It doesn’t matter where in the self-love process you are, we all have those days. You know, the ones in which we’re down about ourselves and just can’t shake it. Something small like your hair refusing to look good in a bun that morning sets off a spiral that puts you in a funk all day. I’ve been there more times than I can count. Although I’m still working on loving myself unconditionally like so many of others, I have found something that helps. And I’m sharing my secret for how to feel better about yourself in 3 minutes.
You see in one quote cards across several social media platforms, but it really is true. Nothing steals joy like comparison. For most of us, there will always be someone smarter or prettier or funnier. (For the record, that’s OK and doesn’t say anything about your worth. Being at the top of any of those also comes with its own set of challenges.) Thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever to find one of those people — and compare yourself to them constantly. Yes, as you’ve probably guessed, I’m talking about Instagram.
We seem to be suckers for punishment, don’t we? We seek out the people that represent what we think we aren’t, and then follow them. Day after day we stare at their photos and measure how we stack up against them. Maybe we don’t even measure anymore, but just wish we could be like them. And, let’s be honest, since we’re all on our phones way more than we should be, this isn’t a once-a-day habit. From the moment we wake up to wind-down time right before sleep, we’re scrolling through our feeds and they’re populated by these people.
How to feel better about yourself in 3 short minutes
Here’s how to feel better about yourself in two simple steps. The first step is to realize you’re telling yourself a story about this experience. You’ll swear up and down, and so did I, that those people you follow are inspiring. That they pushed you to work harder and strive to be better. But do they actually inspire you to action, or are they aspirational, leaving you to wish you could be like them but feeling like you’ll never get there? Once I was honest with myself, I discovered that I used other people to measure my shortcomings.
If deep down you know you’re doing the same thing I did, there is an easy way to fix it. So how to feel better about yourself in 3 minutes flat? You’re not going to give up social media, or even just Instagram. You’re not even going to be forced to give up comparing yourself, although you might. You’re going to clean up your feed and make it a place that doesn’t hurt your self-esteem. Take 3 minutes and either unfollow or mute all the people who make you feel like you should be different than how you are right now.
That doesn’t mean you won’t be following anyone who you think is “better” than you. It doesn’t mean you won’t follow any weight loss accounts or fitness models. But it does mean you’ll only keep the people who love themselves every step of the way, and encourage you to do the same. You can love yourself and still want to lose weight, or learn a new skill, or remember more U.S. history. Fill your feed with people that remind you of that, because you deserve it exactly as you are right now.
Every time you log in waiting for class to start or your train to arrive, you’ll be reminded to love yourself. Filling your feed with positive messages of self-love means you’re always taking it in. (Again, we both know that neither of us are giving up our phones or social media.) Constantly taking in the positive will prime you to think positively about yourself. It’s a feedback loop that boosts your self-esteem, no matter where you are in your journey.