Maya Angelou once said - ‘You alone are enough you have nothing to prove to anyone’. Loving ourselves is a practice that takes patience. It’s no surprise to learn that often we can be our own biggest enemies and that negative self-talk can prevail over keeping compassion turned inwards. You can be the most gentle, understanding, and big-hearted best friend to those around you, but learning to apply that love and care for ourselves is often a little more challenging.
When we start to acknowledge small ways in which we can be kinder to ourselves and trim down the negative talk, we allow a little more space to heal and grow. We are able to relax into our own souls and to think with clarity. When we are kind to ourselves, we set a precedent for how other people should treat us, and we allow room for mistakes to be made, which in turn makes us braver and ever more willing to accept the risk and the freedom to follow our hearts. Here’s how to be a little kinder to yourself every single day…
Split in Two
Whenever you find yourself about to be a harsh critic or indulging in negative self-talk, take a moment and ask whether you would speak to a friend this way. Sometimes, we need to visualize splitting ourselves in two so we are better able to direct words of affirmation and love onto the part of ourselves that is hurting. By untangling ourselves, we can use our ‘friend’ side to direct compassion where it is needed.
Practice Decision Making
Hands up all those recovering people pleasers out there. One of the best ways you can start to exercise a little more kindness for yourself is to actively advocate for yourself and to start making decisions. Even if you start small, making decisions is one way in which we are telling ourselves that we matter and that our choices matter. All this feeds into a sense of self-worth and confidence, which in turn makes us believe that we are worthy of kindness and love and treating ourselves with the utmost respect. Vocalize your preferences in life, say what you want to do, where you want to go, and what you even want to eat and watch. Giving your choices and your voice room is an act of kindness.
Get the Basics Down
If you are still grappling with how to show love and light to yourself in the emotional sense, you can always start in the physical sense. Making sure you have the basics covered – like eating good nutritious food, sleeping a decent number of hours per night, and even just getting out in the fresh air for a little walk every day can work wonders on your spiritual health. It’s important to physically care for ourselves so we feel valued and being able to do this for yourself is an incredible act of kindness.
Learn How to Self-Soothe
Being a human can be hard and some days are tougher than others, on these days when you hit a wall its important to know how to self-soothe. Knowing how to pick yourself up after a crappy day is one of the best ways to be kind to yourself. Whether it’s something as simple as running a hot bath or even just having a cry and not being hard on yourself about it, kindness can be knowing when its good to wallow and when its good to pick yourself up.
Do you struggle with being kind to yourself? Share your self-care tips in the comments and let’s all practice a little more self-compassion in life.