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The journey to love: five simple ways to self-care

by Sara Torres

Life seems surreal at times, especially when you get to a point where you realise you have been to hell and back and although at the time you had no idea how you would possibly survive, you realise that you did get through it and are probably stronger because of it.

"If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

As a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, I’ve heard this sentence way too many times. However, it wasn’t until recently that I’ve begun to think about it. To me, love starts with self-love. It is impossible for me to be completely happy and care for the ones I love when I don’t feel good about myself.

This is something hard to achieve - complete self-acceptance. Lately, I have been struggling with it - a lot. The pressure to find a job after graduating has been taking the best of me. While at university I did almost everything I could to gain experience: work placements, writing for websites and newspapers and volunteering so I thought finding a job would be easy-peasy. Spoiler alert: it’s not.

As it turns out, the real world is hard, and the past four months have been filled with rejections. I have watched some of my friends move on, while I’m stuck in a circle of no’s.

I have been trying to stay positive and active but, as I got home a few weeks ago and opened another email from a job application and read those dreaded words “Thank you for applying but we will not continue with your application any further”, I panicked. My first reaction was to automatically believe I was a failure (and, boy, did I cry!).

Luckily, my partner sees me in a way that I don't always see myself. He encouraged me to get out there and do I love the most, write. Reluctantly, I did it.

I started my current blog where I interview people and write reviews and opinion pieces. His advice worked: I found my motivation and have been having a lot of fun. Since then, I started thinking of ways in which I can be kinder to myself.

To me, self-caring is a step to self-loving. Writing is therapeutic, so I do it a lot. But there are other things I do to take care of myself. Some of them are pretty simple:

1. Watching a show with a hot chocolate

Sometimes I just need a break from life, so watching a good show usually helps. At the minute, I’m binging Atypical and The Crown.

2. Having a nice bath

It’s nice to slow things down and having time to pamper yourself. I like to take a bath to do some thinking, listening to music and just relaxing.

3. Spending time talking to people I care about

There’s nothing better than spending time with friends and family in times of need. Having a laugh and a chat is always helpful to me, and, I usually end up with some good advice.

4. Cooking

I love to cook and trying out recipes. I find it therapeutic. And when the meals turn out delicious, that’s just a plus! I believe cooking is an art, so if you loathe it, you can perhaps try something like drawing, painting or singing!

5. Taking time to remind myself that there is no rush and manifesting

One of my biggest flaws is rushing everything. I always feel like things are supposed to be happening NOW, which isn’t always true. Somethings take time and that makes them even more enjoyable. I also manifest my desires, which helps me to stay positive and hopeful.

Finding the Cool To Be Kind Project certainly helped me a lot. Since coming across Naomi’s project, I have been trying to be kinder to myself and others daily, and have been feeling a lot happier since.

I also follow some pages that post inspirational and motivational quotes. One of my favourites is @themantraco Instagram page.

Another way to practice self-kindness is to simply to recognise that we are all human, therefore, not perfect. It is important to forgive our own mistakes, learn from them, and move on. Mindfulness apps can also help to avoid focus on painful emotions. Going to bed earlier (which is something I desperately wish I did, but NETFLIX!) and eating healthier are also ways of self-caring.

I regularly come across people who forget to be kind to themselves and get stuck in a circle of negativity.

I get stuck myself.

But it’s important to try to get back out.

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