Of all the relationships that come and go in life, the one you have with yourself is by far the longest. Yet some of us, maybe even most of us, are being a little (or a lot) neglectful in the self-love department. Take some time to reflect … The person you spend the most time with throughout your life is yourself. However, that same person is the one you’re the most critical towards. Have you ever thought into how you actually talk to yourself? The standards you have towards yourself? Would you tell your best friends or your partner the same things? Would you have the same expectations towards these people?
Words: Lotte Bregendahl Laursen
Learning a new language How quick we are to comfort a friend, forgive a foe and turn a blind eye to that total stranger who cut us off at the lights. But when it comes to showing even an ounce of self-compassion, we often fall short, and that’s unfortunate. The way you talk to yourself affect your emotions, your bodily reactions and your behavior – and your behavior confirms your thoughts.
It’s time for you to learn a new language – a language of self-compassion and self-love. A language where it’s okay to say no, to stand up for yourself, to compliment yourself and to love and respect yourself. A language that confirms your worth and allows you to be kinder and more compassionate towards yourself. Here’s 8 small steps in your journey of becoming kinder to yourself.
“Should” is a word that sets unrealistic expectations which very often turns into feelings of guiltiness and unhappiness. Have you ever counted how many times you use this word during a day?
1. Invest in yourself
As stretched as your time and money might be, there’s no better way to spend them than on YOU. So carve out space and resources to expand your mind and nurture your body. Remember, it doesn’t need to be really expensive or time consuming things. It could be as simple as lighting a candle and reading a nice book. Going for a long walk and listening to music. Going to a café and ordering your favorite coffee. Read, rest, move – or get that massage. Why not treat yourself to an entire day out? Or dabble in a creative side-project. Trust me, it’s the best return on investment you’ll ever get.
2. Less “should” and more “no”
“Should” is a word that sets unrealistic expectations which very often turns into feelings of guiltiness and unhappiness. Have you ever counted how many times you use this word during a day? Well, try and count have many times it creates an unpleasant feeling. So how about giving “should” the shove? Give some thought to the things that are truly important to you – be it spending time with loved ones, heading outdoors or sleeping in on a Sunday – and start practice the very difficult, yet very important NO when other pressures sneak in.
3. Block out social media
Maybe it’s just for an hour or so, but putting your phone down is a simple way to do yourself a favour. Studies have shown that scrolling is linked to being less satisfied with yourself and feeling socially isolated. Comparison can be the thief of joy – especially if you're scrolling without awareness of how the painstakingly filtered feeds of others make you feel unhappy and dissatisfied with yourself and your own life.
4. Befriend yourself
“Treat others as you would have them treat you”. That’s probably a mantra you’ve heard before or even told yourself several times. Please know this, dear friends – the reverse is also a commandment worth keeping. So when that little voice in your head starts negging on you, ask yourself, is this really how I would speak to, or advise, a good friend?
"Comparison can be the thief of joy – especially if you're scrolling without awareness of how the painstakingly filtered feeds of others make you feel unhappy and dissatisfied with yourself and your own life".
5. Put yourself to bed
Sleep, such a wonderful and very powerful thing. A solid, seven to nine hours of sleep is bound to endless benefits, such as being more productive, less anxious, lowering your chance of developing chronic diseases, even looking better – so says a recent study from Sweden, proving it ain’t called beauty sleep for nothing.
6. Show kindness to others
Firstly, it’s the right thing to do. Secondly, there’s a bunch of bonus, self-loving side-effects coming from helping others out. Showing kindness increases the levels of our brain’s natural versions of happy drugs, or endogenous opioids, triggering a so-called “helper’s high” – and is also linked to having a healthier heart and slowing ageing.
7. Forgive yourself
So, you made a mistake. Congratulations – you’ve not got proof that you’re human and not some creature with superpowers. Drop the self-critique and take comfort in knowing that you did what you felt was right at the time. What can you learn from this? Mistakes offer a glowing opportunity to tune in on your morals and values and live more in-sync with them, and you know what? Everybody makes them. Which leads me to the last point …
8. Stop trying to be perfect.
You would never expect perfection from another living soul, so why do you endeavor to attain it? It’s draining, unrelenting and frankly about as achievable as completing an iron man without preparing for it. Striving to be your best is a whole other, much healthier pursuit – and those flaws of yours are actually what draw other people to you, so it’s high time you started loving them, yourself.
"Showing kindness increases the levels of our brain’s natural versions of happy drugs, or endogenous opioids, triggering a so-called “helper’s high” – and is also linked to having a healthier heart and slowing ageing".
Start your self-compassion journey today
Commence your 2020 with a healthy foundation, practicing self-compassion and incorporating good and caring routines into your daily life. This January (17-19) we'll be spending a weekend at the beautiful Vejlefjord Hotel & Spa - moving daily, treating our bodies with nourishing food, spoil ourselves to the wonderful spa and learning all about self-compassion. Book your spot today - following this link (limited spaces). We can't wait to move with all of you guys - physically as well as mentally. xx