Written for Kali By: Katie, Founder of Green Product Junkie

Want To Feel Happier And Have Better Relationships? The Answer Is Self-Love!

While scrolling through Instagram the other day, I saw a fantastic meme about how self-love can help you attract better relationships and have a more full life. The meme was great, it got a ton of likes, but what really intrigued me were the questions from the frustrated commenters below:   “What does self-love even mean?” “I don’t understand what I’m supposed to do?” “Can someone please explain how I actually love myself?” The comments went on and on and as I read them, I realized that the very idea of loving ourselves, however simple it sounds, is very elusive for many of us.

What Exactly is Self-Love & How Do I Get Some? 

I get it, the term self-love can sound very corny and even self-absorbed, but it’s really not. Self-love is about handling your emotional business a.k.a increasing your self-esteem so that you feel better about yourself, you relate better to others and therefore have better relationships. Pretty cool concept, but how do we actually go about loving ourselves? Well, I’ve thought a lot about this and have come up with a few ways that you can love yourself daily. Now, I must warn you, they’re not easy, but they are most certainly worth it!

#1 Express Yourself in Relationships.

When we choose to ‘People Please’ in relationships, we’re not being our authentic selves; we’re withholding our true thoughts and feelings in the hopes of making the other person comfortable. Now, this fake version of us that we’re presenting means that we’re not really “in” the relationship at all as the other person is only getting a filtered version of us (and how long can that last?) Also note, that when you don’t express yourself, you’ll never get your needs met and that will build up a lot of resentment. Remember that people are not mind readers and unless you let them know, they may never know.

#2 Create Healthy Boundaries.

Even though it’s difficult for many of us, standing up for yourself and being able to say, “no” when you need/want to, is really important. Again, we build up resentment and betray ourselves when we do things that we truly don’t want to do. I love this saying: “If it’s not an emphatic ‘yes,’ it’s a ‘no.’” The more you stand up for you and for what you want, the more your self-esteem (self-love) grows.

#3 Pay Attention to How You Feel Around a Person.  

Honor yourself by paying attention to feelings. If you consistently feel anxious or unsure around a person, that’s not a good sign. Self-love means making sure that you surround yourself with those that you feel safe and comfortable around. Sure, you can really like the person you’re dating, but if you always feel a little uneasy or don’t fully feel like you’re being yourself, you need to look a little closer at that. Paying attention to our feelings (rather than what we want to believe) can save us a lot of heartache down the line.

#4 List What You are Willing/Not Willing to Put Up With in Relationships & Stick to It.

Oftentimes, we’ll get into a relationship and start casting aside the important things that we hold true for ourselves. For example, you could write down that you need to have great communication or that you want a long term relationship. If the person you’re with is unable/unwilling to give you these things, you might want to move on and find someone who shares the same goals as you. Remember, you deserve to have your needs met, just as much as they deserve theirs.

#5 Be Your Own Caretaker.

When in relationships, the tendency for many of us is to take on the role of caretaker and throw ourselves to the wayside. Make sure there’s a balance in your relationships where everyone’s needs are tended to (not just the other person’s). Checking in and making sure that you feel content and satisfied in the relationship sends yourself the message that your needs matter.

#6 Watch Negative Thoughts You Have About Yourself.

Being human means that we’re going to have negative, self-doubting thoughts from time to time, so be easy on yourself. A great way to turn these thoughts around is to acknowledge them, but then ask yourself, “How is thinking this about myself serving me? Is it even true? Do I have proof?” Most likely, it’s not serving you and it’s untrue, so switch it up with a more realistic thought that’s kinder.

Written for Kali By: Katie, Founder of Green Product Junkie