"Be kind to yourself." It's a sentiment I've heard before, but I didn't pay much attention to the statement at the time. It seemed like a very odd thing to say at the end of a conversation about natural hair. However, as I thought more about it and let it settle into my spirit, I realized her words came at a perfect time. They were just what I needed to hear. Her words encouraged me to continue on my own natural hair journey, and also were a reminder for me to be mindful of how I am treating myself through the process and in every other area of my life right now.
As I began reflecting a bit further, I replayed some of the conversations I've had with myself lately and realized some of the language that I've used and certain things I've said to myself, have been completely inappropriate and unkind. I had to acknowledge the fact that I wouldn't ever talk to anyone I cared for or loved the way I have been talking to myself. Why?
Mainly, because it would be hurtful, mean, and judgmental. "Hmm", I thought. Well, then, "why the hell are you talking to yourself that way." Good question...and there are a number of reasons I could list to try to justify why this means of cracking the whip on myself is healthy, but the truth is it's not and many times it goes unnoticed.
I'm sure I am not alone in this. All too often we are way too hard on ourselves and overly critical. The truth is we need to be the ones to learn how to do the little things for ourselves that keep us going when everyone else misses the mark. Random acts of niceness toward ourselves are the practice we need for our other relationships as well. We have to be kind, caring, and loving to ourselves before we can extend these qualities to others.
So, just as I have challenged myself to pay more attention to the conversations I have with myself and to do things that build me up instead of tear me down, I challenge you as well. Here are some ways we can begin to learn how to be kinder to ourselves and practice these same techniques in our other relationships. Here is a brief list of things you can do to show yourself a little TLC.
1.) Treat yourself to at least one compliment a day. This means that instead of finding the one thing you don't like about yourself, you find one thing you do and say it out loud. For example; "Cute hair."
2.) Use positive adjectives to describe yourself when you're talking to yourself or others about you.
3.) Tell yourself, "I love you" at least once a day.
4.) Smile at your reflection in the mirror, it serves as an instant energy booster, helps to lift your spirits, and puts you in a better state of mind by easing any underlying anxiety.
5.) Treat yourself to something you like at least once a week that makes you feel special. It doesn't have to be expensive. I treated myself to a Godiva Oreo shake last weekend and it did wonders for me! :)
6.) Allow yourself time to rest and relax without feeling guilty or worthless.
7.) Reject any and all negative self-talk. Instead remind yourself that you are good enough, just as you are and know that whatever you don't like, you have the power to change it.
8.) Shower yourself with the things that make you feel loved and cared for. These are things you don't have to wait for someone else to do for you. You can do them for yourself and get the same gratification out of the experience.
You're wonderful! You don't need an excuse or a special occasion to celebrate you or to shower yourself with love and kindness.
Have you been particularly hard on yourself lately? What are some things you can do today to make it up to yourself? Do you pay attention to how you treat you? I would love to know your thoughts and ideas for other ways we can be kinder to ourselves.
With Love & Gratitude