Loving yourself is a choice. It doesn’t matter how many self-help books you read, affirmations you repeat to yourself, or empowerment platforms you follow, it’s still a choice you make. I looked at myself in the mirror with my frizzy untamed curls, pale complexion, frumpy nursing scrubs, and all I wanted to do was crawl into a hole and hide from the world because I wasn’t feeling or looking like my best version of myself. As I stood there, I had a decision to make: I could either be miserable and self-conscious all day, or I could choose to love myself, see past my self-doubts or “flaws,” and just embrace my complete self. So, I looked straight in the mirror and told myself audibly: “Today I am choosing to love myself.” It was a vulnerable and shaky feeling, but it was also the relief of built-up anxiety from trying to strive for this perfectionist culture that is constantly berating us in our daily lives. As I walked away, I felt more connected with the energy in my body. Our bodies are such a beautiful connection to who we are: they know something is wrong before we do. They are the ones that try to process and fix our troubles, and so when we deny our bodies and ignore the signs that they try to bring to our attention it creates a toxic environment that we must live in. Life is hard enough that we shouldn’t need to be in survival mode with ourselves. Along with choosing to embrace self-love at that moment, I was reminded that it is just that: a moment. One small moment in our life of constant choices and influences that we experience every day. Choosing self-love is going to be a lifestyle change. Don’t expect it to be a quick fix; you may have to say it to yourself again in the next hour or week but it’s a daily practice that starts to change your mindset and allows you to be able to embrace your vulnerability and feel more connected to who you are. I encourage you to love yourself today, even if you don’t look your best, feel your best, or even if you don’t think you deserve it. The power of choice is one of the most significant things we can do.