As a society, we are incredibly keen when it comes to the concept of love. Whether it be, loving our friends, family, or romantic partners. Yet, what we fail to do most is channel that same affection where it is  needed the most: ourselves. Perhaps, one of the biggest issues is that some of us aren’t even sure how to express this love to ourselves. For this reason, the following are 10 tips to help you start putting more of your time and energy into yourself.

  1. Be selfish: Do something only for yourself and your personal happiness daily.

2. Learn to say “no”: The word “no” can often be daunting to us to the point that some of us aren’t even sure we use it anymore. Even the simplest of things such as, someone wanting a bite out of the delicious lunch you were looking forward to. You think about it and of course not! The last thing you want is to share but you do so anyway. Whether this is for the fear of looking mean or not wanting to refuse your friends, I have one piece of advice for you: just say no. More importantly, even when you do say “no”, do not apologize or explain yourself. Try it with baby steps, until you become more confident. Remember to put your needs above others.

3.Mediate: Meditation does not necessarily have to mean closing your eyes and chanting “om”. Instead, mediation can be discovered in various ways and it is important for you to find what works for you. This could be taking time in the mornings to plug in your earphones and listen to soothing music. Focus on your breathing. Reflect. What do I have to tackle today? How do I feel this morning? It is important to check on yourself every now and then.

4. Exercise: I know that for some of you exercise must be the most enjoyable experience in the world and for others, the same could be said for watching hours of Netflix until it becomes unbearable. I get it! However, it wouldn’t hurt for you to get your blood pumping and body moving at least an hour daily. Find what works for you. This is all about you! Walk your dog, or engage in some one-one basketball, or maybe even practice your wild dance moves. The possibilities are endless. Netflix won’t go anywhere. Trust me.

5. Let it go: If there are things that you hold on dearly, even though it does not benefit you, let them go. Go to your closet and donate all the clothes that no longer define you or the person you no longer wish to be seen as. Let them go. If you hold memories, such as photos, that no longer are pleasant, you have no obligation to keep them. Let them go. Make room for new and much better things to come your way. Do things that get rid of the weight on your chest. Free yourself from toxic relationships. It is easy for us to use this saying all the time, but the actual notion is quite difficult. I understand, but if  for a good cause, who says you shouldn’t? What is stopping you? Think of it like a rope that you are desperately holding on to. There are cuts and bruises on your hands. You are bleeding and yet, still hold on. How good would it feel to just let it go? You can do it.

6. Keep a Journal: I know writing may not be everyone’s cup of tea and this doesn’t mean you have to by any means open up a notebook and write about the events of today. Journalling may as well be using an online document and writing something along the lines of “today I was bubbling with happiness because we played volleyball in gym” or “today I got back my mark from Chemistry and it was brutal.” If writing doesn’t work for you, how else do you express yourself? Through dance, hockey, painting, music? Whatever works for you!

7.  Treat yourself: Go buy yourself your favourite flowers instead of  wishing someone would do it for you. Go out for ice cream after a long, exhausting Tuesday. Watch that movie in theatres that you always wanted to see but could never convince anyone to go with you. Go to Moxies and order yourself a white chocolate brownie or the creamy fettuccine alfredo (sighs) because let me tell you: they are lovely! Maybe don’t spend hundreds of dollars on a shopping spree, but as I always say “the possibilities are endless.”

8. Forgive yourself: We all understand the times when it is 3:00 am and you are unable to sleep, all the worst possible things you  have done in life hit you. Like the time you broke someone’s heart or said that mean thing to someone that you didn’t mean. It is okay. Everyone has been there, but if you let the guilt eat away at  you, it won’t get you anywhere. This is the time where you think about, how you can find it in you, to forgive yourself. Maybe this is asking forgiveness from other people, or understanding that you are human. We all make mistakes and we regret things. You are not alone. In this same way, if they deserve it, forgive others for the things they’ve done. I’m sure, it’s not any easier on them as it is on you in those moments.

9.Take risks: Often we shy away from things that we believe will not end well, but how are we so sure of how it is going to end? When we take risks, we discover more things about ourselves. Such as, when auditioning for the drama production, you may even discover a new talent and the same could go for public speaking. Some of the most amazing experiences we have are due to stepping out of our comfort zones, and even if it does not go well, you can at least ensure a funny story will come out of it. Do it now or you’ll regret what could have been.

10. Embrace yourself: I mean this in the literal and figurative way..embrace yourself! Embrace your quirks and awkwardness. Embrace your personality and your body. Love yourself, as cliche as it sounds. Self love comes at different speeds and intensities for everybody. Some of you may flex in the mirror 24/7, while another may find it takes more time to accept oneself. Just know that this is the person you will enter and leave this world with. Do you want to spend it, hating every bit of the person in the mirror, or loving yourself throughout the journey? Remind yourself that you are worth it! Ultimately,  just learn to channel your inner Beyonce and you’re set!!!