t. Don’t give up on yourself or your process.

Pray It Out, Write It Out, Cry It Out

To end on a less intense note, just remember to pray it out, write it out, or cry it out. What that means is to essentially do anything your body feels like doing when you’re facing anxiety. For me, sometimes that means praying. Whether you pray to the Universe, to God, to Jesus, to Buddha, to Lady Gaga, or to Santa Claus, just pray if it makes you feel better. I like to think that God is looking out for me and I’m never completely alone. And that makes me feel safe.

Sometimes I have to write it out. (Hey, what’s up, that’s why I even started this blog). Writing is an outlet for me. Sometimes I have full on stories and poems just waiting to fall onto the page. Sometimes I just look up positives quotes on Pinterest and write those over and over so my brain can start to believe them. Maybe for you it is drawing or painting or singing. Whatever it is, get it off your chest and put it on something tangible. (Or sing really loud, since you know, singing isn’t tangible).

And finally, if you feel like crying, just. fucking. cry. I was a long time believer of the school of thought that preached that you have to hold tears in and never show weakness. And you know what happened when I did that? I ended up in therapy crying my ass off with needles sticking out of every inch of my body (acupuncture, remember?). There is no weakness in crying. Crying is a release. The more I would fight it, the more it would build up. Now, once I cry it out, I feel so much better afterwards. I can move on because all of those emotions are released. I don’t mean go cry at work or by yourself in a coffee shop like a weirdo. Just find a private place and let those tears out and don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s just an emotion and it is not indicative of the kind of human being that you are.

As cliche as it is, remember that tomorrow is another day so just take care of yourself as best as you can for now.