Embracing Chaos – My 5 tips for achieving self-love

The journey to self-love is long and never-ending. As humans, we all go through different experiences and hardships that shape who we are today. It is okay to not be okay. However, let it be a reassurance that everything will be okay in the end and the sooner you learn to embrace who you are and love yourself, the more content you will be with everything around you. When you can let go of what is holding back, you will be able to see colour after only seeing black and white. Here are 5 tips I found useful for navigating through hardships to learn how to love yourself.

1. Talk to someone close to you and let it all out.
I have difficulty expressing my feelings even with the people closest to me. I put up a wall that doesn’t let anyone in due to thinking I will burden the people around me. However, in my case, my mum is the person I trust most in the world. Even though I am afraid that certain things I tell her may have repercussions, she is my rock and the person that has the best advice (and don’t tell her I told you this, the woman is always right). When I let go and told her everything I go through and was going through, she was always there for me. I am sure that you have someone as close as my mother is to me. So, trust them, let go and talk because most of the time when it’s all we think about, we become blind and don’t see the bigger picture.

2. Go to a professional, they can help give you tools.
By far this is the hardest advice that anyone can give. I say this because it is really hard to make the decision that you need professional help. In the beginning, I was reluctant because I thought I could handle it all on my own. Although that is sometimes the case, there does come a time when you need to come to terms with it being too difficult to go through hardships alone. Mind you, that this is probably the most typical advice that you can give, but it is truly useful. 

Once I got professional help, I was able to see things that I didn’t think were affecting me, but really were the source of all of my problems. When you seek professional help, you realize that they give you tools. Tools to handle things differently, tools that allow you to confront issues that were not easily confrontable without them. Just remember that it is okay to ask for help, it makes you stronger never weaker. 

3. Get yourself some post-its, write positive reinforcing quotes and stick them up in your bathroom mirror, or wherever you look at the most.
This one, in particular, is a cliché but believe me, it got me through some difficult times, even when I didn’t want to look at myself in the mirror. Positive reinforcement does wonder! But, keep in mind it takes about 21 days to set something into a habit. So however corny it may sound, write notes saying that “you are enough”, “you are beautiful”, “you are unique” or whatever make you feel warm and fuzzy inside! But most importantly, write what makes feel empowered and strong. 

4. Do things that make you content 
Whether it’s painting, riding a bike, working out, watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S; we all need something that makes us lower pressure and expectation levels. In my case, for my lowest of lows, doing exercise such as dancing, playing volleyball, soccer and simply going to the gym helped. How so? When you distract your mind from what bothers you, it can also be considered as a stress releasing therapy and it’s great! Whatever makes you content and think of something else apart from being self-critical can distance you for a bit. That distance can later help us see things with clarity and trust me that when you hit the “lowest of lows” all you want, and need is clarity of mind. 

5. Meditate 
This one is tough, but oh so ever helpful to reach a new level of consciousness. Most of you will say, “I can’t stop thinking of my thoughts” and “It’s too difficult” but trust me 5 minutes of mere introspection makes you go miles, and like number 4, gain some clarity. Start with a short meditation, when you wake up or go to bed. In the long run, you will see that it brings infinite tranquility of mind and new awareness for what is happening with our mind and body. 

So, whenever you are ready, sit down with some soothing music or find yourself a guided meditation and chill.  Like number 4, deep introspection gives clarity of mind and it helps us de-stress. Due to that distance, we can see things clearly.

There is probably an infinite list that others can give you, but those are a few things that I needed and still need up until this day. Getting in contact with ourselves and truly understanding what’s going on with us is a hard task and sometimes we think that through omission it will make it better. For being someone who went from feeling everything to feeling empty, to feeling so much that I cannot even recognize what emotions I am going through, let me tell that the desire to be in love with myself is greater.

If you need anything, remember that you aren’t alone.

Written by Laura Maragaño (@lhmaragano)

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