Loving Yourself More in 2023
It’s that time again. The time where you’re enthusiastic about what will happen in the New Year. Unless you’re not so excited about resolutions. But you don’t have to commit to a New Year’s Resolution to love yourself more in 2023.
The idea of loving yourself isn’t so radical in the New Year. In fact, it’s encouraged. As a boudoir company, you might think we mean loving your body, but it’s beyond the physical. From small bodies to curvy ones, imperfections are and should be celebrated. Your mind and heart are also worthy.
Over the years, I’ve had the absolute pleasure of photographing people of different ethnicities, sexual identities, sizes, shapes; you name it. But what I find most exciting at The Girlfriend Experience isn’t your body. It’s the confidence you leave with and believing full-heartedly that you will continue your journey to self-love when you leave our studio.
We want to help you cultivate that experience in your everyday life. Even if you’re not shooting with us, you deserve to see yourself through the lens of someone who loves you. Because they don’t see the “flaws,” they love you just the way you are. And damn it, you deserve to love yourself too.
What is self-love?
According to Psychology Today, self-love is “a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support one’s physical, psychological, and spiritual growth.” Contrary to popular belief, self-love involves not only loving your body or your mind. It is the first step in realizing how your pieces create the person on the other side.
Beyond self-help books and boudoir photography, self-love involves maturing in thought and accepting that you’ll make mistakes. Being mindful and gentle regarding the thoughts and feelings you have will help make leaps toward self-love. Mindfulness can be one of the least selfish things you can do for yourself. It’s a big reason many schools around the country are adapting mindfulness techniques to teach the younger generations. But it’s not too late for you to learn.
Not just another self-care recommendation
By now, you’re sick of hearing influencers babble on about self-care. You might even say things like, How am I supposed to use self-care if I don’t have time? This is bullshit. But the secret in making the time for self-care is in mindfulness.
As mentioned above, mindfulness is acceptance. An overt awareness of what our bodies need, what our minds need, and how to be gentle with ourselves. If you pay enough attention, your body will tell you when it needs rest. Boiling it down to the basics, rest can look like a show on tv, a bath, or putting down your devices in favor of a book. It can be in choosing to take your vitamins or creating systems that help drive your own growth.
Self-care isn’t a one-size-fits-all creation built upon expensive vacations, drinks by the pool, face masks, and massages. It really comes down to listening to your body’s needs and caring for yourself in the most fundamental ways.
Forgiveness and Self-Love
One of the hardest things to let go of is guilt. Without question, allowing guilt to eat you alive will rip your self-confidence and self-love to shreds. Be it mom’s guilt, child guilt, or being extremely self-critical, it’s time to forgive yourself. It’s your time, right now, to train your thoughts to be more gentle.
Listen, I know it’s harder than it sounds. If it were easy, we’d all be walking around as our best selves all the damn time. But something I’ve found helpful is to identify what is causing the guilt, how I can rewrite it—for instance, was the situation as bad as I remember it?—and apologize to myself for being more critical than gentle.
I’m confident if you’re still reading this, you’ll be on the fast track to mindfulness, forgiveness, and self-love. It’s in the thoughts, actions, and experiences that help shape you. For some, self-love starts from childhood. And if you’re an adult and struggling to find yourself, remember that you are worthy. Just how you are.