It’s Valentine’s Day and the perfect time to talk about love. I know this Hallmark Holiday is more about romantic love – and I’m down with that too – but love is love and often the one we need to love better is us.
We talked a ton about real self-care and self-love in Hangry and teach a system of perspectives to do that better via our Five Pillars, those overarching, big picture ideas to live this life better and with more joy and less stress. More on those here.
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But I can’t hardly say enough about self-love and real self-care because it’s something most every woman that comes to my practice, pings me online or emails me is dealing with. And it may seem frivolous but all that negative self-talk, beating ourselves up and generally not caring for ourselves well is stressful, inflammatory and whacks your hormones. Anything I can do to help with that, will help you do better no matter if your hormone issue is adrenal, thyroid or ovary, hence this Valentine’s Day Post to help you up the ante on your self-love.
5 Ways to Love Yourself Better
Keep Your Word To Yourself
Ugh this is dicey…..how many times have we heard ourselves say something like I won’t drink wine or I will go to the gym or I won’t lose my temper only to hear the voice in our minds promptly say, “Yeah right”.
Keeping our word to the people in our lives is among the most important things we can do, it’s one of the biggest manifestations of our integrity….but keeping our word to ourselves is just as important.
We often do everything in our power not to let other people in our lives down. You need to show yourself that same integrity.
If you hear yourself saying to yourself, “Oh yeah right you will” too often, check in and see how credible your own word feels to you. If you have a habit of making promises to yourself about your health, your time, your goals, your self-care and not keeping them make some moves to improve your integrity with yourself. You above everyone else deserves your word to mean something.
Grace Over Guilt
I told my friend this past weekend guilt is a like a second language to me. I know it well as I’ve been speaking it fluently since I was four. It’s a default for me to feel guilty – when I should and when I shouldn’t.
What I’ve realized though is guilt does very little to help me feel better or anyone else involved feel better for that matter. Guilt has it’s place when we’ve really screwed up but for most of the time we feel guilty but don’t actually change our behavior or make things better. We feel guilty, we slide down the shame slide and get so caught up in feeling guilty that it’s hard to do much of anything to do better. Meaning when we feel guilty we often don’t actually do anything cuz guilt and shame can feel so paralyzing.
Apologize if you need to, but reconsider “feeling guilty” because it may not really be helping. When you mess up give yourself grace over guilt and see how you can improve.
Dig In Instead Of Distracting
I know it’s just so much easier to watch TV, scroll social media, drink wine, get lost in a hard workout at the gym or a long run, shop or have a cookie instead of looking at those painful thoughts, emotions and situations that are causing you upset and unease. This is what our third pillar in Hangry is all about: full engagement living.
It an seem like a real gift to give yourself a reprieve, an alternative, a distraction from this uncomfortable feeling – and sometimes it’s fine to set it aside and deal with it later, but often later never comes. We just continue to distract and stuff the discomfort down. It will come back, it always does. The most loving thing we can for ourselves if usually to just face it head on. Be brave, you’ve got this.
Be Responsible For Yourself
This one is hard, especially when someone else is being a big jerk. People can be mean, people can be rude, people can hurt you but often we place our happiness in others hands leaving us at the mercy of their behavior.
It’s a hard pill to swallow sometimes and it is easy to feel the victim of people or circumstances but the only power is in the responsibility. This is why my phrase (in lieu of a New Year’s resolution) for 2017, 2018, 2019 and again in 2020 is OWN IT. The good, the bad, all of it.
When we take ownership of our health and happiness, it can feel daunting but it’s also completely empowering. Own it and you’ve got all the options in the world now.
Between perfection and giving up, there’s better.
This sorta sums up the first four. Perfection is impossible yet so often when we fail to reach it we give up, beat ourselves up and resign ourselves that this crappy feeling and situation is as good as it gets…so we give up. It’s easy to give up when you feel so bad.
The alternative is to remember that you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to keep showing up for yourself. Bring your best – whatever that may be today – to each day and compare yourself only to how you would’ve done in the past and never to anyone else.
We always feel like we’re failing when we try to do it all cuz well, it’s impossible! This ideal of perfection we so often have is a game we lose before we even start to play – and it keeps us feeling defeated. If you can’t do it all it absolutely does not mean all is lost. So remember this: when you can’t do everything, don’t do nothing, at least do something. Again, you got this.