I didn’t have any Dark Days in 2018. After years of living in that hopeless cave that depression lovingly leads you, it was quite an experience to find moments of joy and enjoyment. Lots of them. I hope this post supports you in your own journey towards self-love, healing, and happiness. Take from this what you feel would best serve you and leave the rest! Here are the 5 simple self-love habits that helped me heal in 2018.
1 / Acceptance and forgiveness
Early in the year, I came into the wild realization that it’s okay that I’m feeling how I’m feeling. It’s okay if it takes time to heal. It’s okay to let myself have time to fully feel how I’m feeling, and experience the full spectrum of my emotions.
So I allowed myself to take as long as I needed. I gave myself permission to fully feel whatever I needed to feel. Without learning to accept and let go of control, I would’ve stayed stuck in my darkness.
Make a decision to start again. Stop sitting in the guilt and shame and blame and choose again. Accept that this is where you are. This is how you’re feeling. Allow yourself to let go of the pressure and just take the time you need to heal. Forgive yourself.
2 / Reading
When I was a child, my biggest passion was reading. I fell in love with books at 5 years old and remember biking to the library every week to return and pick up a new pile of books. I’d read every chance I got, and the best part about school was finishing the work before the bell rang so I could sneak some extra reading time into my day.
During the deepest moments (years) of my depression, I abandoned my love for reading. In 2018 I read 60 books — more than I had in the last 3 years combined.
What are you passionate about? It doesn’t matter if it’s been a few years. It’s never too late to pick it up from where you left off. Give yourself permission to be passionate again and make time for that hobby or habit that brings you joy. Every day, even if it’s just 15 minutes.
Slowly you’ll learn to find comfort and enjoyment in these moments. Self-love is allowing yourself to indulge in something that was once important to you. Let yourself remember.
If you’re into books like I am, you can follow me on Goodreads!
3 / Distance
Many people shy from confrontation. I am not one of them. In 2018 I started to seriously pay attention to what made me feel shitty.
What makes you feel resentful, unappreciated, or just plain bad about yourself or your life? Is there a person in your life who makes you feel guilty, jealous, angry, ashamed?
Distance, distance, distance.
If it’s a person, tell them that you’re not available for their bullshit any more. Tell them that their opinions and thoughts aren’t wanted or needed. Tell them that you’re taking a break from all negativity, and they’re part of the detox.
I established my boundaries by moving, falling wildly in love with the ‘do not disturb’ button on my phone, and saying NO to certain people.
You can unfollow and unfriend anyone who doesn’t inspire, support, or fill you with joy and love. You can learn to say no. You’re allowed to break free from people and situations that don’t serve you and your wellbeing.
You don’t need permission from anyone. Your wellness is a priority.
Putting yourself first is the most valuable habit to learn in 2019.
4 / The little things
What does happiness really mean to you? For me, it’s those little moments of peace, serenity, and stillness. In these moments I’m fully content to just be and breathe.
In 2018 I shifted my focus to the tiny things that bring me joy and make me feel calm and at ease. I learned to appreciate how meaningful it is to spend my time and resources on the simple things. Like skincare, getting creative with makeup, bullet journaling, making my space more enjoyable with deliciously scented candles, and keeping my environment clean and organized.
When do you feel calm and content? When you’re having that cup of coffee in the morning? Listening to an audiobook while doing your makeup? Moving your body? Being out in nature?
Make a list of those things and pick one to do every day. Commit to just one small activity that you know will bring a little bit of light into your life.
5 / Spirituality
My gateway to spirituality was yoga. In the beginning of 2018, I committed to a vigorous daily practice and ended up injuring myself. After a few weeks I realized I longed for the stillness and sense of peace that my yoga practice gave me, and I started the search for something new.
It’s strange how we’re lead to embrace our spiritual path, isn’t it? I strongly feel that my injury was merely the Universe’s way of pushing me towards something more. Thanks, Universe. Subtle, real subtle.
As I started to get closer to the spiritual side within me, I found new ways to support my healing. I found the peace and stillness I was looking for via meditation, journaling, and the guides and teachers that popped into my life here and there.
Even if you’re rolling your eyes right now… What do you really have to lose? Clarity, inner peace, sense of comfort and belonging?
Even though these self-love habits supported my healing…
There’s no magical solution to depression or whatever it is that you need relief for. I’m not saying that taking the time to practice these little habits was the cure for me. I actually don’t know why I’m feeling so much better now, but I’m grateful nonetheless.
I’m saying that finding the curiosity to truly commit to these habits supported my healing. They lead me towards feeling GOOD. They guided me to where I am now.
I still have the occasional sad day here and there, but that’s just part of the human experience and I’m okay with that. What matters to me is that for now I’m out of the deep darkness that took so much from me for months and even years at a time.
That’s healing. That’s progress. That’s enough for me.
And it has made all the difference to my personal happiness, wellness, and quality of life.
I wish you tons of miraculous moments of joy and healing in 2019!
What self-loving habit are you most committed to in the New Year?
Hi, I’m Viivi! I create magical content for spiritually curious women. I’m here to share my journey and truth with you — unapologetically, with a touch of sarcasm and a lot of heart. I want to help you grow and follow your soul’s desire, not anybody else’s rules. I write weekly about spiritual and personal growth on this blog. You can join the List to receive a weekly letter of inspiration and guidance!