Featured Image: Melodie Perrault
One of the unfortunate truths in our modern world is this: we are entirely too connected, preoccupied, and distracted by everything and everyone around us to listen to what it is our mind, body, and soul is trying to convey. For many it is a task or even a downright chore to make time when all around something is attempting to steal the spotlight and with it, your attention. When was the last time you were attentive to you? Chances are you have delayed your “me time” just in the last week in order to please someone else and with it, sacrificed your clarity, sanity, and mental health. This is a common error and a lifestyle that people get sucked into. Below are some easily attainable and simple ways to fix it.
Here are 10 ways to give yourself some long overdue TLC:
1. Move your body
Remember that your body and mind are invariably connected and exercise is not just about losing weight, dropping a size, or even fitting into a new bathing suit for the summer. The most important thing is to feel connected to your body through movement. Movement can be as simple as going for a walk around the block or hiking up a beautiful mountain on a clear morning. If you’re shy about being seen, don’t let yourself be deterred. Roll out a yoga mat (if you have one) and do some stretching in the comfort of your own home. Baby steps are still steps in the right direction.
2. Be kind
What would you say to a friend that told you they felt disgusting or unworthy? Chances are you would do everything in your power to make them see how wrong they are. So, why don’t you do the same for yourself? Recognize that you are a fallible individual and you will inevitably make mistakes. Being kind to yourself is key, and forgiving yourself is unnecessary, because guess what? YOU ARE A LIVING, BREATHING HUMAN BEING. Strive for progress, not perfection, in all areas of your life.
We all have responsibilities in life, whether they’re connected to family, friends, significant others, work, passion projects, etc.- but how often are you checking in with yourself? What is your inner dialogue trying to say while being drowned out? Find a quiet space where you can truly listen to what it is you need in this moment. The outside world can be noisy, needy, and sometimes cruel. Take a step back and silence these thoughts. What are you telling you?
4. Help someone
One of the best ways to show yourself some love is by giving to others. Whether you’re helping a friend or stranger, giving without expectation of receiving anything in return is powerful. Being selfless also makes the ‘self’ wiser, stronger, and more compassionate.
5. Say no
Giving is beautiful and empowering- but giving away too much of your time and energy may leave you feeling drained or maybe even a little resentful. There is something powerful about knowing when and where to set up boundaries. Again, listen. Are you feeling overwhelmed, but feel badly about letting someone down? You may be doing them and yourself a disservice. Practice the art of being tough, but sweet. Kindly and firmly say no, not this time. No “I’m sorry” necessary.
6. Treat yourself
When was the last time you did something for yourself for absolutely no reason at all? Not because you earned it, but because you wanted it. If you splurge on a yoga membership you’ve had your eye on or schedule a solo spa day, chances are you won’t regret it. Within reason of course (don’t break the bank), but a little indulgence and self-care goes a long way.
7. Bare it all
Get in touch with your body, completely bare. It may be unnerving, awkward, or even emotional at first- but stop and think about why this is. We have become programmed to compare ourselves in a lot of ways, but one of the most damaging comes in the form of body image. Stop comparing and start admiring the person looking back at you in the mirror. You are beautiful.
So much of our lives are spent on social media, texting back and forth, laughing at memes, and checking work emails. Sometimes we forget there is a life outside of that little glowing screen in your hand. Give yourself a well-deserved break and cut the cord (even if it’s only for a few hours).
Now that you’re unplugged, you can really connect. Meet up with your mom, best friend, or an old friend sans phone. Take a walk on the beach and feel your toes dig into the sand as you listen to the waves crashing on the shore. No Snapchat or Instagram story is more important than fully connecting and witnessing the here and now.
10. Write it out, read, repeat
Affirmations can seem a tad underrated because after all they’re just words, right? Wrong. Words are unbelievably powerful. What story are you telling yourself first thing in the morning and what are you ruminating on throughout the day? Are the words you tell yourself belittling and cruel, or are they inspiring and uplifting? Doing the following can help you get out of a negative thought spiral or irrational headspace and into a place of balance and sensibility.
Before bed, write what story you want to focus on for the next day. It can be just one word or one sentence focusing on the day ahead. The following morning read it again as soon as you wake up. Throughout the day, go back to your affirmation if you start feeling stuck or stressed. Repeat at bedtime.
Oscar Wilde once said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” Hopefully now you are on your way to spending some quality time falling in love with the most important person in your life – yourself.