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We’ve all been there. Sad, depressed, and unhappy with ourselves for whatever reasons. You remember a time when you were happy to wake up and happy to be alive but those days feel so far away. It feels like you’ll be in this slump forever. If that’s your current mood, you really need to learn how to like yourself again.
My Life Flipped Upside Down and I Didn’t Like Myself
At 44 years old, I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs. Once upon a time, I was married, with 2 young girls. I thought this was it, this was my life and I loved it. Then one day, after work I found out my wife of 7 years was seeing another man.
I was devastated and felt betrayed. My self-esteem and self worth came crashing down like a meteor.
Who was I now?
Not an Option to Stay in Bed
This was almost 15 years ago at this point and to say I hit bottom is not far from the truth. I was down in the dumps. Depression was the new norm for me. Feelings of self-pity and regrets.
- What could I have done differently?
- Why doesn’t she love me anymore?
- Does she know how much this is killing me inside?
The one saving grace was I retained custody of the girls which kept me busy. They were about the only reason I got out of bed every morning. Without them, who knows where I’d be.
I spoke with therapists and other mental health professionals and while they were encouraging, helpful, and supportive, I still just didn’t feel like myself anymore.
This version of me lasted months upon months and it seemed like I would never recover mentally. Physically I was there, making lunches, going to the kids cheerleading or softball game, but mentally I was in another world.
The Lightbulb Moment
I’d love to tell you exactly what snapped in my head to get me back to liking myself and feeling worthy, but I don’t know at what it was, or why exactly.
Maybe it was just time. Time had passed, life moved on, just not with her.
After years of thought, it was more than just time though. It was my attitude towards life and myself. I was slowly learning how to like myself again.
Keep reading to hopefully learn how to like yourself again, just as I did.
Learning How to Like Yourself is an Important Part of Developing
As we grow in years we evolve into different versions of ourselves. You are not the same person you were 5 years ago, and you won’t be the same in 5 years as you are today. We all change, develop, and grow. We acquire new tastes and hobbies which help shape us into the version of ourselves that we imagine.
I know I’m not alone when I say at some point, or points in my life, I didn’t like myself. I didn’t like my body or the way I thought about certain things. In school I was never “unpopular”, but I most certainly wasn’t the “cool kid”. Didn’t like me for that either.
Going through my divorce made me not like myself for failing. It made me hate that maybe I didn’t try hard enough to make things work. Obviously, as the years passed and I began liking myself again, I realized I’m in a much better place now than I ever was.
Now I’m married to an amazing woman! She supports me in whatever I try to accomplish and does her best to put up with my quirks and stubborn attitude. I wouldn’t ever have imagined at the time I could love myself again enough to love someone else. But I did. And so can you.
How to Like Yourself the Way You Are, F the Haters!
Do you find yourself thinking about that girl you saw at Starbucks earlier today? You know, the one that had some belly fat or a weirdly shaped mole? No, you don’t think about that at all. No one else does either.
Keep that in mind when you’re feeling self conscious about hair or outfit you have on. No. One. Cares.
Whether you like to believe it or not, it’s an amazing gift that you’re here. You woke up this morning. You’re reading this article and looking for ways to improve yourself. That’s amazing!!
10 Ways to Learn How to Like Yourself Again
- Resist Drugs and Alcohol as a Coping Tool
- Spend The Day With You and Only You
- Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
- Practice Meditation or Yoga
- Learn From Your Mistakes, Just Don’t Live Your Life in Regret
- Be Patient With Yourself and Don’t Talk Down About Yourself
- Talk to Your Friends and Family
- Buy Yourself Something You Feel Good Wearing
- Go to the Movies by Yourself
- Get Outside with Nature
1) Resist Drugs and Alcohol as a Coping Tool
I’m no saint, and I do indulge myself in a good chocolate draft beer every once in a while. So I’m not saying don’t abstain completely, I’m just saying don’t use drugs or alcohol to help yourself feel better.
Drink when you’re out with friends for dinner, not when you’re home alone and feeling blue. It only leads to bad habits and poor mental health.
2) Spend The Day With You and Only You
Take yourself out for a day on the town. You can really only begin liking yourself again when you spend time with yourself. Become your own best friend.
- Go to the zoo
- Take a bike ride through the city
- Go for a hike in a local park
- Pretend like you’re from out of town and visit local monuments with a tour group
- Spend the day at the beach with a book and some headphones
3) Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
Exercise and fitness aren’t strictly for getting in shape and building muscles, it really plays a big part in your mental health.
