10 ways to practice self-acceptance

Self-acceptance is essential for your mental and emotional well-being. It’s important to learn to love yourself and the things that make you unique.

Self-acceptance is learning to love yourself, inside and out. It’s about letting go of the things you can’t change and appreciating what makes you unique. However, being comfortable in your own skin isn’t always easy. Here are some ways you can practice self-acceptance in your day-to-day life:

1. Embrace what makes you unique

A good place to start is to think of the things that make you special. Ask yourself how these differences may benefit you in the future and how they add value to your life.

2. Let go of the things you can’t change

It’s important not to focus on the things you can’t change. You may find it helpful to write a letter to yourself about letting go of what you can’t change and welcoming the things you love about yourself.

3. Identify your strengths

Write down the things you’re good at and/or love to do (e.g. sports, music, art, etc.). Practicing these activities regularly can help you feel more confident in your abilities.

4. Set goals

Set a few realistic goals for yourself and create a plan to meet them (this may also help with your self-esteem). Don’t forget to reward yourself when you meet a goal!

5. Celebrate your accomplishments

Make a list of everything you’ve accomplished so far and add to it regularly. Post your list someplace where you can see it often. Be proud of yourself!

6. Plan ahead

If you can, try to avoid the people and/or things that challenge your self-acceptance. Memorize a few go-to thoughts you can say to yourself if you begin to doubt or question your worth (some people call these thoughts affirmations).
 
7. Think positively

Remember to speak kindly to yourself and turn any self-critical, negative thoughts into positive thoughts. Don’t be too hard on yourself or compare yourself to others.

8. Be kind to yourself

Consider a few things you can do to treat yourself and spend quality time on your own (e.g. taking a warm bath, going for a walk in nature, etc.). It’s also important to take care of yourself by eating right, sleeping enough and exercising regularly.

9. Get involved

Volunteer, get a part-time job or try a new extracurricular activity to learn more about yourself, what you enjoy and what you’re good at.

10. Find support

You can always share your feelings with people you trust such as family and friends. (You could even try asking them to name two or three things they like about you.)

Everyone’s journey to self-acceptance is different, but you can learn to be comfortable in your own skin. When in doubt, try to remember: “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” — Dr. Seuss

If you would like to know more about this topic, feel free to speak or chat with a counsellor.