10 Ways To Love Yourself This Valentine Season
Self-Care yourself to freedom!
Make It Personal
The first thing that will help you in creating your self-care rituals is to choose activities that are meaningful to you and that you enjoy. This is your practice, so you want to be sure it’s customised in order to get the most out of it. Consider making a list of things that help you to feel relaxed, peaceful, excited or happy. These activities should be able to be done in a short amount of time and easily fit into your life without special equipment or tools. At least as you begin your practice, the things you choose to do should be as simple as possible.
Fit It In
You should add your self-care rituals to the most convenient parts of your day. Choose times that are already somewhat flexible so that incorporating something new into that space will be less stressful. Many people go with morning or evening routines, right when they wake up and before going to sleep each night. Getting up fifteen minutes earlier than usual and setting aside a window during the usual night-time schedule are usually things most folks can do. However, maybe designating your daily lunch break as your self-care time might work better for you. Consider activities like writing a gratitude journal entry before bed, listening to music while having your morning coffee or going for a short walk over your lunch hour. Trial and error may be required, but find a moment to call your own every day.
Taking physical care of yourself in a pampering way makes us feel good. Pampering is a go-to for many people when it comes to their self-care routine. Think of something you’ve never done before. It doesn’t have to be expensive. A small act of indulgence can have the same effect as an extravagant one. Maybe consider scheduling a manicure if you’ve never had one. A bubble bath with candles can be soothing if this is something you don’t do very often. If your budget will allow, a spa day with a friend could rejuvenate your body and spirit.
Most of us don’t buy ourselves presents very often or even give ourselves little treats. You can change that starting now. Think of something within your budget you’ve been wanting for a while now. Then give yourself permission to buy it. Maybe it’s that cool pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on or the mobile phone upgrade that would make your life easier. Giving yourself one gift, no matter how small, can be a boost to your self-worth.
Enjoy the Little Things
Self-care really doesn’t have to be on a grand scale. The tiniest gestures can be the most meaningful. Indulging in small free or low-cost treats allows you to spoil yourself more often. What are some little things you’ve never done for yourself that you can start adding to your life today? Have you ever bought yourself flowers or houseplants? Give it a try. You’ll get a boost every time you see that beautiful bouquet on your table or desk. Think of your favorite food item, the one you have on special occasions. Why not make one day a week a little more special by trying a new version of it? For example, commit yourself to tasting a different cake each week at your favorite Café. Get creative with it!
Take a Time Out
Sometimes just a little bit of alone time is all you need to feel rejuvenated. So why not give yourself a time out? Lock yourself in your room with a nice glass of something. Listen to some quiet music. Let yourself have some down time to do something frivolous like binge on your favorite Netflix show, take a nap or just sit. Just sit still and think for a bit. It’s a luxury we all can afford. You deserve it.
Do Some Writing
Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, journaling can be a very therapeutic activity. Jotting down what you’re grateful for has been proven to be beneficial to well-being. It can also be energising to simply do a brain dump in which you write down all the things that are floating around in your head. Jotting down dreams for the future might inspire and motivate you to take action. Give it a try.
Reach Out to Someone
Socialising is a crucial part of self-care. Even introverts benefit from interpersonal connection. Humans aren’t meant to be isolated. Pick up the phone and call a friend or family member you haven’t talked to in a while. Sit down and Skype with your favorite internet pal. Meeting up in person for a walk together or a drink is even better. Connecting to others might just provide the spark you’ve been missing.
Change Your Perspective
A change of scenery can be a wonderful source of renewal, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Just heading out to walk in your neighborhood might help when you’re feeling stir-crazy in your home. If you’re able to afford it, a low-cost “staycation” to a nearby location for a day or two is a fun way to switch things up. You’ll be surprised what this change of perspective can do for you.
While these are just a few of the countless ways you can indulge in self-care without spending much money, perhaps they’re just the jumpstart you need to begin exploring this concept. You truly do deserve to spend time, energy and effort on your own well-being.
