If I had to choose the most important lesson I have learnt over the past three years of living in Australia, having completely uprooted my life, it would be to: love yourself. Would you say that you love yourself right now? If not, maybe a few of these tips will help to put you back on the right path.
Our society currently profits, in the billions, from women not feeling pretty enough, smart enough, fit enough, healthy enough etc. I recently listened to a podcast where they explained if all women in Canada and the United States stopped buying make-up for a week the market would begin to crash. That’s crazy. Then again, think of all of the make-up, hair products, beauty products, workout gear, nice clothes etc. that you buy to make yourself “happy” or at least be perceived by others that you have it together and are enough. In this moment right now, having spent all of that money and put all of that effort into yourself, do you feel like you’re enough? I hope that you say yes but statistically most of you will say no. You have your own inner issues, negative self-talk and limiting beliefs that are holding you back from feeling worthy and loving yourself.
If we don’t love who we are on the inside, others can’t love us either. We begin to put walls up to protect ourselves but in the end that often just hurts us more. We put effort into our aesthetics but at the end of the day, if you don’t like the person that you are on the inside you’ll never truly be happy.
People can find this confronting at first, but to be honest, it’s almost freeing when you start to work on yourself and begin to become the amazing person that you were destined to be. Each positive step forward gives you new confidence and pride. The hard part is to just start and to put the time and effort into creating new habits to shift your headspace. The easiest way is to try and create a new habit every month or two months. Give yourself time to get into the groove of the new habit and don’t bombard yourself with trying to do too many things. I can admit to doing this, especially when reading self-development books. There are so many things that you can or ‘should’ be doing and it can seem very overwhelming. So for now, take a step back and just focus on one thing at a time. When you get the hang of it, you can add something else in. If you find that the original habit is decreasing, go back to the first habit.
It’s important that you learn to read yourself as well. Some habits may work amazing for you and yet for others not so much. There is not one answer for everyone, just like there is not one answer for workout plans to lean out and get fit. Everyone is different but pay attention to how you feel throughout the month or two that you begin your new habit. In the beginning your mind will not want to create the habit, and you may doubt it for the first week but keep going.
Here are a few tools that I have used to help me with my headspace and learning to love myself again:
1. ‘I am’ statements. I wrote a post about this previously so please look to it for more details on how to use this tool. I have a soft spot for ‘I am’ statements as they have really worked well for me. Essentially you create a string of words that resonate and mean something to you, either that you already are or want to emulate. You can also change the words or add words in depending on how you feel that week. I read my ‘I am’ statements every morning and every night before I go to bed. It begins to change your self-talk and if repeated enough, will begin to cross into your subconscious mind.
When and time: Read your I am statements at least once a day for 5 minutes. Bonus if you read them twice a day for 5 minutes.
2. Having a gratitude journal. I have done a lot of research into gratitude and it’s health benefits and the findings are astounding. Even people like Brene Brown (who is the author for this month’s book review) expresses how learning to be grateful changed her life. The purpose of this habit is not to wait until bedtime to write down two things that you are grateful for, but instead to look for things throughout the day. It can be as simple as having beautiful weather and some days it may be the fact that you have two feet. The point is that you are looking for things to be grateful for and it shifts your headspace to appreciate the life that you have and to be more present.
When and time: Write two things in your gratitude journal every night. This should only take you approximately 5-10 minutes. I also like to write out my ‘I am’ statements for the day and read them to myself then.
3. Do things that make you happy. Make a list of hobbies and activities that make you happy. They can be as simple as reading, cooking, playing sports. Look at your schedule and when you can fit them in. This will depend on many factors but the point is that you’re trying to put more things into your life that actually make you happy, not just the tedious work, clean, eat lifestyle that so many of us get stuck in.
Lastly, don’t be too hard on yourself. Be kind. You are trying and that’s what matters. Do your best to go for a full month every day, but if you miss one day that’s okay. The whole purpose is to learn to love yourself again one step at a time and even reading this post shows that you want to start the next step. So go out and buy yourself a nice notebook and start your journaling today.
By: Cortnie Dawn