Do you struggle to accept yourself, just as you are? You’re not alone. Especially in the entertainment industry, we’re constantly compared to others and asked to meet often unrealistic expectations physically, mentally and with an audience. Self-love sounds nice, but is it possible for actors?
Spoiler alert: YES!
You’re human, and we’re messy, imperfect beings. But that is what makes us good at our jobs (and more interesting humans)! Actors who are able to embrace themselves fully and with kindness and respect can connect better with the characters they play.
Self-love nurtures your personal growth and well-being, and that progress filters down into everything you do, from your relationships with others to your creative work.
I know it can be daunting to look candidly at ourselves, especially our darker parts, and then give ourselves a big ol’ bear hug, so I’ve put together a few quick ways to help you get started on your journey.
Here are 4 Simple Ways you can start practicing Self-Love.
1) Find A Self-Love Role Model
When you’re particularly disconnected from yourself, it can be helpful to have a template of positive behavior to model. It’s why wellness is so popular.
Now, I don’t recommend you go down a rabbit hole of the Internet looking at curated images and videos of how to be “that girl”. But is there a person in your real life who you think exemplifies healthy self-love? Get in their energy for a while and soak up the good vibes!
2) Keep A Happy Journal
At its core, self-love is about accepting yourself—the good, the bad, the weird and the wacky. So start off on a positive note, by writing down all the things that are going well in your life or that you like about yourself. Seeing how much you have to offer the world will help boost your self-esteem and make it easier to feel worthy of love.
3) Say “No” More Often
People-pleasing is a guaranteed way to spread yourself so thin, there is nothing left over for yourself. Be mindful of the people and projects to which you commit your energy.
And sometimes, you may need to say “no” to that little devil on your shoulder too. The one that urges you to stay up super late over and over again, to devour comfort food and Netflix, or to check your phone first and last thing every day.
If you want time to take care of yourself, you’ll need to make the time in your schedule.
4) Declutter Your Space
Our environment affects our health far more than we realize, and I’m not just talking about toxic chemicals or neglected maintenance. A cluttered space can lead to a cluttered mind.
So grab a few donation boxes and clear out things that no longer serve your life right now – clothes that no longer fit, supplies you bought in hopes you’d adopt a trendy, new hobby, junk mail, papers from that acting gig long ago, etc.
While these things are taking up real estate in your home, they are also tugging at your energy and attention. By releasing them, you create space for more good things to enter your future.
Remember, Self-Love Is A Process As Much As A Practice.
You won’t wake up one day, decide to love yourself, and POOF! It’s done. Self-love is not a threshold you can cross and then never look back.
For many people, it means acknowledging some pretty heavy trauma, bottled up emotions and toxic relationships. Before you feel wonderful, you may feel terrible.
Here’s a great explanation from writer Jamie Varon:
“Because, before self-love becomes a liberation, it is first a burden. Well, there’s the anger at who treated you poorly when you didn’t know to ask for better treatment. The anger at yourself for what you’ve allowed. There’s the grief for lost time. There’s the strangling necessity to push people, things, ideas out, out, out because there’s no room for them. There’s the loneliness and isolation that accompanies the growth of self. There’s the new boundary lines, the new range of the word no, the opening of eyes that would rather be shut, and the terrifying realization that love isn’t synonymous with joy. It’s synonymous with growth.”
Self-love is healing. It takes the time it takes—and it is oh-so worth it!
LOVE + smiles!