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Knowing ourselves is essential for making supportive decisions, for taking compassionate care of ourselves and for living a fulfilling life. After all, when we know what we need and want, what our natural tendencies and preferences are, we can act accordingly. That is, we can act in ways that honor ourselves.
Our inner critics can be quite harsh and cruel. Which is why many of us start to dislike, or even despise, that inner voice. We might even find ourselves constantly getting caught up in battle.
When we're in a situation, we're in it. Which means it can be hard to make a decision. Because we're simply too close to it. We also might be telling ourselves all sorts of stories. I don't know what I deserve. Am I even worthy of this? I suck at making good decisions. There's too many options! I'm terrible at this! I've always been so indecisive. I'll probably pick the wrong thing, anyway. It's too complicated. What do I know?
Some days everything just feels so loud. And so intrusive. The random thoughts screaming inside your mind. The tension sitting inside your body. The frustration sticking to your skin like glue. The laundry that needs to be folded. The 80 unanswered emails. The 80 other things that need to be done. When? When?
Many of us rarely check in with ourselves. We rarely wonder what we really want. What nourishes us. What delights us. What hurts us. How we can respect ourselves. Which people are actually healthy for us to be around. What is the most compassionate, supportive decision. Or we may know these things but we don't act on them. One reason is that we get caught up.
Maybe you're pregnant and are lethargic and nauseated every single day. Maybe you take what feels like 30 naps a week. Maybe you have a newborn, and you can't think straight. The tasks that seemed so simple are anything but today. And it's like you're moving through neck-deep mud. Maybe you're going through a divorce, and it feels like you're scaling a mountain.
It's been a while since I've shared links to powerful pieces by other writers. So, today, I'm changing that. Below are beautiful, important, insightful thoughts on everything from embracing our bodies to embracing ourselves. I hope you find these helpful, and I hope you have a wonderful Sunday! Remember you can opt out: You can opt out of everything from being weighed at the doctor's office to workout classes that don't feel welcoming to “I’m so bad, I ate a piece of bread” conversations. How to create your own care instructions.
Self-care is about nourishing ourselves mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. It’s about responding to our needs in the moment. Eating when we're hungry. Drinking water when (or before) we're thirsty. Stretching when tension sits between our shoulders. Self-care is about kindness, patience, and understanding. Below are seven self-care practices for supporting yourself.