How To Love Yourself In Your 20s, When You Feel Like You Need It The Most
Life should always be about loving yourself. By now, you've probably heard of self-care so much, and it might even seem a little overrated. I promise that you shouldn't sign off on the idea quite yet, though. Especially when life is handing you all sorts of lemons, it's important to make lemonade and learn how to love yourself in your 20s. Amongst all of the curveballs, there's a lot of beauty — and you're really not alone.
Adulting is a lot of making the most of every experience, even if it's low-key the worst. Finding new perspectives and seeking out adventure is so important to opening up our minds and hearts to what this world can offer. And with a little self-care, you'll find you can get the same effect.
My friends and I have had a lot of heart-to-hearts over the years, when we weren't watching way too much Food Network or eating all the home fries. We've come to terms with the fact that, during college in particular, we all had one point when we felt like we needed to love ourselves a little more.
Taylor Swift knew what she was talking about in "22." We were all feeling happy, free, confused, and lonely. So, if you're in the same sort of place, these eight tips will help you love yourself and keep on living.
1. Give Yourself A Break
Seriously, stop comparing yourself to others. The minute you start overthinking and putting unreal pressure on yourself is when it all tends to get a bit messy. Everybody's on their own path, and it doesn't make a lot of sense to follow in the footsteps of somebody who's not living your dreams. Paving the way for yourself can be a bit scary, for sure. But, you've gotten this far in life — so, it's safe to say you know a thing or two.
Truth is, you've probably already made a bunch of mistakes, and you'll make a lot more. Those moments are when you are the most human, and will give you a whole lot of much-needed experience. Let yourself cry in front of other people, or even sleep until noon. Just be sure to pick yourself back up. Trying your best is the only thing you can do.
2. Get Some Sleep
Our brains work a whole lot better when they've gotten some solid sleep. Pulling all-nighters was so fun when we were teens, but we're now realizing that we may have taken all those nap times for granted. Adulting and loving yourself means the simplest of self-care sometimes. And especially when our schedules are so crazy, and our planners are packed — we skip out on the things like sleep, that would make it all much easier.
If you're stressed or just feeling totally overwhelmed with life, then odds are, you might not be getting your best sleep. You probably stay awake running different scenarios through your head, or find yourself too many episodes deep on Netflix by 3 a.m. Do yourself a favor, and turn off the TV and the rest of your technology at least an hour before you go to bed. You'll feel so much better just by hitting snooze.
3. Follow Your Passions
Loving yourself comes with a little work. For one, you have to actively figure out what's bringing you down and want to change your lifestyle. On the other hand, you must follow your passions and stay grounded in your purpose.
If you're in serious need of some self-love, you've probably felt lost at one point or another. You've had days when you just haven't been yourself, and wondered if your friends could pick up on it at all. In those moments, it's so easy to just stay in bed and act like the world is letting you down. Getting back to the things you love will surely spark your soul and make for the best form of self-care.
Take an entire day to do art stuff or study up on how to start that business. Now has never been a better time to get started.
4. Stay Close To Your Friends
Your friends are the family you got to choose, and so, keeping them close will remind you that life and laughter are never too far. Even if you and your bestie are in a long-distance relationship, you can always reach out and maybe have one of those old-fashioned phone calls.
These people have already been there for the best and the worst, and they'll continue to stick by your side and be your support system through all the thick and thin. Odds are, some of them are probably feeling the same way and could use a little self-love, too. When you're 20-something, you're seriously never alone in any situation because there's at least one other person who knows the struggle can be so real.
Grab some 'za and maybe have a spontaneous dance party. Loving yourself can be oh-so-fun, especially when you're surrounded by friends.
5. Hold Your People Accountable
Sometimes, loving yourself is all about the other people in your life and holding them accountable. If you're anything like me, you've probably given people a pass when you should've stood up for yourself instead. Those moments happen, but learning to not be so passive aggressive does you wonders in the real world.
Your friends, especially, have been in your life forever — so, they might let some situations slip and just assume everything's OK. Skipping out on coffee dates can get understandable, but if you find yourself feeling more hurt and less respected, then please do something about it.
It doesn't have to be a big confrontation or even a huge conversation. But it will be important because you'll teach others how to love you just the same. You know you deserve only the best, and don't let the people you hold closest in life be the ones to bring you down.
6. Face Your Fears
We keep a lot held up in our comfort zones. Think of something that you're absolutely scared of. What are the chances that it would ever happen? Is it related to something you're passionate about? How would you feel if everything worked out instead? Challenging our fears is crucial when we're learning to love ourselves, because we cause a lot of unnecessary trouble when we choose to give those thoughts the time of day.
Now, I'm not saying that you should go befriend a spider or go scuba diving with a bunch of sharks. But, if you've been holding off moving across the country or launching your business for when you're feeling more "ready," then now is the time to be daring and figure out what's really holding you back. Loving yourself is getting out of your own way so that you can undeniably be you.
7. Find The Bright Side
Changing your mindset and getting into that positive perspective will seriously help you love yourself. Every day when you take a shower, instead of thinking about all the things on your to-do list, find three things you like about yourself, your day, and the world. This is something that I've been doing for months now, and it's amazing to see how my brain gets instantly brighter.
Truth is, you have so much control over your mind and how you react to this thing called life. Seeing the glass as half-full is always a good idea, and you'll realize how much more opportunity is in this world when you get resourceful and think differently. You could change your surroundings, just by seeing them from a new angle. The grass might always seem like it's greener somewhere else, but nothing beats finding beauty right where you are.
8. Take A Deep Breath
Just breathe. Seriously, do it with me right now. Inhale for a few seconds, and now exhale all that stress away. Relax your shoulders, and take a moment to realize how being mindful of that already adjusted your mood.
You've probably heard of meditation and thought about getting one of those adult coloring books last time you were at the store. And I can understand where, once again, it all feels so cheesy. But, it's amazing how quickly we leave behind those little things when life gets stressful. Noticing how you breathe and letting your body work at its best is an easy way to love yourself.
We all get so caught up in the clock and forget that feelings are a thing, too. At the end of the day, we have so much trouble unwinding because we let ourselves get so wound up in the first place. Being 20-something is about learning to love yourself, even when life thinks you don't need it. So, let self-care be your new best friend and maybe buy the bath bomb, too.