Schedule It In
A trick that helps some people to fit self-care into their schedules when life gets busy is to actually write it in their date book or calendar. Treat your self-care commitments like any other appointment or event. Write down the time you’ll start and finish. Try to be specific about the activity you’ll engage in. Doing these things will increase the odds that you’ll actually follow through. It’s easy to put yourself on the backburner when life gets crazy, but don’t forget that these are the times you need self-care the most.
One final word. Take time to assess your self-care needs regularly. This will also help to keep you on track. Ask yourself once a week or so if you’re giving yourself enough time and attention. Listen to your instincts. Make adjustments as necessary. Self-care is an ongoing and evolving process. It requires your constant attention.
So…Happy Valentine’s Day You Lovely Person!
5 TIPS FOR LIVING YOUR BEST IMPERFECT LIFE
Now that you know what you need to begin living a more fulfilling life (courage, compassion and connection), here are some tips to put those traits into practice. The only way to get them is to experience them.
Let go – This is not the same as giving up. What you need to let go of is the expectations of others for your life. Set goals for your life and challenge yourself. But, do so with goals that satisfy how you see yourself living. Don’t use someone else’s measuring stick to chart your path.
Love everyone, beginning with yourself – This is the biggest tip. Shaming and blaming, jumping on the bandwagon, trying to fit in and other actions stem from not wanting attention paid to our flaws and shortcomings. Some people will compromise their values and beliefs to fit in and not be ridiculed by others.
What is the cost to your life? Is it worth trading in for the opinions of other human beings just like you? Invest in yourself by taking the time to accept who you are in love. Then and only then can you find places and people to whom you “belong” as an authentic “you” and not a cardboard cutout.
Forget perfection – It is a pipe dream. Each person has their own vision of what’s important to their life. Your vision is the one to hold onto. Find ways to live your life around it. Share it with others. Be vulnerable with it. Find out how to be the best person that you can become in the time you have on this planet.
Transform yourself – Everyone evolves over time. The person you were yesterday is not the person you will be ten years from now and that is how it should be. What it shouldn’t be is you chasing an unrealistic expectation based on society or friends who would rather you reflect them instead of who you are. If you desire changes in your attitude, your body, your career or your family life, do so from a position of acceptance and love of the current state of things and not to impress someone else.
Trust yourself – Who knows you better than you? Take a step in a direction. If it doesn’t work, then change course. Have faith in the process that is your life. Take the time to get to know your likes, dislikes, dreams, hopes, pet peeves and the rest. All of your other relationships stem from the one you have with you. It is hard to truly give to another person if you don’t first have these things within yourself.
We have a fascination with perfection. Instead of finding nirvana, most people find disappointment, anxiety, judgment and a face in the mirror that is not truly their own. Who you are is more important to life (yours and that of others) than trying to fit a certain shape or mold. The world is waiting for you and your unique gifts, talents and presence. It would be deprived of a shining light if you sell yourself short by conforming to the wishes of the world instead of the nature-given potential that is waiting inside of you to burst forth.
Living imperfectly is not a flaw but a priviledge. When you take the courage to be free and present yourself as you are, unconsciously, you give others the permission to be themselves as well. And that’s a win-win for everyone.
Enjoying Imperfection - Why being imperfect makes sense.
The title doesn’t make any sense. Who wants to be imperfect? Well, who wants to spend their entire life being unhappy? The answer would be no one. But, that is what you are likely to do if you are always in search of perfection. Here, imperfection is not the opposite of perfection like good is the opposite of bad. Imperfection here, is rather a “freedom from perfection”. That is what we all ultimately want – to be free from the chains of unrelenting perfection. Instead, learn to fly on the wings that you have been given, not the ones that you believe everyone wants you to have. It’s time to let go and just “be”.
It’s not as easy as it sounds. Self-help books always talk about letting go but they never quite get to the instruction part. We all want to rise above the morass that is grasping day after day for an unattainable perfection in every area of our lives. Obviously some people have reached that point or they wouldn’t be writing books about it, right? Why can’t the rest of us join, too? All we need is a bit of enlightenment. So, here goes.
In this report you will learn what imperfection and perfection mean. Find out how to embrace your inner “imperfection” and be quite comfortable with it. Cultivate the skills you need to make the most of yourself throughout your life as well as giving others the permission to do so as well.
Who are you?
