Written by Flourish Heights Contributor, Nutrition Student and HAES (health-at-every-size) Advocate, Lauryn Woodruff

Loving yourself and your body for who you are can be one of the hardest things women face. The self-love movement has shined a light into the darkness of self-loathing and hatred. Women are especially affected by social programming that spins lies that we are not good enough. This lie, among others, makes you believe that you are not as good or beautiful or smart or worthy.

However, we all know those lies are not true. Start the year off improving the way you think and feel about yourself. If your goal is to step into the new year with a new attitude, then these 5 tips to love yourself more are for you!

1. Dear me

Write yourself a love letter/letter of encouragement in the voice of someone who supports you. It is often difficult for women to praise themselves. So think of all the positive and uplifting things this person would say about you. Write it down and read it to yourself once a day.

2. Find the joyful movement

Often women believe their body is connected to their self-worth and they can turn exercise into punishment. Exercise and joyful movements can be a great way to reconnect with our bodies. Think of a joyful movement, or exercise that brings you joy and incorporate that into your week. Let’s make movement more about the amazing things your body can do instead of punishing your body.

3. Hang out with friends who embody self-love

Misery loves company so don’t be afraid to say no sometimes to invites from friends who are not practicing self-love. 

4. Practice self-compassion

Do you know that little voice in your head that says you are not good enough? Remember that you are your worst critic. So the next time you catch that little voice in your head, ask yourself if you would be that harsh to another person in the same situation. You would probably show that person some compassion, right? Don’t forget to give yourself some love too.