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As young adults, I think the majority of us struggle with loving ourselves and finding joy within ourselves. It starts off with not thinking very positively about our bodies, our personalities, or our abilities. Once we have figured out exactly what it is we don’t like (which, unfortunately, is far too easy), we try to change those things. But maybe that change doesn’t happen fast enough or in the way we were hoping. Or we start comparing ourselves to others on social media, and then we feel miserable all over again. Sadly, a lot of us will brood in self-pity and all of our perceived “flaws” instead of trying to find joy within ourselves.

That’s no way to live. But because we are surrounded with media and people that influence our ideas of what we “should” look like, act like, and feel like, it’s no wonder we struggle to find joy in our individuality! I’ve often wondered: How are we supposed to learn to love ourselves and all the little quirks that make us, us, when society is always trying to push us to fit some arbitrary ideal?

Well, we start by finding the joy in ourselves, in our individuality, and in our beliefs and standards.

But the question is, how do we do that?

I think it’s different for all of us. But I do think there are a few actions we can take that pertain to everyone.

  1. First, do what helps your well-being! For example, I used to hate working out—and I mean hate. But recently I’ve actually started to enjoy working out. Exercising gives me time to myself (whether through hiking or going to the gym). It makes me feel well, not because I’m trying to lose weight or to look a certain way, but because I just feel better about myself. I have more energy and more confidence, and that sparks so much joy within me.

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