It’s that time of year in which we indulge heavily in booze and bacon wrapped sausages. I for one, take Christmas festivities to the extreme. And it wouldn’t be Christmas without a passive aggressive comment from a family member that makes you lower your self-esteem and reach for the next tumbler of Baileys.

This powder keg of family tensions can mean the festive period makes us feel slightly deflated and our self-esteem suffers because of this. So far all of you feeling hung-over, bloated or just plain unhappy with yourself. Here is a handy (year round!) guide on how to hate yourself less.

But all jokes aside, I’ve struggled with my appearance for a long time, and from the age of 10 I developed an unhealthy self-image was so toxic that I spiraled into a deep depression in my early teens. Loving yourself isn’t selfish or vain. It is crucial to happiness.

So here are the things that helped me hate myself significantly less.

1: Go outside.

Picture from pixels no attribution required

As a phone carrying Millennial, I am all too familiar with the modern sense of inadequacy that seems to plague our generation. There is no denying that our digital lives are becoming increasingly important as we transfer more details of our lives onto these apps. We replace face to face interactions with online posts.

So it’s important to remember the inconsequentiality of your digital presence. More followers will not make you happier. Put your phone down, and try going for a walk. No music, No technology, just you.

As someone who struggles with depression, this is very important to me. Even if it feels like the last thing I want to do. There is nothing quite like feeling unplugged from technology and in touch with Nature.

2:  Drink Water (a lot).

As a busy (lazy) student, It’s not uncommon for me to go an entire day without drinking water. On these days I notice that my energy levels drop massively, my skin gets worse and my mood is all around lower.

It may seem like an inconsequential thing to do but drinking the right amount of water every day will absolutely make you feel better about yourself.

3: Find things you like about yourself.

When you’re feeling bad about yourself, It’s extremely easy to follow a negative train of thought that leads you to believe you are the worst most unattractive human to ever grace this earth.

I’ve been there many times and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you stop liking yourself you stop valuing your appearance and things like washing your hair and wearing something nice feels like rolling a turd in glitter.

This is not the case. Everybody possesses beauty, take the time to find something you like about yourself. Even if it’s something small Like your ears.

Learn to praise yourself and feel good about yourself, then gradually you will notice yourself appreciating other parts of your body.

4: Be kinder to others.

This was a massive one for me. I have always considered myself to be a kind person and a good friend. But during my mid-teens I found myself being so desperate to be apart of a group that I found myself getting caught up in ‘Bitchy’ secondary school gossip.

Looking at peoples posts and picking out flaws as a misguided way to somehow elevate me by seeing the faults in others.

This didn’t work and being able to see the faults in others only intensified the magnifying glass over my own ‘faults’.  Once you start looking for beauty in others instead of flaws, it becomes so much easier to see the beauty in yourself.

So next time a friend makes a bitchy comment about how much weight someone has put on or how crooked that girls nose might be, know that it most likely comes from their own insecurities.

5: Stop comparing yourself.

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, comparison is truly the thief of joy.

Remember that Instagram only shows the highlights, people don’t post their bad stuff. Focus on what you are, rather than what you are not.

6: Unfollow the people that annoy you.

I’ve lost track of the times I’ve scrolled down my feed and been wound up by seeing a post from someone I fell out with and haven’t spoken to in years.

Being constantly reminded of the presence of people that irritate you isn’t healthy. Don’t torture yourself. UNFOLLOW THEM! Out of sight, out of mind.

7: Get a hobby.

Find something you enjoy. For me, it’s something as simple as listening to a good podcast.

This will make you feel like a more well-rounded adult, will boost your mood and just all around make you feel better about yourself.

8: Find people like you to follow.

If you are going to spend a lot of your time on social media, try to fill your feed with people that make you feel good about yourself.

For me, following accounts of women who had a similar body shape to me, allowed me to see the beauty in myself.

9: Stay off your phone before and after bed.

Try not to let social media be the first thing you see when you wake up and the last thing you see before bed.

This will mean that you can distance yourself from social media more and stop it from making you feel bad about yourself.

10: Make a list of attainable goals.

Whether this is goals for the day, week or the year. There is nothing that makes you feel more accomplished than ticking something off a to-do list.

When I was at my most depressed I would even tick things off such as ‘Brushing my hair’ or ‘Brushing my teeth’

When you’re feeling low, this is a great motivator to get stuff done and make you feel good about yourself.

11: Have a network of GOOD friends.

I’m so happy to say that I am now at a point in my life where I have cut out a lot of the toxic people that were around me and I now have a network of amazing people who support me.

This is a hard thing to do, cutting people off isn’t easy. And it can be difficult to know which friendships are toxic. I had to make it simple for myself.

If they don’t want to see you succeed, they embarrass you in public or bring you down in any way, they make you feel lesser than them and they take way more than they give or they talk about you behind your back. Then they are a bad friend and I promise you, you will be much happier without them.

When it comes to friendships, I cannot stress enough, QUALITY OVER QUANTITY!

12: Be honest with yourself.

Don’t go to clubs if you don’t like clubs, Don’t try and get into rap if you don’t like rap. Don’t try and be artsy if you don’t like art.

Knowing yourself is the best way to love yourself.

13: Create a routine that makes you feel accomplished.

Cleansing, toning and moisturizing my skin every morning and evening makes me feel like the adult I pretend to be.

14: Wear something that makes you feel good.

There are too many ‘tall girls shouldn’t wear___’ ‘Short Girls Shouldn’t wear___’ ‘fat girls shouldn’t’ ‘thin girls shouldn’t’

Fuck that, wear what makes you feel good.

15: Speak to a therapist.

And if these things don’t work for you, there is no shame in needing to talk to someone. Therapy is just a way of understanding yourself and learning how your own brain works.

It saves lives and you shouldn’t be afraid of it.

View this post on Instagram

It’s always okay to ask for help.

A post shared by Alec With Pen (@alecwithpen) on

I know this was a long one guys but I felt these were all of my best tips that I wish someone had shared with me! Remember to follow me on my social media and give my other blogs a read!