How I Learnt To Love Myself – Life Advice For Maintaining A Balanced Life In Malta
Our tiny island can be a hectic one – slow down and focus on you.
Model and editor Sacha Kinser writes about her struggle to find satisfaction amidst an ultra-busy life. She outlines the most important things to remember when anyone is working on maintaining happiness and self-satisfaction
Self worth is a difficult concept to grasp. I find that in order to understand the value of yourself, you must first practice loving yourself.
The practice of loving yourself sounds obvious and easy, but at times it can seem like the most difficult task in the world.
I live a busy life. I work, I support myself, and I feel productive. Working for two companies, multiple magazines, and an editing position – not to mention weekly modelling gigs on the side - I keep myself occupied. Oh yeah, and there’s my blog, which gets pushed aside sometimes amidst the piles of work and magazines. I wake up at 6, have a coffee and start my day. I come home around 7 (10 if I have to model after work) and try to fit in some time for my blog. But am I satisfied?
When I stepped back to answer my own question, I realised the answer was no – I'm not satisfied.
I work 10-hour days for everyone but myself. Sure, I get paid for it all but everything feels so stagnant and irrelevant. I asked myself – for what? I feel lost. I feel unworthy of appreciation or accomplishment. How am I working so hard and still feeling no satisfaction from it all? What is making me question my worth?
So I decided to take a step back and a day off work to rethink this whole lifestyle situation. Who was I giving all my time to and why? What really makes me happy and why have I been neglecting it? If my busy lifestyle isn’t the path to satisfaction, then what is? I sat, I thought, and I wrote. And to my surprise, I learned so much about myself.
I know my story is unique to me, however, quite common in today’s busy world. I am not the only one questioning my lifestyle and self worth. In fact, everyone struggles with this! So as a result of my meditation, I decided to share 5 ways – tried and true – of learning to love YOU!
1. Do something daring!
Taking risks is only dangerous if it can hurt you. But facing your fears is something completely different – and healthy. At a time when I was struggling with my confidence and my relationship, I decided to have a go at nude modeling. To my surprise, I found it absolutely inspiring and now I’ve been doing it for years. One of the most surefire ways of growing respect for yourself is to try something that really scares you. Who knows, you may even like it!
2. Your body is a temple - treat it that way.
I know this has been drilled in everyone’s heads a dozen times, but the key to taking care of your body really is exercise. You don’t have to run marathons, but getting out a little and spending some time walking or practicing yoga each day can make a world of difference in your attitude. We all know traffic is a bitch in Malta so why not try biking instead from time to time? Or instead of leaving home at rush hour, stay in a bit longer and practice Youtube yoga before heading to work – you miss the traffic and arrive to work feeling rejuvenated.
3. Never neglect your creativity!
Okay, I know we all have jobs. If we could stay home painting all day then maybe everyone’s stress levels would be lower and we wouldn’t feel so over-stimulated – but unfortunately that doesn’t pay the bills. This, however, doesn’t mean that we have to neglect our creative side just because we’ve become adults. Create projects for yourself around the house or the office. Start a DIY board on Pinterest and begin saving all of your ideas.
Buy yourself a camera and take up a photography course. Get your hands on a sewing machine and teach yourself to sew! Instead of staring out the window on the bus, take a pen and paper and write! There’s a world of creative possibilities all around you, no matter how busy you are. My boyfriend and I have designated our Sundays as “painting days.” It’s the perfect way to reset before a busy week of work.
4. Learn to say no.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from working freelance, it is the ability to just say no. When money is flirting with you, it’s difficult to turn your head and walk away. But jobs and money come and go – other things in life don’t, such as family, friends, and good relationships. I’ve made the mistake of tackling too much work and too many responsibilities at the disposal of quality time with my family.
How did it make me feel? Overworked and unsatisfied. So take the time to weigh those priorities before putting too much on your plate. Remember what will make you happier in the long run.
5. Learn to enjoy your own company.
It’s important to have people in our lives that make us feel great – we all need friends and family, and sometimes a significant other. However, you are the only person that you are sincerely stuck with forever. If you don’t enjoy your own company, well then you’re kind of screwed aren’t you? Take some time to get to know you.
What makes you feel accomplished? Loved? Hurt? Angry? Treat yourself as if you are a hotel for feelings and allow them ALL to stay. You never really know who you are until you have experienced all of your truest feelings and where each of them come from.
Write them down from time to time. Learn to trust yourself and to tell yourself that things are okay. Know that life comes with changes and learn to enjoy the journey with yourself. Designate times to spend with you and only you. Go shopping, get a manicure, stay in and watch a movie, go for a run, keep a journal – find things that you enjoy doing alone! You’ll find it much easier to love others when you are confident in loving yourself first.
After all, as far as we know, this life is all we’ve got so we better learn to love the one we’re here with!
Photos / Jason Spiteri
Read more from Sacha on her blog - ColorMeCashmere.