How many of us have asked that question in the mirror? Throughout your life you may ask that question many times. What kinds of answers do you get? Could it be that you have not grasped the importance of who you truly are so you keep asking? Most people think that they keep asking because they are not perfect yet. Here’s a news flash: No one is perfect. As long as you are in this human skin, mistakes will always be made.
We are created on the “trial and error” principle. We find things out by learning. The learning process involves trying, failing, trying again and finding a solution so we can move on. New neural pathways are created by experiences, good and bad, positive and negative. Accepting, that point, will begin the journey to true self-acceptance.
Many people look to others to tell them who they are. This is a mistake. Other people can summarize their experiences with you, but that is not all to your story. Yes, every human being has a unique story. Even if you share some experiences with others, your perspective on them is never exactly like someone else’s.
In this life, we are burdened down with preconceived notions. Our parents may have believed them so we simply adopt them for ourselves. What was the American Dream that everyone came to the shores of America to obtain? It might have been the white picket fence, a spouse and 2.5 kids (that last kid has a hard way to go). In reality, that dream doesn’t fit every life.
The “dream” is supposed to be subjective. It’s whatever you feel fits your best self, not a pre-formed mold that pops out perfectly happy people.
People have undoubtedly died without realizing that they were playing a role. Who they were meant to be was lost in who they were supposed to be or who they needed to be to “fit in”. It’s sad and also unfair. We owe it to ourselves to love and be loved for who we are. When you can love and accept then you can truly “belong”.
LIVING A WHOLE-HEARTED LIFE
Whole-hearted means with your “whole heart”. How many of us have ever done anything with our whole being involved? We’re not talking about pushing through when you were tired. From the beginning, you pursued a passion for something with all that you truly were at the time. You hoped, you believed and you trusted.
That is really what we all want – to be satisfied with ourselves. It is not about material things, although the world would have you think so. If that were the case why do people who seem to have “arrived” succumb to drugs, alcohol, suicide or some other downward spiraling situation? They didn’t have to worry about money, so what made them so unhappy? Many think the answer is material because this is what they lack. They blame others for being weak over it but the reason is deeper than that. They didn’t feel validated or valued.
When you look outside of yourself for validation, you may find it. More likely, you will find a rollercoaster where sometimes you are in favor with others and sometimes you are at their mercy. That’s no way to live your entire life.
If you desire to live a full and whole-hearted life, it’s about your imperfections and embracing them. Get started by studying on and cultivating “courage,” “compassion,” and “connection” in your life.
When people think of courage, they talk about soldiers, first responders and those who work in dangerous professions. These people do have courage and bravery. They exhibit “heroism”. It is the state of putting your life on the line for someone else. For many, it is the mandate of their job to be heroic. It takes a special person to volunteer for this type of courageous service.
The courage spoken of here is the ordinary kind that most people don’t take the time to sow into their lives anymore. It is the courage to stand up for someone else, to show your vulnerability where it might be ridiculed or to sympathize with someone else. This exemplifies the everyday courage that can impact the lives of every human being you come in contact with. That’s power, isn’t it?
Courage to be who you are allows others to do the same. What gets in the way of courage? Often it is shame or embarrassment or guilt. You want to raise your hand and ask for clarification in class but don’t because everyone else seems to “get it”. There are those preconceived notions again. You think “everyone knows what’s going on except me.” When you show courage and fight for yourself and raising your hand, others will follow suit. By the end of class, everyone is on the same page.
This is a tough one. How many of us jump on the bandwagon of blaming another because everyone else is doing it? No one wants to be singled out as different. If society had its way, we’d all look, act and think the same. It’s like “Big Brother” is here. With the absence of compassion, we lose a part of our humanity.
What is compassion anyway? It is acknowledging the light and dark places in our lives (mostly the dark places, we don’t mind if people stare into the light.) Then we are free to be there for someone else when they need a listening ear. Instead of holding a mistake over someone else, we can let them into our vulnerable places by sharing an experience that could help them. It gives way to understanding. We are taken into the breach with someone else without judgment, only to share their experience for their sake.
Compassion also works when coupled with boundaries. Holding people accountable for their actions shows a desire to help them to achieve their best. It helps you to separate what they do or don’t do from who they are. The opposite is often the case when we “shame and blame”.
