Five ways to LOVE yourself this February!
1. Eliminate Self Criticism
For many of us, self criticism is just the way we talk to ourselves. How often have you thought things like: “he’s right, I’m such a loser.”, or “I can’t do anything right.”, or “ I look: horrible, fat, ugly.”, or “What’s wrong with me?” Sometimes we think statements like those prevent us from being lazy or making mistakes and help us meet out goals. Nothing could be further from the truth! When we criticize ourselves we give in to feeling of guilt, shame, frustration or hopelessness and paralyze the progress we so badly want. Be mindful of your thoughts and self-talk and be sure that they are empowering, realistic and meaningful. Forgiveness brings peace, so learn to forgive yourself. Compassion brings peace, so endeavor to be compassionate to yourself. Love brings peace, always love yourself.
2. Acknowledge your needs
Abraham Lincoln said: “I am a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down”. We can turn that sentence around to read: I am a success today because I believe in me and don’t have the heart to disappoint myself. Remember “The grass is greener where you water it.” ~ Neil Barringham. Grass, and people need to be “watered”. Grass needs attention: water, nutrients and sunshine to be vibrant and healthy. We need attention too! Neglecting our needs and expecting to be vibrant and healthy is akin to wishing for green grass that we allow to remain dry! You cannot expect your needs to be meet if you do not acknowledge that they exist.
3. Set attainable, gentle goals
Sure, we all made some 2017 resolutions, and are trying to measure up to our self-imposed expectations. And, goals are great, when they are used as benchmarks, but not so good if we use our setbacks as a way to beat ourselves up. It’s wonderful to set self-improvement goals and to dream and plan ways to accomplish those goals, but let’s be a little more gentle on ourselves this year. Think about being proud of yourself for each baby step you take toward your goal. Did you make a phone call to find out which gym has the most convenient time for you? Goal!, Did you trade in some of your sugary foods for some fresh fruit? Goal! Did you ask a friend to meet you for a lunch break walk? Goal! Add up the tiny steps on your way to successfully reaching your goals, and celebrate the progress!
4. Set out to achieve your goals in the healthiest way possible
I often hear people who are dead-set on losing X amount of weight in X amount of time. Is it possible? Sure, but sometimes at a steep cost to your overall health. Your body has its own unique timeline and pushing it to accomplish an unrealistic goal can be detrimental. Do you want to reach a little higher on the corporate ladder and think that staying at work hours longer will get you there faster? Perhaps. But studies have shown that “burn-out”, whether or not you think it applies to you, is rampant in this country. We are seeing more cases of adrenal fatigue, colds and flu, injuries and accidents due to people being exhausted. More time doesn’t necessary equate to increased productivity. Know what your body needs (it does communicate!), and don’t ignore the subtle messages to nourish, supplement, rest and hydrate.
5. Indulge in little luxuries daily.
Often people bristle when I make this suggestion. I’m not necessarily talking about monetary indulgences (although, sometimes, why not?). We are worthy beings, and the abundance that surrounds us is there for the taking. Perhaps a few drops of fragrant essential oils in a warm bath, a single flower in a bud vase on your desk, or nightstand, listening to beautiful music, a coffee or tea shared with an old friend. Treat yourself to luxuries daily. You are worth it!