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  • Melania Zilo

Self Love: How to Get There

5 powerful steps to self-love from a girl who has struggled endlessly, but nonetheless succeeded.


Like any love, the love of self is a process. Practicing self-love goes deeper than waking up and feeling good about yourself. It stems from supporting our physical and mental growth to center our values and reach compassion and meaning for ourselves. Early this year, I started my path to self-love. It doesn't always make sense, it's a struggle at times, and it's most certainly not the same experience for everyone. What I do know is that this newfound commitment to myself has allowed me to accept my both my weaknesses and strengths, become more honest and authentic, and has allowed me to enforce healthy boundaries with the people in my life.

1. Love endlessly and wholeheartedly

I always heard that saying that goes "before you can love someone you have to love yourself first," but I believe it's quite the opposite. Love takes practice, just like going to the gym. If you can't love yourself first, start elsewhere. Be someone who loves everything and everyone. Fall in love with the people you meet, your daily routines, the food on your plate, the clothes you put on your body, fall in love with as many things as possible, and appreciate everything that walks into your life.

2. Practice healthy habits

Self-love begins with taking care of yourself first. It can start by making healthy food choices, getting enough sleep, being outside, or staying active. Once you commit to these changes, you are one step closer to proving to yourself that you are worthy of living a loving, healthy life.

3. Act on your needs not your wants

Sometimes we get tempted to fall back into unhealthy patterns to seek that feeling of instant pleasure. Whether it's indulging on foods that are not kind to your body or entertaining an ex-boyfriend, remind yourself that you are worthy of better. Give yourself what you need in the long run, and your future self will thank you later.

4. Surround yourself with genuine loving people

Whether we like it or not, the people in our lives heavily influence the way we feel about ourselves. Learn to walk away from people who threaten your peace of mind or happiness. Remember that you are in control of who you allow in your life and remind yourself that it is a privilege for someone to be in your presence. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good and make you feel loved and supported every single day.

5. Live with intentions

I have no idea why we're here (earth) or what the point to any of this is, but I genuinely believe that it's up to us to create our meaning. Your life's purpose does not have to be set in stone, and it doesn't have to be one thing necessarily. The point is that whatever your intentions are, you should make the decisions to support it. Once you start working towards that set intention, you will feel so much more confident and accomplished.

Learning to love yourself does not come easy. I think it will take years for me to accept every part of myself entirely, but in the meantime, I'm very proud of how far I've come in these few months. It takes commitment, consistency, and a strong support system. I'm so grateful for the beautiful people in my life and the constant and unconditional love they show me. As I'm writing this, my mom has sent me a text message of a sweet poem, which I will leave with you now. "You aren't changing. You are becoming. Becoming a person of light and love and charity and hope and courage and joy and mercy and grace and compassion. So become. Become. Become" (author unknown).

Love always,

Melania Zilo

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