5 ways to practice self love

*Columns are the opinions of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Wichitan as an organization.*

With a quick look around, almost anyone can see that love is needed in the world today more than it ever has been. The solution? I say we start with ourselves. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a few tips for us readers who want to change the world, starting with ourselves.

  1. Put yourself first: This may sound counterintuitive, but nobody has ever been able to pour anything from an empty pitcher. Making the world a better place begins with prioritizing the self. What do you want out of this life? Before pursuing obligations for someone else’s dream, try working on yours first. If you don’t have a dream, define one for yourself, no matter how small; I promise it’ll change your life.
  2. Learn who you are: Who are you, really? Many of us go through life assuming the identities given to us by parents, peers and society, never for a second stopping to decipher who we are when all those labels are peeled off. What’s something you have always wanted to do? Even if someone told you it was a stupid idea, or laughed at the thought, don’t let that stop you. No matter what it is you want out of this life, to achieve it, work actively on understanding who you are, where you are now and where exactly you want to go, regardless of what anyone thinks.

    Digital Art by Soleil Weeks
  3. Don’t let fear rule your life: To get to that desired destination we’ve spoken about, we must have the courage to walk the road, though it may be dark, winding and littered with obstacles. Challenges and adversities will always pop up once you are moving forward. If that much is already known, why let them stop you? You have all the power you could need to overcome them; don’t ever forget that. If we don’t face our fears or take on challenges, we’ll be stuck running in the same spot until we do.
  4. Be yourself, unapologetically: It can be easy to fall into the traps of doing what everyone else is doing, and like what everyone else likes because it gives us a sense of belonging. Speaking from experience, there is nothing more empowering than the feeling you get from embracing your uniqueness as a person, no matter what that may look like for you. You know those shoes that you really like but never wear because you think people will laugh at you? Wear them. That special hair color or style you’ve always wanted to try but felt too afraid to? Go for it! None of us were born the same, so why try to be? 
  5. Have standards & learn to say no: Having standards and setting boundaries is something many of us don’t even realize we’re failing to do, but this is crucial to our happiness and fulfillment. It starts with realizing that the only obligations you really have in this life are to yourself. You don’t really owe anyone else anything, and if you think you do, you can examine it and realize that you actually don’t. If it doesn’t bring you love, growth or peace, it’s entirely okay to say no to it. If you don’t feel like going to that party, don’t. If you go to the party and you don’t wanna drink at the party, then just don’t. Just because you’ve always done it, doesn’t mean you should continue to. 

The goal is to ensure that you’re loving yourself to the best of your ability. If you’re not prioritizing your needs & well-being, then you can never truly love and help others. Since the mission is to make the world a better place, let’s work on ourselves first, together.