In my early 20’s I believed in living a fast paced life and taking no breaks or time off. I was always on the go, working two jobs and going to school full time. I was constantly stressed and viewed “making time for myself” as a waste of time. It wasn’t until later that I realized how important making time for yourself and taking care of your body actually was.
Now, its a part of my daily life and rarely do I feel stressed or have anxiety even if I am having a busy day. Some tips for taking care of yourself and cultivating a healthy lifestyle that I found to be life changing for me include:
- Eating healthy
- Getting enough sleep
- Exercising regularly
- Manage your stress and anxiety
- Practice good hygiene
Also important, make sure you treat yourself and do something that you enjoy every day. Whether that might mean dancing, watching a favorite TV show, working in the garden, painting or reading, etc. Find ways to relax, like meditation, yoga, getting a massage, taking a bath or walking in the woods, do whatever works for you.
Cultivate your inner advocate
Your inner advocate is your other voice, the one that defends you and protects you when your inner self critic is trying to judge you and put you down. We could all use an inner advocate, another voice that’s always on our side, that would prevent us from beating ourselves and listening to our inner critic.
While it may be difficult to permanently get rid of your inner critic, you can surely work on being kind to yourself by cultivating your inner advocate. Through the work of Kristen Neff, I’ve learned that these two voices have the same intention to look after us but through different methods. The inner self critic tries to achieve the ends by forcing, shaming, and judging. Your inner advocate uses kindness, encouragement, and love.
Remind yourself of your good qualities
When you accomplish something you are proud of, take a moment to dwell on it. Often, we are quick to acknowledge someone else’s accomplishments before our own. Here are a few ways to remind yourself of your great qualities.
- Write yourself a note (positive affirmation) and keep it with you. This can be helpful when you’re caught up in a moment and are not feeling your best. Read it, out loud preferably.
- Write compliments on post-it notes and hang them on your mirror, closet, or at your desk (the more places the better).
- Take time to fix yourself and do your makeup in the morning.
- Most importantly, reward yourself by doing something that makes you happy.
Believe in yourself
The strongest factor for success is self-esteem; believing that you can do it, believing that you deserve it and believing that you will get it.
Identify and ease your doubts. Continue to feed your mind with what you desire and eliminate all thoughts of doubt from your mind. Faith comes by hearing. Fill you ears with words that support what it is that you want to believe about yourself.
Trust and love yourself. Be kind to yourself. You are more worthy than you give yourself credit for.
Give yourself permission to attempt again…and fail forward.
Unfortunately, self-doubt doesn’t permanently disappear forever, I wish. Though, if you cultivate a healthy habit of positive self talk, dealing with self doubt will be easier. It will surely be there when you are outside of your comfort zone and whenever you strive to do something amazing.
Your doubts are only thoughts, not your future. Sure, something may go wrong. But if you never try, you’re losing an opportunity to improve yourself and your life.
Chapter preview from #PerfectlyImperfect2
Also published on Medium.