The reason why I advise you to get the hell off social media is that it tends to reinforce self-loathing through a phenomenon known as toxic comparison. When we go on social media, we see a finely curated version of other people’s lives. We see what they want us to see, not what is actually going on under the surface. And we compare our lives to those picture-perfect versions of other people’s realities.
As a result, we start to get anxious, depressed, and yes, full of self-loathing. “Why can’t I be that slim/ripped?” we may lament as we scroll through endless pictures of chiseled bodies in bizarre yoga poses. “Their house/boyfriend/holidays/life is so amazing and mine … sucks.”
Can you see where all this leads? Yes, to feeling horrible about ourselves and our lives.
So please distance yourself from social media. It should be classified as a Class A Substance in its addictive potential and negative side effects.
By the way, according to studies, people who take a break from social media report feeling happier, more relaxed, and more productive.
2. Do one kind thing for yourself every day
It doesn’t matter what: do something, anything that is well-intentioned toward yourself.
This may be putting on an extra jacket when you feel cold, making yourself a healthy breakfast, going to bed early, taking a walk in nature, having a warm bubble bath. Just make sure you’re consciously doing it with the right intention (to show kindness toward yourself).
Doing one kind thing for yourself every day can feel weird at first. So make sure that you journal about your feelings and responses to showing self-love. You can read more about this practice in our journaling article.
3. Creatively express your self-loathing
Art is a powerful healing practice that will help you come to terms with how self-loathing is influencing you.
One powerful art practice is to get a big sheet of blank paper, a few colored pens, and draw yourself as the self-loathing part of you perceives yourself. Then, get another piece of paper and draw yourself as a genuinely loving and compassionate person would see you.
Compare the two drawings. How do they make you feel? What memories or thoughts arise? You may like to write these down on the back of each drawing.
If you get a lot out of this practice, you might like to look into the field of art therapy more in-depth. (See this article on art therapy.)
4. Explore the question, “does my environment support me?”
In other words, do your friends support you? Do your colleagues support you? Does your work, family or study environment support you?
When I write “support you” what I really mean is uphold and uplift you.
If you feel loved and accepted exactly the way you are, you are in a supportive environment. If, on the other hand, you’re surrounded by people who belittle, condemn, or frequently reject you, you’re in an environment that reinforces self-loathing. Such a situation is toxic and in the interest of your health and happiness, I strongly advise you to do some heavy-duty “spring cleaning” and remove these people from your life if possible – or distance yourself as much as possible.