I'm not keen on New Year's Resolutions because they imply we are not good enough…
I talk a lot about self-love and self -care because that’s the key to improve wellbeing and sense of self. It’s the starting place for the changes that make all the difference to how we feel about life and how we live our lives.
Recognising the importance of YOU is even more critical when life is tough, if you’re going through a bad patch, or even if you’re feeling unsettled or unfulfilled but can’t find a way through and out the other side. We are going to look at 7 ways you can improve your wellbeing and sense of self, which in turn will help you develop that all important self-love that will make all the difference going forward.
The crucial thing is to start now.
You don’t need to wait for ‘that event’ to be over before you begin, or for when you have more time, when the children are grown, when you get that new job or pay rise, or for the stars to align etc. Excuses mean you are short-changing yourself.
Small steps lead to big steps over time. Simply starting shows your intent to yourself and the Universe. There is always something you can do now to get the ball rolling. The truth is if you put off taking action you are much more likely to not come back to it again. Old habits take over, life takes over and we slot back into our usual comfort zone.
By the way, I wonder why we call it our comfort zone because a lot of the time it’s a very UNcomfortable zone. It’s a place of familiar routine for sure, but it can also be a place of familiar discomfort, with that nagging feeling or voice telling you regularly you’re not enough, not doing enough, not becoming enough? Time to move that one out of the way.
OK, so you’re ready to start – but what action to take??
Action 1 – Change your mindset
Hold your head high, be who you are because who you are is great.
It’s so easy to play the victim role or the poor me when life is hard but it doesn’t help, even if you feel you’re just doing it to yourself. You can start in small ways first because they all add up to the bigger picture. Aim to see where you are limiting yourself and instead be a role model, a decision maker, a leader even, but above all be your true self. Lift yourself away from the negative labels and become the positive ones.
Action 2 – Kick denial into touch!
As I emerged from the hardest time in my life one thing that really shocked me was the amount of denial I had been in. I was afraid to face the reality so I told myself that what I knew deep inside couldn’t possibly be happening. When I had to actually face the truth and also realised at the same time I had known it for months. It was a double whammy! I vowed I would do my best to never kid myself again. Apart from anything else, in the end, it was too painful.
Denial also has another side to it. Others close to me didn’t know what was going on. Because I didn’t tell them! They knew something was wrong but not what.
One reason I kept quiet was that I was convinced no one else would understand what was happening, they couldn’t help me. I felt I had to handle this all by myself! Hindsight is, as they say, a wonderful thing. Sadly for me, I missed out on the support and help I could have had at my fingertips.
Sometimes experiences we think are unique to us are in fact often very common. Yes, the particular external circumstances may be different, but the emotions they bring up are very similar and identifiable to many.
Is there anyone who has never at some point felt separate, lonely, rejected, afraid, unworthy etc etc.? I doubt it very much. We can gain from others who are willing to share with us. At the very least others can help us see that we are not alone in having these feelings.
Action 3 – Make your health a non-negotiable priority
We know in our hearts that looking after ourselves is critical, but sometimes it goes into the ‘too hard’ box for a variety of reasons. Maybe it needs a bit of organising. Maybe you feel there isn’t the time, or other people come first. Quite possibly you don’t know what to do or where to start.
There is a lot of confusing and contradictory information out there. It’s easy to get disheartened by conflicting advice and end up giving up and doing nothing.
There’s more about how to get started for health here Practical Tips for Self-care
Action 4 – Forgiveness
Unsurprisingly research has shown that where there is forgiveness there is an improvement in life satisfaction. When we hold onto grudges it damages us. You no doubt know that, and putting it into practice can be a challenge, but so worth doing.
Action 5 – Personal development
Make it a priority to understand yourself as much as you can. Observe yourself, what you do, what you say, your reactions, the impact you have on others and the impact others have on you. If you don’t know where to start, find a book, audio or programme that resonates with you and spend some time each day listening or reading for the inspiration it gives you. Ponder how it affects you and how you can implement new understandings in your own life. You really can’t beat a good ponder to find the truth! Personal development, and ultimately your emotional and psychological freedom, is about moving towards trusting yourself and your inner guidance, step by step.
Action 6 – Set your own programme
Put a schedule together that covers the important areas of self-care, creativity and whatever progress or moving forward means to you. Where do you want to be and what are the baby steps you need to take to get there? Set aside some time, no matter how much or little you have. Make it non-negotiable to do something for each area every day and chart your advancement. Consistency in your chosen direction is the key here.
Action 7 – Get support
It’s hard to keep your focus on your own. There are people who are just waiting to share and care about you, but if they don’t know you they can’t do that. Step out, reach out and the universe will respond by supporting you.
One way you can do this is to join the private Facebook group, for positive and understanding support.
You can also contact me direct if you want to discuss how to move forward and put these and more into practice.
And of course, the book Rise Again After Divorce: The 5 Keys For Women To Heal Wounds, Resurrect Dreams And Create A Life Full Of Love, provides quite a bit of ‘ponder material’.
As always – my greatest desire is that you know how to improve your wellbeing and sense of self, as well as create a wonderful life for yourself, one that is the best you can possibly achieve.
If you would like support with addressing these or other lifestyle or health and wellbeing issues then feel free to ask and we can organise a no obligation chat.