Today I’ll be sharing my personal experiences on how to embrace single life & self-love. Let me first share how my previous poor relationships led me to fully loving being single.

For the longest time, even before I ever started dating, I felt alone and lonely. I was very much into positivity and an introvert, meaning I enjoy some solidarity. Although, I felt I was incomplete and couldn’t be truly happy if I didn’t have the true love of a guy.

I was wrong!

Willing to stay in a relationship past its expiry date, did nothing to help my own happiness. Even though that was the original plan – to be happy so long as I had someone else.

Putting my own morals, values, interests, and plans aside, and eventually getting heartbroken anyway, takes a toll on self-worth. However, I believe everything happens for a reason. Tough times make us tougher people. Poor experiences help us learn, grow and LEVEL UP (Ciara’s hit song, anyone?).

So after my own relationship traumas last year, I vowed to take time to truly focus on myself. It was that ah-ha moment where I realised that one of the only people that will be by my side for life is… me! We only get one body so we better learn to love ourselves!

My goal wasn’t to swear off all guys (actually, yes it was), but to put in a conscious effort to better myself before I commit to a relationship again. This meant putting in the effort everyday to do things like journal, meditate, play music much too loud, and ultimately show myself compassion for my journey day in and day out.

Behold, within a few months I reflected and realised I was in a much better place now. Being single meant I didn’t have to change any of my plans, I could spend money on things that benefited me, and I could grow my interests. For example, I was dating a heavy meat eater so had set aside my interest in learning about plant-based diets. Since being alone, I was able to fully invest time into learning about eating more plant-based, and not to mention i’ve learnt how to cook some awesome meals with different spices.

However, I also had days where I sat and watched Netflix and Youtube, laughed out loud, cried a little, and most importantly showed myself compassion throughout all these moments. Whether I was preppy and productive or lazy and lonely, the difference these days is that I accept these feelings and don’t let it alter my self-worth. As a result, I love myself for being so kind to myself! #self-love

My path might be different to yours, but dedicating time to improving oneself will hopefully have the same benefit. No doubt, even the first 2 months of daily self-care contributed to a growth in self-love. I really did become less lonely – because I didn’t need a man to take care of me as I was taking lovely care of myself. I had showed myself immense compassion and respect – not to mention this is unwavering, whereas a relationship can end.

Sometimes we want what we can’t have and don’t want what we do have. But this is our one body for life, so it’s so important to appreciate every aspect of ourselves. It doesn’t mean it’s easy. I can’t eradicate my anxious thoughts and sometimes something will happen and I feel like all my positive work was for nothing. But you must show compassion. You are who you are, and all your qualities, may they be good or bad, make you uniquely you. Everything is taking its course and taking you on your life’s journey.

So moving on from my own personal story, how can you really delve into loving the single life? Well, here’s how I did it!

1. Listen to Music

Post-relationship, music is monumental in helping you feel all the feels, whether it be good or bad. The music you listen to compliments your vibrations.

As an R&B lover, my music was already quite ‘moody’ and about relationships. Only this time when I listened to those songs, I had stronger emotions and memories attached to them. I thank my favourite artist Jhene Aiko, whose song inspired my ‘Triggered’ playlist. She and I must’ve healed at the same speed, because when I was finally ready to delete my playlist, she came out with ‘None of Your Concern‘ which expressed her moving forward.

2. Try Self-Care Activities

No matter where you are in life and what’s happening, whether it be relationships, careers, or illness, caring for yourself is so important. It does take effort to show up and dedicate time to meditating or journalling. It also feels great to relax in a face-mask, or catch up with a close friend and a hot cup of coffee. The good thing about single life is you have the extra time!

READ MORE: 8 Reasons I Use The Calm Guided Meditation App

These actions aren’t supposed to suppress your emotions, but rather serve as a reminder to put yourself first and that you are worthy of love. Journalling can be a good way to identify your values, learnings, thoughts and grow your worth.

3. Develop Your Interests

Single life means you can really dive deep into doing the things you love, or better yet, you might come across new things you never thought you’d be interested in. Being independent allows you to think for yourself and make non-bias decisions. It means you can develop your interests without worrying what other people think.

As I previously mentioned, I became very interested in plant-based foods. I have gained genuine interests that I love and can do, whether I’m single or not. While I’m single, I have the time, energy, and focus to learn more about this, improve my cooking abilities, and meal-prep for the week.

4. Try Something New

Similar to the point above, if you’ve gained new interests, being single is the perfect time to invest in yourself and your new hobbies (you might meet like-minded people, too).

Maybe you’ve been putting something off from your bucket list. Well, now is the time to check it off the list! The possibilities are endless. However much time and energy you put into, it completely flexible! Some ideas include taking a yoga class, learning to surf, following Youtube tutorials in dance or cooking, starting a journal, or enrolling in a course of your choice.

5. Build Friendships

Your new-found hobbies may bring you closer to people with shared interests. This is a great way to build new friendships and re-invent your journey. Single life lets you catch up with all the friends you may have been too busy in love to see. Or, it may just be that their time is so greatly appreciated now that you can converse with people that love you for who you are (remember how I swore off all guys for some time?!).

6. Level Up (Thanks Ciara)

As per Ciara’s hit song, it’s time to level up! There’s old mistakes and old news, but you’ve made a comeback!

The true test is upholding these values in any situation – such as when you start dating again, getting into a relationship, changing careers, setting new goals. I feel stronger, more resilient and have grown my standards in all aspects of life. People and things will come and go but if you have self-worth and self-love then you will be able to get through those moments and remain authentically yourself!

For now, just enjoy being single!