Now before we go any further, don’t worry this is not going to be a corny Valentine’s Day post. You know me better than that – I hope!
There’s a lot of talk around at the moment about self-care or self-love and so I wanted to talk to you about what you are doing to be kind to yourself?
Some people think that taking time for yourself is a luxury and a bit self-indulgent. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. When you take time to be kind to yourself and do the things that help you feel re-charged, nurtured and happy, you are more able to cope with whatever life throws at you.
We all live in an increasingly busy world that demands so much of our time and energy and so looking after yourself is more necessary than ever.
When I talk to my clients about their goals and what they want to achieve, it’s really important that we make a plan and get things scheduled in, so that they have something to work to, which makes them accountable. It’s the same with looking after yourself – schedule things in, like you would a meeting or a night out, and then you can’t say that you didn’t have the time. (Well you can, but you might feel a bit guilty for lying to yourself). Remember if it’s not scheduled, it’s not real.
There are many things that you could do to look after yourself and I’ve made a list here of the 6 tips that I think are high on the priorities list, if you want to be kinder to yourself.
1. Sometimes you have to say No
You can’t always say Yes to everything and everybody, because that means you often end up at the bottom of the list, with no time for yourself. Imagine you’ve got yourself prepared for a cosy quiet evening, box set at the ready and some gorgeous food and then a friend calls and begs you to go out. Before you know it, you are saying Yes. Sometimes just say No as in “It sounds lovely, but No I can’t”. If you don’t say No enough, this can lead to you feeling resentment and then getting angry with yourself. No good can come of that.
2. Nourish your mind, body and soul
This includes eating the right food for you (well 80% of the time, at least), spending time with people you love and care about, your hobbies and interests, having a good laugh, reading a book, going for a walk, having a beauty treatment, watching a film or having a good sleep. Whatever it is that you enjoy and that makes you feel good. It’s also vital to make sure that you properly relax. It’s so important that we take a break from work related things, whether that’s what you do for a living or the household chores.
3. Keep active
Keep moving in a way that’s right for you. Anything that keeps you active is better than nothing. It will help you maintain your energy, level your moods and strengthen your cognition.
4. Give yourself a break (and some credit)
Show yourself some compassion – why can we do it for others yet we can be so mean to ourselves? Give yourself some credit for the things you are doing right and celebrate every success, no matter how small.
If things don’t go to plan (and as you are human, chances are sometimes they won’t), don’t be hard on yourself. Work out what needs changing or fixing and crack on.
5. Stop comparing yourself (or your life) to others
One of the easiest ways to feel bad about yourself is to compare yourself to other people. Others can seem more attractive, richer, more successful and have loads more social media friends. They can look like they have life sorted and are so, so happy.
All of those things are based on your own perceptions, you cannot know how they are really feeling. The image that others put out to the world, particularly on social media, is not necessarily the truth.
It’s a total waste of your energy, so please stop it now. Have role models by all means, but look at them in a positive and constructive light, rather than making negative comparisons.
6. Accept compliments
When somebody compliments you on your cooking, your latest report or says you look good, how do you react? Do you feel a bit uncomfortable and not know how to reply? The best way to accept a compliment is to smile, look the person in the eye and say thank you.
Being able to accept compliments is great for your confidence and overall wellbeing and also makes the other person feel good too. So everybody wins.
So there we have it, my top 6 tips to start you off on your be kind to yourself mission. Start to think about your own needs and then put yourself first. You cannot help or love others if you don’t feel love, happiness, kindness and compassion for yourself. Oh and forgiveness, but I think that’s a whole post in itself.
I would love to know what you are going to schedule in for yourself – send me a comment below.
Take care of yourself and enjoy it!