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Self love

By Maya McKeefery
On March 5, 2021

Graphic by Kylee Weber

Self-love: tough word to hear, even tougher to follow through with. I'm not going to sugarcoat anything; some days you might really hate yourself or the body you're in, but the reality of it all is you only have one body. Now I know everyone goes through stages as a teen, especially the “I hate my life and I hate myself” phase. But what about the people who never outgrow it? What we don't realize is that self-love is more than body image, it's also mental health. There is not one person on this planet who has not wanted to be someone else or wanted to look like them. This is because we grow up comparing, and that leads to toxic habits. But let's talk about how to break those habits, as well as the reality of mental health. 


Self-love: the regard for one's own happiness or advantage basically meaning what you do to be happy and how happy you currently are. How do we self-love? Well there are many ways such as pampering, indulging but not too much and to even being nice to ourselves. But why is self-love so hard for some people? Some people grew up in a household that might have been completely different from yours, meaning they got told they were not worth much or even that they were not beautiful. This does affect people, from boys and girls to non-binary and LGBTQ people. It's not a category thing. How people treat you does have long term effects on you and your health, especially when it is your family. 


I encourage self-love while you are younger to help you out; suspend time with friends who aren’t good for you, disembark from your friend group that talks a lot about you behind your back and don’t worry about what they think about you. Don’t calorie count to watch your weight; intake what is healthy for you and keep yourself healthy. Try not to worry about anyone else's looks because everyone has their own unique features that make them their own person, no one is going to look quite like someone else, no matter how hard they try. Something else that helps you get used to self-love is to talk to people about how you feel, if they guilt trip you into changing the subject, try to deem you crazy for how you feel or are not interested in your feelings, they are not good for you on your self-love journey. Focus on you and what you need. 


Self-love when you are older can be tough since some people are insecure, and the reality of getting old hits. For some people at this age, you are just getting professionally diagnosed with mental health that you didn't quite know was there and you can finally start putting together the pieces of why you feel the way that you do. A way of self-love when you are older would be going to therapy, even if it's for something as little as having a bad day; in therapy, you learn things about you that you did not know and sometimes find out you need medication.

Life is not a race, even when it seems like it is. I know it seems like time is going by so fast so use it wisely; spend time with your family and friends, as long as they are good for you. Don’t keep toxic people around, if they loved you they would change in order to help you.

Do what makes you happy and don't focus on money, get a job you enjoy and not for the money. This has been proven to show an increase in mental health compared to someone with a time-consuming job that makes them unhappy. Lastly, check up on others. We are all the same in one way, and that is that we all have feelings. 


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