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.
More info on emotional well-being:
Get information about how your thoughts, feelings and behaviours are connected and what you can do to care for your well-being. Learning about mental health can help empower you with the language to communicate how you’re feeling.
Practise with tools, tips and resources to help build your skills and improve your wellness in the way that feels best for you. Learn how to identify your strengths, communicate thoughts and feelings, overcome obstacles and connect with support.
Take a quiz
Find out how much you know about specific topics and get resources to learn more.
Play a game
Reduce stress and have fun at the same time.
Map out your support network
Identify who and where your community is to get help when you need it.
Share what’s on your mind
Try different tools to express how you’re feeling.
Make a safety plan
Access tools for safety planning and reporting.
Regain calm and relax with these activities.
Try a self-assessment
Identify how you’re feeling and find resources to support you right now.
Explore lived experiences from other young people across Canada. Learn from real-life youth stories, gain new ideas and ask questions to connect and inspire your own wellness journey.
If you need help right now, you can talk to a trained volunteer crisis responder about anything you're going through. No issue is too big or too small.
If you identify as Indigenous,you can ask to be connected with a First Nations, Inuk or Métis crisis responder (if one’s available) by messaging FIRST NATIONS, INUIT or METIS to 686868 or through Facebook Messenger. All of our e-mental health services are free 24/7 for people across Canada.
Connect with a professional counsellor to better understand what you're going through and help take a step in the direction you want to go.