How I became happier in my skin…
Although I didn’t really plan to post this around Valentine’s, it seems fitting somehow – a little reminder for my gals to partake in a bit of self-love! I’m all about being good to yourself, and in the last year I’ve been really trying to practice what I preach when it comes to loving and looking after myself.
I’ve changed a lot in my late twenties, I’ve gone from being someone who wasn’t really happy in their own skin, to someone who feels confident and empowered, and I think now I have a very healthy relationship with myself. I am who I am, my body is functioning and serves a purpose and I am knowledgable and willing to learn, and above all else, I’m a good person and my family and friends love me for that.
I don’t want to be someone who is first and foremost pretty; there is, and always has been, so much more to me than that. To focus on something that doesn’t do me justice is futile.
When I was writing this post I thought about how far I’d come in the last few years, and the things I’d tell my younger self if I had the chance. I sometimes wish I could go back in time and shake myself out of the bad cloud I was under, but instead I can hopefully impart some of my wisdom on to you wonderful people – so here we go…
On Being Happy With My Appearance
A few years ago I would rarely get my photo taken, I wasn’t a big fan of how I looked and the whole experience made me anxious. Not ideal when you’re a blogger, lemme tell you!
Nonetheless, I persevered – I didn’t want to be upset by my appearance; I wanted to remember happy moments and enjoy seeing photos of Jordan and I, of me and my friends. Oddly enough, if there’s one thing that has helped me feel happier in my skin, it’s becoming more confident in front of the camera!
These days I’m so used to seeing myself in photos that I just see my face, I don’t really attach any emotions to it or fixate on anything. It’s like when you look at a photo of a friend, compared to how you look at a picture of yourself – with a friend, you just see your friend. You don’t hone in on the bits you don’t like about yourself – you just recognise a person you know.
This is something that just came with time, or maybe age, I learned to focus on the positives – I started smiling more in photos (and in life!) and taking more photos for myself, not just with the intention to post on Instagram.
Of course, I made some lifestyle changes too – I got in to a routine with going to the gym, started eating better and just generally made choices that would be better for me in the long run, and it’s all done wonders for how I feel about myself on the whole. I think a positive attitude helps in all areas of your life, you’ll be surprised at what you attract with a good outlook.
On Being Kind To Myself
There is something in being nicer to yourself (and um, other people!), it really does impact the way you feel about and see yourself. I used to look in the mirror and silently point out my blemishes or hangups – without even noticing that I was doing it! – and it really didn’t do a lot for my self-esteem… funnily enough.
Now I try to pick out things I love about myself; my eyes look bright, my hair is shiny, I have a dimple when I smile. Little things that make me, me.
I don’t put myself down online or to my friends either – I remember a time a friend was complaining about a body hangup to me (something totally insignificant!) and I thought “wait, mine is way worse… I’ve never been concerned about that before, should I be?!” it was like the anxiety was contagious. It changed things for me, and now I try to always focus on being good to myself.
On The Ol’ Self-Comparison Conundrum
I am very thankful that I never really give in to feeling down because I’m comparing myself to people on the internet; I know enough to know that not everyone’s life is as it seems, even the most perfect girls will no doubt have something going on behind the scenes.
Saying that, there have, over the years, been girls that haven’t made me feel good about myself – I know it’s not their fault, but if I’ve ever felt like someone’s elses content isn’t bringing me joy, I’ve simply unfollowed. Life is definitely too short to be dealing with irrational envy, your Instagram feed should only inspire you and fill you with joy!
On Surrounding Myself With People Who Love Me
If there’s one thing I am proud of, it’s my friendship circle. I’ve put a lot of time and effort in to my friendships and I think it shows. I really fine-tuned my relationships in my twenties and I learnt a lot from it; I cut out people who made me feel unhappy or unsafe, and now I keep a tight circle of very close friends who I can trust completely.
As soon as I realised I could completely be myself around the people in my life – and not just a watered down version of myself, the full weirdo that I am – I felt like I could truly relax and embrace the who I am.
My friends and I fully support each other; we motivate each other when we need it, celebrate each other’s successes, and we’re there when things don’t quite work out either. We know we’re human and capable of failing, we’re understanding if someone isn’t being their usual self and we try to work through difficult times together.
I never feel like I’m walking on eggshells with them and I know they have my back completely. I feel carefree and secure because of it.
Honestly, it’s a bit of a journey this whole self-love thing, but it’s doable – and totally essential! I can’t believe how far I’ve come in the last few years, I feel like a brand new person.
What are some of your self-love rituals? I’d love to hear how you look after and love yourself…