Loving yourself is much easier when things are going well, but the true test of how much you care about yourself is how you treat yourself when you feel unlovable — when you feel at your worst.
Truly loving yourself means recognizing that your worth isn’t like the stock market — it doesn’t change based on how trendy you are or how in-demand you are. It’s constant. Your mood can’t change your worth and your actions can’t change your worth.
You’ll know you truly love yourself when your love is unconditional. This doesn’t mean being blind to your flaws or giving yourself a pass to do bad things. But it does mean that even in your flaws — even in your humanity — you are worthy. You are still meant to be here. You are still lovable.
In those moments when you feel unlovable, here are some ways to get back on track:
1. Connect with others: It’s easy to isolate yourself when you are feeling unlovable so that no one else has to “put up with you.” But this can send you on a downward spiral; instead, reach out. Even if you don’t want to or need to talk about your feelings, surround yourself with people who love you. Sometimes their love can help you to start believing in yourself again.
2. Continue to use positive self talk: It may feel so phony and fake, but continue to talk to yourself in a positive manner. Don’t allow yourself to put yourself down. Don’t allow yourself to believe the worst. Think about your best day and try to get back into that mindset. Remind yourself that you are wonderful and that you are kind. Remind yourself of every good thing that you knew to be true about yourself on any other day.
3. Realize you won’t always feel this way: When you’re in an overwhelming feeling — whether it’s good or bad — it’s hard to think that you’ll ever feel differently. When the feeling is negative, remind yourself that there are good days to come. Remind yourself that it’s only for a moment and only for a little while.
4. Do something: It’s hard to feel lovable if all you are doing is laying around thinking about how you are worthless. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy in a sense: you’re not giving anything to the world, so you’re not getting anything — and it helps reinforce those feelings of inadequacy. Instead, live. Do things. Continue to do what you normally do when you’re feeling great – even if you don’t want to or feel like it.
5. Be grateful: When you dislike yourself, it can be easy to see everything through a negative lens. But try your hardest to be grateful — even for the smallest things. Be appreciative of the world around you, the opportunities you DO have, and the people around you. Show your gratitude for others and for yourself.
Keep these steps in mind when you are not feeling 100%. They may not fix how you feel about yourself immediately, but they will get you to a place where you can better appreciate the person you are — no matter your circumstance or mood.
Image Credit: Andreyah Portilla / Flickr