“Loneliness is a sign that you are in desperate need of yourself,” Rupi Kaur said in her book, Milk and Honey. I keep this quote in my head constantly. In times of mindless self-hatred, it is important to remember that at the end of the day, you are the only person who will always be there. Whether you like it or not, you are stuck with yourself. Might as well make the most of it.
It’s definitely not easy. There is not a quick solution or direct answer. It will take time, but it is possible. Insecurities and self-confidence tend to get in my way. But, to me, self-love is the first step for independence and happiness. Take care of yourself.
1. Live healthily
Hydration, three meals a day, eight hours of sleep. It’s the most basic thing, yet it’s often overlooked in our everyday lives. Whether it be because of school, work or general day-to-day stress, we tend to forget that our bodies need nourishment. The sole purpose of every single cell in your body is to keep you alive. The least you can do is help them out.
2. Spend time with yourself
Be okay with being alone. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. When alone, instead of diverting your attention to stressors, focus on yourself. Enjoy your own company.
3. Give yourself a break
Know what you can handle and try not to take on too much. it’s okay if you can’t do everything in the world; it’s honestly better if you don’t. Try to take 20 minutes for yourself every day. Go outside, take a walk, watch the sunset. Experience everything and enjoy it.
4. Journal, journal, journal
Write about yourself. There is nothing more satisfying than writing down all your thoughts and looking back only to realize that these nine pages are full of the words that have been running through your head all day. It doesn’t matter how good the writing is. This is for you. After watching Sarah Kay’s TED Talk, I’ve been writing lists. Ten things I know to be true. Ten things I should have learned by now.
5. Give yourself some credit
Celebrate all your victories, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Celebrate the fact that you made it out of bed. Or that you ate breakfast today. Small victories lead to good days. We all need more good days in our lives.
For more information on mental health in the South Asian community, check out MannMukti—ending the mental health stigma, one story at a time.
Sriya Reddy is a college student currently attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She is planning on double majoring in journalism and corporate communications and public affairs. Reddy is passionate about diversity, representation, and her culture and also prides herself on being a Bharatanatyam dancer. Some of her hobbies include writing, taking Buzzfeed quizzes and going to museums.