I know when I’m feeling in a crap mood, I’ll go for a run. Nine times out of ten by the time I get back I’m feeling much better about myself mentally as well as physically.
Even if you don’t typically exercise, now’s your chance. Boost that metabolism and get that blood flowing. You’ll be amazed at how those endorphins make you feel!
4) Practice Meditation or Yoga
A great way to get in better touch with yourself and your mind is through meditation. It may sound silly but I spend a few minutes every morning just focused on my breathing before I even open my eyes. By not focusing on what’s in store for the day I’m able to set a positive tone for how I’d like my day to be.
I love yoga. It’s a great way to warm my body up as well as practice mindful meditation. I’ve been doing yoga almost daily for years and I truly wish I’d have started sooner.
Most days I’ll just throw my headphones on, unroll my mat, and go at my own pace. Other times I’ll watch Yoga With Adriene on YouTube.
No matter how you do it, practice some mindful meditation for a few minutes every day. It should really get you focused on the good things in life, like YOU.
5) Learn From Your Mistakes, Just Don’t Live Your Life in Regret
I’ve done it, you’ve done it, we’ve all done it. Made mistakes we regret. That’s something that’s going to happen time and time again throughout your life and there’s not much you can do about it besides move on. You can’t dwell on what could have, or what should have.
It’s perfectly normal and totally ok to regret the choices and decisions we’ve made. But to make those mistakes the main focus of your life is doing you no good at all. You can’t change them, you can only learn from them.
6) Be Patient With Yourself and Don’t Talk Down About Yourself
When my wife and I divorced and I was hating myself, I often found I’d call myself names or put myself down. You’re obviously unattractive and stupid, why else would she cheat? I’d call myself a fatass when I was winded going up the steps.
These negative comments don’t help, and they certainly didn’t help me. Saying them out loud or in my head simply reinforced them for me. Hearing “fatass” genuinely made me feel fatter.
I’ve learned since then that giving myself pep talks is so much more effective and healthy. Telling myself I’m doing an awesome job at the gym or that I deserved that promotion at work is a much better feeling than being called a “fatass” or “loser”.
7) Talk to Your Friends and Family
Besides much needed time alone to like yourself more, spending time with family and friends is just as beneficial. In most cases anyway.
Being around people we like and enjoy spending time with makes us feel good. When we feel good in general, our chances of feeling good about ourselves to improve drastically.
- Set a lunch dad with your parents
- Check out that new exhibit with your best friend
- Take a friend and go for a Sunday afternoon drive
- Spend the afternoon with your grandpop at the nursing home
- Invite some friends over for a cookout and board games
8) Buy Yourself Something You Feel Good Wearing
No, I’m not condoning depression spending. I’m not saying every time you feel down, hop on Amazon and order something.
I do however think that when we look good, we typically feel better about ourselves, and in turn like ourselves that much more.
For me, it was a new suit. I had a wedding coming up anyway but decided I was going to get something new. I spent the afternoon trying them on, picking a shirt and tie, new shoes, and even that little pocket napkin.
Sure it cost me a few hundred dollars, but when I looked in the mirror I liked what I saw. I liked how the suit fit and I felt that I looked good in it.
So, if you can afford to do it, get yourself a new suit or pretty dress, then take a look in the mirror. Yes, you look good today!
9) Go to the Movies by Yourself
This one was really hard for me at first. When the girls’ mother would take them for the weekend I’d mainly just stay at home, watching TV or browsing the internet.
One weekend I wanted to go see some movie that was out but didn’t have anyone to go with. I basically just said, “F it, I’m going alone”. It was probably one of the better movie experiences I’ve ever had.
I got myself popcorn, some Reece’s Pieces, and a soda. Picked a single-seat, directly in the middle for optimal viewing pleasure. Then I just sat there and watched the movie. I didn’t have any cares about if my date is enjoying it, or whatever. I only needed to concern myself with myself.
This is probably the number one way I learned how to like myself again.
From then on, I only went to movies alone. Unless it was a kids movie, then I’d bring them too. If the movie sucked I would just get up and leave. It didn’t matter.
Try it, just once.
10) Get Outside with Nature
Breathing in the fresh air does something for the soul that I just can’t explain. If you’re like me, anything outdoors is already great. When I’m in a funky mood though, just the simple act of going outdoors changes me. Maybe it’s the Vitamin D from the sun, or the smell of the pines, something about it just makes me smile.
Next time you find yourself not liking who you are, go for a stroll through the woods or a local trail. Simply breath and enjoy the sounds, smells, and sights mother nature has to offer.
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