Wouldn’t you love to know the real secret to loving yourself? (HINT: it’s more than chillin’ in an occasional bubble bath with your favorite glass of wine or cup of tea) What if I told you the secrets behind loving yourself are the same things you practice when you love others well? I feel like I really didn’t get the whole #selflove idea until a couple of years ago, and I’m actually still working on doing it well. Here are some simple things I practice that you can start doing today to shower YOU with love:
1. BE KIND TO YOU!
There will never be too much kindness in this world, so why not start spreading a bit more around…like, in your own space! I’ve spent the last thirty years of my life raising my children to be kind to others, a concept I, too, learned as a child (thanks, mom, for teaching me to be kind).
I’ve taught my children the importance of choosing their words wisely and respecting the feelings of others. And part of this lesson was that kindness uses reaffirming and positive words; words that build up, not tear down. So, let me ask you a really important question. Have you ever actually stopped to listen to the conversations you have with yourself. If you’re anything like me, and a million other people on the planet, you probably say things to yourself that you would never say to other people.
You know the comments, the ones that go something like this:
“I’ll never succeed at this because…I’m not smart enough, I’m too young, too old, there are so many other people better at this than me (and the list goes on and on)”
or maybe the voices you hear say this…
“this shirt/these pants/this dress makes me look (fill in the blank)”.
Cultivating confidence starts with changing the conversations we have in our own heads to reflect the kinds of words we would share with those we love. It’s one simple way to develop a habit of loving oneself better!
So, next time you find yourself slipping in this area please remember to STOP and use the following acronym as a reminder of how to change the conversation your hearing:
S – Stop that stinkin’ thinkin’
T – Take that negative thought captive
O – Obliterate that thought
P – Practice replacing that previous thought with a new reaffirming and positive one
Just developing an awareness of our own self-talk is one simple way to love ourselves better!
2. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!
If we listen to our bodies we can easily learn what we need more or less of. Train yourself to pay attention to the things your body is trying to communicate to you. I’m going to share another acronym with you that my mama shared with me – HALT. The idea is to ‘halt’ if you are feeling too…
H – Hungry
A – Angry
L – Lonely
T – Tired
When you’re in tune with these four simple body warnings you can head off a downward spiral. Trust me, I’m one of those ‘hangry’ people and it’s definitely not a good thing if Tamara is too hungry (just ask my husband)! Be prepared and listen for these warnings, which really means know how you’re feeling and take action when you notice them. So, if you’re feeling..
Hungry…stop and eat.
Angry…determine the root of your anger and address it in a positive manner.
Lonely…schedule some time with a friend for coffee or a playdate with another mom and her kiddos. Chances are you know someone else who would enjoy that time out and benefit from it as much as you!
And I personally think if we allow ourselves to get too tired it exasperates some of these other feelings. So if you’re feeling…
Tired…Don’t push yourself. You will accomplish so much more and feel so much better if you allow yourself time to rest!
3. GIVE YOURSELF GRACE!
Hey friend, news flash! We’re not perfect. I know you already know that, but how often when you make a mistake do you extend grace to you? Maybe you’re a mom/dad or wife/husband who lost her lid when you didn’t mean to (ummm…been there, done that!). Or you realized after talking with a close friend that you said something stupid (guilty!). Next thing you know you’re beating yourself up for days because you know that wasn’t the right thing to do. Well, guess what…you’re human! Cut yourself a little slack, my friend. Accept that you made a mistake, forgive yourself and move on! Everyone makes mistakes, but dwelling on the past does nothing for the future, so learn the art of offering grace to yourself.
There you have it, three simple ways to get started. By the way, loving yourself takes practice. Start now!