ove. That four letter word seems to have the power to invoke all kinds of emotions depending on where you are in life and the experiences and memories you have attached to that word. But I think even more than ever in today’s climate it’s important that we direct that energy into ourselves. How do we show up for ourselves and love ourselves. I know that I have struggled with this for as long as I can remember. There is no playbook on how to love yourself, we just know we are supposed to do it if we want to even live a semblance of a healthy life. In this digital age of constant information and imaging, sometimes we fall into the comparison trap which only perpetuates this notion that we aren’t enough. Our lives aren’t enough. Our bodies. All because we see the highlight reels of someone else’s seemingly perfect life. One thing I have heard and realized time and time again, is that we have to be gentle with ourselves. All that grace and love we would be so willing to pour into another person, we should redirect into ourselves. Do small things that bring you peace. Something we can all start doing is embracing who we are and lean into the discomfort of our imperfections. I want to end this piece by saying I see you. I’m proud of you. Take your time. Be gentle. And it only gets better from here.
5 things I have found that help me to facilitate a more gentle and loving relationship with myself:
1. Take a social media cleanse. I know it has been said over and over again. But that's because there is truth to this! And I promise I am living proof. I took three months away from Instagram to clear my mental space and reboot sort of speak. It reminded me of how much time I spent on my phone looking at other peoples lives instead of living my own.
2. This is if you have to be on Instagram for work or you just can't fathom not taking a little peek lol I get it, but I try to unfollow any accounts that make me feel less than or not so beautiful. I follow one woman's account @cwhitehill and she has been amazing in helping others tune into their own needs. She always provides positive ways to be kind to yourself and just LOVE the hell out of yourself.
3. Reconnect with those in your inner circle who remind you WHO YOU ARE. Sometimes we become so disconnected with the real world, because we are so busy living in our digital one that we forget why we have the people we have in our REAL life. The ones who root for us and remind us of the light we have to give to the world.
4. Take a day for yourself. Now this is particularly harder for someone like me, as I am a major social butterfly, but there hasn't been a time that I have consciously taken time for myself and regretted it. It helps you to sit with yourself and not run from the thoughts that may consciously / unconsciously be plaguig you. Take the time to unpack them and sit with them. Don't judge them.
5. Go for nature walks. In my case it's more nature(ish) ;) because I still prefer the city to the country, and if you're like me you can still choose a later time in the day/evening where there may not be as many people out and just walk and reflect. Even if you feel like there's nothing to "reflect on" I guarantee you something will arise. And when it does...let it stay awhile. Pour love and truth into any thought that makes you feel less than and gently remind yourself that you have experienced heartaches you never thought you'd survive and you're still going places where your joy can't be contained.