If you’re like me, and kind of hate yourself, you could use a few pick-me-ups to add to your ‘Life Toolbox’ (don’t you despise when people say stuff like that?). I’m not going to be a hypocrite and yell jubilantly from the rooftops, “LOVE YOURSELF, YOU ARE AMAZING AND WONDERFUL!” because, if there’s one thing I hate, it’s motivational speaking, and I don’t think I should give advice I won’t take myself. BUT, in the interest of faking it ’til we make it, here are some quick ways to attempt to boost your self-esteem that maybe you can stomach, and, if you try consistently over time, will actually make you like yourself a little bit maybe.
1. Positive Mantras
Come up with a few nice statements about yourself, even if you don’t believe them (because you won’t), and dedicate yourself to repeating them 10 times a day. Some examples are: “I’m enough,” “I’m strong,” “I crack myself up,” “Everyone can suckadick,” etc.
2. Treat Yourself
I think we can ALL take a page out of Donna Meagle’s book (RIP, Parks and Recreation). Do something small for yourself that you truly enjoy–whether that’s making yourself a cup of tea, buying yourself flowers, watching an episode of your favorite TV show, getting a manicure, eating a piece of chocolate, making your favorite dinner dish, looking at photos from a great vacation, or spending time on a project you want to do, like putting makeup on, doing your own nail art, practicing an instrument, decorating your apartment, making a scrapbook if anyone still does those, etc. And be mindful in the moment while treating yourself so you can fully appreciate it. By doing something you enjoy, you give yourself the message that you deserve good things–you are worthy of them.
Yes, we also hate everyone else in addition to ourselves, but just try it–go out! Put yourself in a situation with people you like and admire, and who think highly of you. Soak in the good vibes of good company. When you are around people who like you, maybe that will rub off on you and you’ll start to see yourself through their eyes. And these aren’t people who HAVE to love you, like your mother, so you have less of a reason to discount their affection (unless you go out with your mother, which is very Lorelai & Rory of you and actually pretty cool).
Sorry I’m not sorry for beating the Volunteer horse to death–really, nothing will make you feel better about yourself than helping others/the world. My mom has always told me that the only way to combat ‘bad’ is to do ‘good,’ and I would argue that self-hatred falls under the umbrella of ‘bad.’ So love yourself by loving others.
5. Give your leftovers to homeless people
Much like #4, this is perhaps the easiest, quickest way to feel better about yourself. Any time you have leftovers after eating out, or if someone leaves food in the office kitchen, go find a homeless person to give it to. Plus, you’ll feel skinny since you won’t be eating the food, and there’s nothing like feeling skinny to make you feel good about yourself!
6. List Your Accomplishments
Literally write them down–you have a great job, you don’t live in your parents’ basement, you change your Brita filter on time, you follow the “dishwasher/microwave safe” instructions on the bottom of your dishes, you woke up this morning, you aren’t addicted to meth, you do your own taxes, you’re not a homewrecker–whatever the case may be, acknowledge your successes, even if you think they are miniscule and insignificant. Soon enough, you’ll have a Biblical scroll-length document that shows just how fucking awesome you are.