Recently I posted about the need to start truly, deeply, and madly loving yourself for who you are- right here, right now. YOU need to be into YOU!
If your actions, behaviours and words paint a different picture than one of true L-O-V-E, then its time to stop, exhale, and reset. Loving who you are, not just liking, is so important in so many ways. Not only does it give you a healthy sense of self and your worth in this big wide world, but it helps you to set boundaries about how others may treat you.
If you can't love who you are, how can you expect to love others from a place of genuine, beautiful intent?
Loving and accepting yourself is an vital lesson in anyone's journey. While some of us are blessed to be born with a healthy sense of self-confidence and self-acceptance, others aren't so lucky. Abusive or unhealthy relationships, a low sense of self worth, a dysmorphic sense of one's body or looks or intelligence; these can all chip away and degrade the sense of self and can quickly spiral into a cycle of negative self talk, bad self esteem, and no sense of personal boundaries and self respect.
I am very thankful and grateful that I've been granted the opportunity to find a path of personal growth and development these past few years, and have learned some utterly life-changing lessons along the way. I've set myself new boundaries, reset my mind to accept and nurture who I am and for the most part, I have a pretty darned great relationship with me now. Its taken hard work, a lot of falling on my ass and some stepping backwards, especially in those moments when I forget how far I've come. I'm always learning but I can honestly say I am in a much better space mentally and emotionally than I was 6 years ago, and better even than 12 months ago.
If I can get there, so can you.
Below are some strategies that may help you to find a place where YOU matter, where no-one is knocking you down, where you can reconnect with that vibrant, bright, curious young soul that burns within you.
It's by no means an exhaustive list, nor is it by any means a guide or a prescription to help you if you really are in need of more professional help. If you find things are truly getting you down please PLEASE share your pain with someone and let them help you.
That aside, read on if you are seeking a couple of light-hearted ways to get back in touch with your sense of fun, and happy, and start your journey towards loving yourself.
1. Step outside your comfort zone and do things that SCARE + EXCITE + AMAZE you.
2. Do things that speak to your SOUL. If you're stuck, start writing a list under the heading...'If I could do anything in the world......'
3. Throw out your scale. Why be ruled by it? We all know that the number has absolutely no relevance on how fit, healthy, intelligent, sensitive, caring, genuine or funny your are. So why do we give it so much importance?
4. Commit to saying the following words out loud daily "I am AMAZING” and keep saying them until you truly believe it!
5. Stand in front of the mirror and say “I’m awesome.” Everything about you is a miracle.
6. Splurge, even if the budget doesn’t allow it, on a massage. So worth it.
7. Take yourself out to a movie.
8. Eat a chocolate bar or some delicious dessert without feeling guilty. Life's too short for regret and constant rules.
9. Try a new hair color. I always found red gave me such a different look and lots of attention of the good kind!
10. Forgive yourself for a bad decision. And I mean REALLY forgive. If it helps, write it down on a piece of paper, then burn or bury it. Let it go.
11. Turn the music up really loud and DANCE!
12. Go to a forest, beach, hill, waterfall, quarry, garden, tree, park and chill in nature for a bit.
13. Cut all the sizes out of your clothes. Instant not caring. Its just a number after all, it doesn't reflect ANYTHING and, reality check- there is no such thing as a standard size.
14. Stop into the salon for a trim or a blowdry. Hell yes! You'll walk out feeling a million bucks.
15. Make something fabulous. Anything! Don't think you have a crafty bone? You'd be surprised. Google can tell you how to make anything your heart desires from an amazing mulligatawny to a new bedframe- the options are endless. Do it. You'll feel so chuffed. You may have even found a new skill or business opportunity.
16. Donate to a cause that benefits women or girls (or any cause particularly close to you heart). That sense of giving to someone less fortunate really helps to put things in perspective.
17. Go back to school and study anything your heart desires. There's a course for everything nowadays, from short 1 day courses to masters degrees. Equally so many options if your finances don't allow it. Do it, it will open so many doors and teach you so much about yourself and the world.
18. Write a thank-you note to your teenage self. I'm yet to do this, but doing it soon! I can't wait to tell her that so many things she was hung up about were such a waste of energy. Similarly, I would tell her to give herself more pats on the back, trust her instincts more and don't be too hard on herself. Things have a way of working out in the end.
19. Write a list of females that you admire, whether they are diplomats, thought leaders, activists, entrepreneurs, artists, educators, celebs, or someone in your community. There are so many fierce, strong, amazing women out there, celebrate them!
20. Make a new rule: NO woman bashing. Ever. Every time you hate on a woman, the way she looks, the way she dresses, how her body is shaped, how she acts or talks - a small piece of you is dying, and a small piece of you is spreading a toxic virus to the rest of womankind. Just don't engage in it! Ask yourself, does this mean thing I am about to say serve me or any other women in a positive manner? What if that woman was your mother, sister or best friend or daughter? Switch off from the media who propagate this, don't buy into those celebrity trash mags, don't contribute to sarcasm or hate online, just switch off from it. For good.
21. Get fitted for a bra. We are all culprits of still wearing the same bra size we did 10-15 years ago. Isn't it time for an upgrade? Let an expert help you to find the shape and cup size that makes you sizzle. Your girls will thank you and you will feel ah-mazing.
22. Sleep in. You deserve it. Obviously, if you have kids this is easier said than done. Book in a time with your partner, or a family member or friend to look after the kids one morning, and allow this to happen.
23. Take the first step in doing what you have always wanted. Three words: Just Do It. You don't need to wait for everything to be just right, start now, no excuses. Trust me, 6-12 months down the track you will wonder why you didn't start even sooner!
24. Log off from Facebook for a week. You won't miss it.
25. On your morning journey where ever that takes you, find one beautiful thing to be grateful for. Write it down, or take a picture, and reflect on it at a later time if you are feeling down on yourself.
I hope these tips may spark a few ideas and set you on your way to getting back your zest for life and your love for you- for you truly are an amazing, wonderful person!
Start loving and believing in yourself today. You already have everything you need right there inside of you, to create an AMAZING life. Love and accept yourself. Forgive yourself and be good to yourself. Because without you, the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.