You must have heard your loved ones saying this to you, “If you want to live a better life, just love yourself unconditionally.” If you want to live happier with vitiligo, love yourself before anyone else.” But, is it that easy? Vitiligo is stigmatized and perceived unattractive to such extent that it is difficult for many vitiligo fighters to separate themselves from the chronic skin disorder.
Also, finding self-love in vitiligo isn’t just a switch that you can turn on and off. It’s probably more similar to a muscle that you haven’t worked on in a year or two. So, naturally falling in love with you and your vitiligo will take some time and efforts up. Worry not! In this blog, we will talk about some actionable things that you can practice to start building self-love in vitiligo.
1. Forgive yourself
The first powerful way to really love yourself is to forgive yourself. Vitiligo fighters often live with a pang of unexplainable guilt, which is a clear rock block in their journey of self-love. Forgive yourself for being started at. Remember, you did your best to recover from vitiligo and it’s not your fault if someone perceives you as unattractive.
Approaching thoughts this way makes it so much easier for you to let go of any baggage you have towards you. Be grateful because now you can actually decide to go in a direction that you prefer (to choose a vitiligo treatment or embrace who you are with those patches).
2. Learn to say YES as well as NO
Stop saying yes to things that you hate and start saying yes to things that you like. It may sound crazy, but saying no to the stuff you don’t want to do is a huge part of self-love. So, start writing things that you do and don’t enjoy. Don’t spend too much time thinking white noting things down. The entire exercise has to be quick, intuitive and fun, not confusing and too thought-provoking.
3. Write what all you like about yourself
Create a list of things that you like about yourself. Keep a big wedge and put it on your mirror, the back of your door or somewhere where you can visually see it regularly. Adding an item to it should be a part of your weekly routine. For example, every Sunday, add one thing (that you have discovered throughout a week) to the list that you love about you.
It may sound simplistic, but the things on this wedge that you would see every single day are going to have a big impact on your life. And, if you manage to create a big list of things (that you love about yourself) in a short span of time, your journey to self-love isn’t gonna be a bumpy ride.
4. Set up self-care dates
The fourth practical thing that you can do is to start setting self-care dates. Self-care dates are dates when you can fully and totally focus on self-care. You might decide to spend a day in the park journaling, reading books or finally learn how to watercolor. You can spend your self-care a day doing whatever you fancy doing rather than putting pressure on yourself to get things done.
Many vitiligo fighters often don’t care about their skin care regimen. Remember, your skin may be dappled, but it still needs to glow and feel soft. So, literally, whip out your calendar now and put in your self-care dates throughout the month.
5. Record wins every day
The fifth thing you have to do is to create a list of wins every day. Pointing out all the great things that you did in a day, all the things that you’ve accomplished is a great way to make yourself feel good.
Concentrate on the positive things that you’re doing as opposed to the stuff that you didn’t get done. This is a good practice for those of you who might have negative self-talk about not getting enough done and not accomplishing enough with your days. Even if you didn’t accomplish a heap in a day, you can point out the little wins like talking to a stranger about vitiligo (which is often hard but relieving), doing a good job in the kitchen or handing out a compliment to another human being.
Start listening intentionally to loving-kindness meditation* and self-compassion audio tapes. Studies have shown that meditation can change your brain for good. If you meditate on something specific like self-compassion, you can actually change the parts of your brain that are associated with those things.
Loving-kindness meditation, in particular, helps you to boost compassion, empathy, love, and kindness to yourself. To start practicing loving-kindness meditation every day or every week, meet a certified meditation expert.
* Loving-Kindness Meditation (also known as Metta Bhavana) is a method of developing compassion.