Love, in my opinion, is the most powerful emotion. It can overcome hardships and stress and it can be sustained for decades. This time of year it’s easy to talk about love we have for others in our lives. We often forget how important it is to love ourselves. In my experience, it’s much easier to love another person and forgive them for their mistakes and faults. It’s hard to give ourselves the same leniency.

As a whole, millennials seem to struggle with self and self-appreciation. Partially because we hold ourselves to a high standard and partially because the media depicts unrealistic standards, we judge ourselves harder than what is fair or necessary.

Many people believe that you cannot adequately love another person until you truly love yourself. Why are there so many people giving all of their love to those in their lives and not saving any for themselves?

It is incredibly important to show your loved ones how much you love them through acts of kindness and gifts, but at the end of the day, if you are not showing yourself that same love, it will affect your self-esteem and you are going to come off less confident.

So how do we learn to love ourselves? Here are a few easy steps to practice self-love. Affirmations are incredibly important to your own self-love and confidence. Look in the mirror in the morning and say three things you like about yourself. I know this sounds like a daunting task, but the more you do it, the easier it will become. This will help you notice you have a really great smile, or beautiful eyes. Beyond the physical, make sure to point out things you like about your personality.

Next, practice self-love by not allowing others to treat you less kindly than you should be treated. Don’t accept a bad relationship because you think you can’t do better. Don’t let your friends bully you into things that make you uncomfortable. Another step to self-love is making people in your life treat you how you should be treated. Stay humble, but don’t let people push you around because you have low self-esteem.

During this season of love remember that the love you show yourself is just as important as the love you show the special people in your life. By ensuring that you love yourself and being kind to yourself, you will be able to love those in your life more deeply and genuinely. Achieving self-love is a journey that takes work and time. You will have to work each day to maintain self-love and let it grow within you. Making this a priority will improve several areas of your life. What are you doing today to show yourself how much you love you?

-          Bria