Sometimes life is difficult and it’s hard to see why you would keep on going. Life might treat you terribly, but that doesn’t mean you should treat yourself that way too. Here are 10 ways you can love yourself when everything feels hopeless!
1. Do Something You Enjoy
Whatever it is, find something that brings you joy and makes you feel more alive. Connect to yourself and do the thing you love the most, no matter how “nerdy” or “childish” you think it might be. You deserve to feel good about yourself!
2. Go See a Therapist
This one’s not the most obvious option, which is why it needs to be said. If you find yourself struggling with life and you just need to talk to someone about it, go see a therapist. Go even if you don’t think you’re struggling with mental illness, it can really help to just be able to speak everything out loud to someone else! If you can’t afford the traditional sit-in appointment and your mental health isn’t extremely bad, try an online service that allows you to video call your therapist as those are often cheaper. If it’s an emergency and you can’t get an appointment immediately, call an emergency line. Remember: your life is worth it.
3. Watch a Movie You Loved as a Kid
Reconnect with your past self and watch your favourite childhood movie! The nostalgia will help remind you that life has been good before. If it was good once, have faith that it can be good again. Remember: it gets better!
4. Call a Friend
Don’t isolate yourself! Don’t worry so much about bothering your friends – most of the time, your friends will want you to bother them with your problems! Nobody can get through life alone, that’s what relationships are for. Lean on your friends and let them love you. It’s important to always ask if your friend is ok to hear about your problems, though. Check in to make sure that you’re not overburdening them and respect their boundaries. If they can’t hear about your problems right now, that doesn’t mean they don’t love you! It just means that maybe they’re going through a tough time too.
5. Take Care of Yourself
I know that some days it can be hard to do anything at all, even just getting out of bed. I’ve been there and I know it’s tough. If you can’t manage to do a full task, try doing a task part-way. If you can’t brush your teeth for two minutes and then floss, try just brushing your teeth for 30 seconds. You don’t even need toothpaste – dry brushing is just as effective at removing plaque as brushing with toothpaste. If you can’t wash your face, just splash some water on and pat it dry or let it air dry. You don’t have to clean your whole room, just make your bed. It’s hard right now, but even doing just a small task will help you feel more productive. You’ll get there one day, for now, just focus on small tasks.
6. Set Boundaries… and Stick to Them!
If you find that your hopelessness stems from your relationships with others, you definitely need better boundaries. Think about what makes you feel exhausted in your relationships. Do you feel like all your friend does is complain about their life and never has anything positive to say? Does your friend demand constant emotional labour from you but never reciprocates? Is your friend in a mental health crisis and they refuse to seek help? Do you find that your friend acts like your needs are too much but demands a lot from you? Discover what’s draining you and learn to say no to things that aren’t good for you. Tell your friend politely (but firmly) that you’re not in a good space to hear about their mental health currently and kindly suggest that they seek out a professional. Remind yourself and your friends of your worth and let them know that a relationship has to be give-and-take from both parties. You’re not selfish for asking to be respected and loved!
7. Give Yourself Some Positive Affirmations
Okay, I know this one feels super cheesy, but it’s actually quite helpful. To change the narrative in your head that tells you you’re worthless, try telling yourself every morning and evening that you are worth so very much. Look in a mirror and say things like “you are enough,” “you are worthy of being loved,” and “you are talented/intelligent/passionate.” Give yourself real and meaningful compliments (avoid surface-y things like “you’re beautiful” – you’re worth a lot more than your appearance!) every day and soon you’ll start seeing just how true those statements really are!
8. Make a List
Make a specific and detailed list of what you’re good at and why you’re valuable. Make a list of your favourite things about yourself and your best qualities. Be specific so these things are harder to deny or explain away when you’re having a tough time. Read this list every day to change the inner dialogue that tells you you’re worthless – it’s hard and it takes some time, but you’ll get there!
9. Delete a Social Media App
If you find yourself on social media a lot comparing yourself to others or just to escape from your own life, delete that app. It’s not doing you any favours. If social media isn’t a problem for you, identify what’s toxic for you in your life and start cutting it out. Get your friends to hold you accountable. Go out and live your best life!
10. Conquer a Fear
Fears are so often irrational. Try doing something that feels scary, unknown, and new to help yourself feel more alive. Are you afraid of cooking for your significant other or friend because you’re scared it won’t be good enough? Schedule a date night and do it! Get them to help you out if you’re unsure. Are you scared of driving? Practice on some empty residential streets! Love to sing/play an instrument but you never do it for someone else because you’re scared that you’ll sound bad? Put on a concert for someone you trust. Start out small and work your way up. You’ll feel stronger after conquering a fear!