Self-hate is an epidemic in our society, tending to rear its ugly head everywhere around the start of a new year. As someone who has spent years discovering self-compassion, it breaks my heart to see others starting off a new year in an attitude of self-punishment. This year, I’ve decided I am going to fight the self-hate epidemic.
By spending seven days embracing self-love in intentional ways, I will be starting off the year in a positive frame of mind.
I want to share the ways I’ve decided to embrace self-love with you so together, we can start a movement of self-compassion in 2017!
1. Cherish your body.
Buy a luxurious lotion and warm it up, then use gentle and loving strokes to pamper your body. Treat your body like it is precious and loved, and I promise you, your thoughts and emotions will catch up.
2. Clear your head space.
The negative things in our mind are like dust, piling up unnoticed until we start sneezing. Grab a journal and write down all the little worries, stresses, etc. dusting up your mind. Think of a chore you are putting off, a relationship issue stressing you out, or any frustrations you have. Then, envision yourself dusting your mind clean. Those worries and to-dos are now on a list you can consult, addressing them one at a time, so you no longer need to harbour them in your precious mind-space.
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3. New Year Cleaning.
Small accomplishments are a great way to get yourself feeling motivated! A great option? Do a quick cleaning of your favourite space. Instead of trying to tackle your whole house, focus on one area you spend a lot of time in. Clean it up, and then do something to make the space one capable of inspiring and motivating you. For example, add a quote to the wall, rearrange something to allow you to use the space for something new, or fill in with pictures of things you are thankful for.
4. Grow love.
Send someone(s) you love a note telling them how thankful you are for them. Spend time creating a homemade card and be specific about why you are thankful for them. Once done, reflect on how this increases your thankfulness and increases your joy and love. Then, perhaps consider doing it more often!
5. Nourish yourself.
Find a wholesome (not diet!) recipe to get your mouth watering and make it while listening to your favourite inspiring music. Once it’s made, grab a plate of it, a nice mug of your favourite hot drink, and a great for-fun book. Savour your food and embrace the moment!
6. Discover the joy of movement.
Find someone who encourages you and ask them to go for a walk with you. If it is warm enough, enjoy nature together. If not, go someplace like a mall or indoor track and enjoy the feeling of movement and the beauty of friendship.
7. Feed your spirituality.
Whether you are religious or not, spend at least 30 minutes meditating on God or your higher power. Play music that brings rest to your soul, and crack open a book to speak to your innermost being. Rest in the knowledge you are loved, you are not alone, and you have a purpose.
You may want to tweak these or change them up to fit the ways you personally respond best to self-love, or, take my idea of intentional self-love and make your own list.
If you do join me, please share your experiences and ideas in the comments below!
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