Have you ever ridiculed someone for something they did? It could be a friend, a spouse or even your child. In sports, shaming is supposed to toughen up players by making them take criticism to whip them into shape. You might as well put their hands and head in the stocks and throw rotten tomatoes at them. The results would be the same. Ridicule demoralizes the person at the deepest levels. It attacks who they are - their identity.
Instead of helping it hurts them. You don’t look too good either. Your conduct is brought into question for haranguing someone in this way. When you set boundaries, people know you are serious. Kids that can’t watch television if they don’t clean their rooms are more likely to do so.
Their motivation is something they want or praise or reward. Boundaries also show confidence in another person. You don’t want to dish out consequences so you do all you can to assist them in completing the task.
Social media is no excuse for true connection. It is communicating with others but not really getting to “know” them. That takes effort, courage and compassion. From miles away, you can say you would help another but what would you do when actually faced with a situation? Want to develop great relationships with coworkers, family, spouses and friends? Practice getting and staying connected.
When we take the time to invest in another life, our own lives are enhanced. What does it take to invest? It could be asking someone about their family. Show interest and actively listen when another speaks. See yourself in their situation. Suspend judgment as you listen.
Connection also means offering help. Did you know that there is a stigma placed on getting help? Just look at the number of mentally ill people on the streets. Families are reluctant to admit they have mental issues for fear of how others will treat them. In the same way, people who offer help can feel in some way superior to those that ask for it. This prevents them from getting the help they need when the time comes.
To live freely, we have to be able to embrace all areas of who we are. When you can accept it, then asking for help seems logical and necessary to live wholeheartedly and with purpose. And, you give all of yourself to help others without thinking any less of them for needing a hand.
Our follow-up article will provide; TIPS FOR LIVING YOUR BEST IMPERFECT LIFE. Stay tuned!
6 Ways To Keep The Critic Inside You At Bay
Have you heard the adage, “Everyone is a critic?" It’s true. And, the biggest critic of all is staring right back at you through the mirror. No one has to come down hard on you because you are already putting yourself into a vicious head lock as it is. Keep reading to find out six ways that you can send that cynical noisemaker packing.
They say that you can talk to yourself as long as you don’t answer back. If you don’t answer back, however, the potentially negative thoughts will continue unchallenged. This is more detrimental than being thought of as crazy. We often follow the patterns created in our minds by our thoughts. Allowing negative self-talk to dominate your mind can lead to low self-esteem, bad habits, depression and other unhealthy results.
6 Ways to Get over on Yourself
Don’t let the pressure get to you. Be proactive. Attack those thoughts as soon as they start to speak. Get creative.
Box up your negativity – This can be literal or figurative. In the grand scheme of our life, each problem holds a small place overall. Seeing it as small minimizes its power over you. Try this. Create a small box or purchase one. Whenever you are plagued by a negative thought about yourself for the way you handled a problem or because you made a mistake, write it down on a piece of paper. Put it away in that small box. See your issue diminishing in size. Those thoughts do not define who you are.
Replace negativity with positive self-talk – When a negative thought is removed something needs to fill its place in your mind. Exchange a negative (“I am worthless because I am not married.”) for a positive thought (“I am a unique and worthwhile person that any man would be lucky to have for a wife.”). If the negative thoughts can keep you down, then surely the positive ones can lift you up.
Talk to a trusted friend – Explain the situation that made you feel so bad. Allow your friend to consoleyou, counsel you and challenge that negative thought pattern that is condemning you.
Get realistic – Was the situation as bad as you imagined it was? Maybe you are embellishing the story because of the negatives swirling in your mind? Take a realistic look at you and put things into perspective.
Accept your imperfections – Don’t “agree to disagree” with certain attributes but embrace them as old friends. They are a part of you – the good, the bad, the ugly and the peculiar. Love who you are and then move on to making changes in your life.
Count your positives – It’s similar to counting your blessings. What is good about you? What have you done that is positive? Before you know it, you don’t feel bad anymore.
Don’t let that voice in your head overshadow your actual voice. Speak the truth and change your circumstances.