A Guest Feature From Kendra Senn, Founder of @yourbreakupbestie
Admitting That You Love Yourself Isn’t Always Easy.
I remember a time when hearing people say that they “love themselves” made me uncomfortable. I remember when admitting that I like myself made me sick to my stomach. I thought it was self-indulgent to compliment yourself, and I judged people who did. But I later realized that I was only jealous. I secretly craved self-confidence and felt like I could never attain it.
It took a a toxic relationship, a drinking problem, and a heart-wrenching break up for me to realize that I could not be of use to anyone if I did not first take care of myself. While these were all extremely difficult experiences they have all helped me grow stronger and ultimately reach a stage of unconditional self love. They have brought me to this point now where I can confidently say that “I, Kendra Senn, love myself.”
In the years in between these life events and in the years that followed, I truly internalized the importance of prioritizing myself. As a result I have slowly built a routine to ensure that I maintain my self love on the daily. I am excited to share with you the top 5 things that make up my “love myself” routine:
Kendra’s 5 Steps To Self Love
- My support system is SOLID: I have a solid group of people in my life that I keep in contact with on a regular basis. I realized that earlier on in my life whenever I started a new relationship, the first thing to be neglected was my girlfriends and my family. Now I know that these are the people that need to come first. Even though I’m currently engaged and living with my fiancé, I talk to my Mom almost every day to touch base. I also plan regular girl’s nights to stay close with my friends. Making sure these relationships are reciprocal and that I give more than I take from my friends and family is essential. No matter what is happening in my life I know I can always turn to them for love and support.
- I spend time getting to know myself: It has taken me a really long time to learn who Kendra is and what she likes. I was always a chameleon; I liked the clothes my current group of friends liked, I’d like the music the guy I was dating liked, and I would generally conform to the expectations of others. I had to really dig deep to recognize this tendency within myself. Journaling has been the number one way for me to learn about myself. I’ll spend just 10 minutes writing about whatever, and I am always surprised by what comes out on paper.
- I do things that make me feel like a good person: A very wise woman once told me that in order for me to attain self-esteem, I had to do esteemable acts. That doesn’t have to mean volunteering for a charity twice a week. It can simply mean holding the door for someone. Or buying your mom a thoughtful card and gift on her birthday rather than scrambling to buy it on the way to her house. However, esteemable acts are not just about doing for others. I also consider exercising and eating healthy to be esteemable acts as they help keep your mind and body aligned. The knowledge that my desire to exercise and eat healthy comes from a place of self love and appreciation for my body rather than out of self loathing and guilt is very empowering.
- I have a routine that I (for the most part) stick to: I used to think that having a routine was for squares, but now that I’ve implemented a routine of my own I see that it prompts purposefulness and productivity in one’s day. Now anytime I stop my routine, my mind gets cloudy, my thoughts run haywire and I feel generally lost. Keeping myself busy helps keep my self destructive thoughts in check, so maintaining a routine has been a boon for both my productivity and my mental health. A brief outline of my routine goes something like this: I make my bed every morning, go through a checklist of things to do throughout the day, including making a gratitude list, writing affirmations (which was so uncomfortable at first), meditating, reading, and doing some free writing. I usually exercise in the afternoon and then cook a healthy meal. I always aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep, because that’s when I feel I’m my best self. It’s also important for me to build fun into my routine. In my journey to discover what I like I found that I love live music, hiking, and karaoke. So I’m sure to schedule some of these activities into my routine throughout the week. Though it can be intimidating to try new things it is a great way to find out what you enjoy and what makes you happy!
- Help other women: There is nothing more satisfying than being able to sympathize with someone and help them through their problems. Whenever I get a call from a friend that is going through a break up, there is nothing I love more than listening to her and doing what I can to make it suck less. I’m also fortunate enough to do the same thing with women who are getting sober. The fact that I am able to reflect on my past life experiences with appreciation rather than sadness and regret is the greatest gift. The ability to view these experiences as “blessings in disguise” has been a long journey but one I am grateful to be able to help others achieve.
Expect the Unexpected From True Self Love.
Through my self-love routine I was able to realize that helping other women through tough break ups was a real passion of mine. As a result, a few months ago, I started the Instagram account @yourbreakupbestie to help women through the tough process of breaking up, healing, and dating again. The account will also focus on providing women with the tools to grow through a break up. It is a mix of motivational quotes, some truth bombs, and a little sassy humor. Eventually the goal is to turn it into a blog, and then an online coaching program to really be able to walk women through this step by step.
I’m convinced that without my self love routine, I wouldn’t have realized this passion of mine. If I hadn’t acknowledged the power of self love, my past would seem more like a series of regrets, rather than moments of gratitude that keep me moving forward. The benefits of taking the time to get to know yourself on a deeper level and learning how to genuinely love yourself are innumerable. It will surprise you how much you can grow through the practice of self love.