When I was a student (all those many moons ago) I can remember sitting and having a girlie night in with a friend and chatting about love, life and everything in between. Back then I was single and more than ready to mingle but I just couldn’t find ‘the one’.

It was on that night that I got one of those little bits of advice that has and will to stick with me:

“How can you expect someone else to love you when you don’t even love yourself?”

Deep I know, but I have never had the best relationship with my body and I never realised just how much having a poor relationship with myself impacted upon my relationships with others too. Learning to appreciate what you have, to love your flaws (and hell yes, to celebrate them) and to nourish your physical and mental state is so important.

But how do you go about building a more positive relationship with your body? To start with, you get naked! Now I’m not suggesting that you run off and join the nearest naturist club (but hey if you want to, go for it), I’m saying that you need to take a look in the mirror and learn to concentrate on the bits that you love and not get too hung up on the bits that you don’t.

Now keep on thinking that way when you get dressed in a morning. Love your shoulders but not your tum? Wear a loose fitting top that will show off what you love and won’t make you feel uncomfortable by clinging to the parts that you don’t. Give your wardrobe an overhaul, banish anything that doesn’t make you feel good about yourself and concentrate on only buying clothes that make you feel amazing as opposed to passing trend pieces that don’t.

Follow accounts that motivate and inspire you.

Oh and whilst we are on the subject of only having things in your life that make you feel good about yourself, do the same with people. Don’t feel bad about unfollowing accounts that end up leaving you feeling unhappy, dejected or despondent about yourself and the way you look. Instead, surround yourself with likeminded people who make you feel empowered.

Once you have identified what you like about yourself and you’ve surrounded yourself with positive people who will help and support you, look at the areas that you have been avoiding. What can you do to make peace with them? It sounds corny I know, but it’s time you started to love everything about your body including those little pinkies (just me then?). Dislike your nails? Treat yourself to a manicure, sick of trying to tame those brows? Get someone else to do it for you. Do whatever you need to do to make yourself feel like the Princess (or Prince) that you deserve to be.

Embrace your flaws, love your body and live your life.

We only get one shot at this thing we call life, a short space of time on this planet and we spend far too much of it obsessing over what we see as our imperfections. It’s time to take back control, to make peace with ourselves and move on.