Springy, kinky, coily, curly, crinkly haired sisters are all over the place now. Black women are embracing their natural hair like never before. No longer are we shying away from our natural roots. For many of us, straightening our hair with a relaxer will never again be an option. Why straighten when our lives aren’t even straight and narrow? Life is full of kinks, just like our hair, but we worked through them on this journey called life.

But the natural movement isn’t just about hair. It’s about embracing ourselves – mind, body and soul. A total lifestyle change, if you will. So if you’ve ever felt like you can’t clear the negative feelings of self-worth and doubt from your mind, this is a must-read for you. Sometimes, we all need a gentle nudge to fall head-over-heels in love with ourselves again.

Banish Self Criticism

Don’t listen to the tiny voice in your head that whispers nothing but words of negativity. Refrain from berating yourself and feeling like you are worthless or stupid. Make a conscious effort to stop criticizing yourself.

Be Kind and Positive

Nurture kind and positive thoughts about yourself like you would a garden. When you use all your energy for positivity, your love for yourself will grow abundantly.  Look in the mirror every day and shower yourself with positive affirmations. Be kind to others as well. You will feel so blessed to be in a position to help others in their time of need.

Trust Yourself

Trust yourself to know that you are capable of making sound decisions for yourself. You know when it’s time to make a change in your life. Never doubt what will ultimately make you happy. And don’t be afraid to trust others. Loving yourself truly gives you the faith to trust someone else.

Use Positive Affirmations

Use a positive mantra every day, such as “I love and accept myself completely and unconditionally.” Say this mantra or make up your own, repeating it several times a day. Also use affirmations to combat feelings of self-doubt.

Believe You Can

Nurture your dreams! What excites you and allows you to express yourself completely?  Is it singing? Writing? Teaching? Whatever it is, live your life doing what you love on a daily basis.

Take Time to Relax

Take a vacation or staycation, and get some rest. Try a massage, mani & pedi, or read a book curled up in your favorite chair. Find time to unwind and release tension from the day. Love yourself enough to take a break.

Like the Beatles… Twist & Shout

Wash your mane, twist those locks and shout how much you love your own hair. Take a good look at your hair – the curls, kink and all. That is you. Don’t turn your nose up in disgust and whine about needing a relaxer. Why change you? You are beautiful just the way you are.

Live Life and Laugh

Go out with your girlfriends for a drink. There’s always dinner and a movie with your significant other too. Find something to do that you enjoy. Laugh uncontrollably until the tears roll down your face and your sides hurt. Now that’s some fun!

Stop, Take a Breath, and Open Your Eyes.

Take the time to find beauty in the world. Not only in yourself, but also in others and in nature. Inhale the wonderful aroma of honeysuckle on a breezy day. Stop to touch a bright red petal from a rose. Heighten the awareness of your senses.

Be Truthful

 Don’t lie to yourself. Tell the truth about your feelings. If you are ecstatic, acknowledge that. If you are anxious or sad, you need to acknowledge that as well. Think about what is making you feel this way. If you need to sever toxic relationships in your life that may cause you to feel down, then so be it. Don’t brush your feelings off.

Be Forgiving

Listen, we have all made mistakes. Forgive yourself and move on. Don’t harp on what you did wrong. It is all part of self-growth in your life journey. Also, learn to forgive others so that you won’t harbor negativity. It will only tear you down mentally and emotionally.