21 Little Ways You Can Begin To Appreciate The Reflection In The Mirror


1. Notice one tiny thing that’s beautiful first.

2. Pay attention to the little details—the freckle on your nose, the curve of your smile, the way your eyes sparkle in the overhead light.

3. Remind yourself that you are only human, and were never intended to be perfect.

4. Lift the corners of your mouth into a smile.

5. Look into your eyes. Admire the color, the pigment, the speck in the corner that is darker than the rest.

6. Breathe in. Take note of the oxygen filling your lungs, the blood pumping unconsciously through your body. Remind yourself what a gift it is to simply be alive.

7. Close your eyes and run your fingertips over your eyelids, the bridge of your nose, the crease between your lips and chin. See the way you were constructed by touch rather than sight.

8. Hum your favorite song as you brush your teeth.

9. Speak positive words to yourself. Say ‘I am strong. I am capable,’ rather than focusing on outward, physical appearance.

10. Pay attention to the parts of you that are different—the shape of your eyebrow, the size of your ears, the birthmark on your right cheek.

11. Brush slowly over your hair. Notice the way the strands shine in the light or how smooth the texture is when you run your hands through it.

12. Splash your face with cool water and close your eyes, feel the sensation on your skin. You are alive. How beautiful is that?

13. Realize that all the parts that make you, cannot be replicated on anyone else.

14. Laugh and watch your face light up.

15. Speak this as an affirmation, even if you don’t yet believe it, “I love myself. I love who I am.”

16. Turn on music and dance.

17. Remind yourself that you are your own version of beautiful in a unique, incredible way that no one can ever emulate.

18. Forgive yourself for the blemishes, the scars, the wrinkles, the imperfections.

19. Lift your limbs above your head and scream until the anxiety and anger and every negative emotion dissipates into the space around you.

20. Tell yourself that every day you are becoming the person you were meant to become. And that person is whole and wild and wonderful.

21. Remind yourself that who you are is not solely defined by an image reflected back to you. You will always be infinitely more.

Marisa Donnelly is a poet and author of the book, Somewhere on a Highway, available here.