Healthy Coping Articles

Safety First: On Blossoming, Embracing Our Bodies And Practicing Self-Care

Friday, September 12th, 2014

slow, creative joy retreat

This week I talked about creating a safe space to listen to ourselves, without judgment or criticism. Because it can be scary to explore our needs and wants. Because for many of us we’re doing this for the first time.

For the first time, we’re shining the spotlight on ourselves. We’re asking questions like: What do I need to feel better? What do I want to do today? What makes me happy? 

We’re exploring — territory that might’ve gone unexplored, abandoned for years. We’re putting ourselves third, second or maybe even first. We’re actually listening.


Creating the Space to Listen to Ourselves

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

beach, dunes, taken by mama, july 2014 w quote and cropping

A few years ago, I was walking out of our then-house to meet Brian for his birthday dinner. I was distracted and looking down at my feet, walking toward my car. Suddenly, I saw a thick, long multicolored snake in the grass.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a palpable fear of snakes. I can’t even look at their pictures. (Seriously.)

I stopped, and started walking, slowly, back toward the door. But I kept stopping and hesitating.

I remember trying to will myself to step to the side of the snake. I remember berating myself for being so silly. You’re scared of everything! It’s just a snake! The car is so close! Only you would react this way! 


Transforming Unhealthy Self-Talk

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

creative joy, 2012, trust your vision

Years ago I assumed that the critical way I talked to myself was simply me being realistic, and accurate and candid. I was simply a truth teller, who could see myself — my faults, flaws — clearly.

And yet I didn’t talk to others in this way. I wouldn’t dream of it.

But for some reason I thought I deserved this tough love approach, barren of compassion. Mistakes were the end of the world. My body was grounds for constant bashing.

Some of us might not even realize the terrible way in which we talk to ourselves. It’s so automatic, so common. It might feel like another part of your daily routine. Like waking up. Like brushing your teeth. Like walking.

Or we think we deserve the harsh words. We’re too big, after all. We made a huge mistake, after all. We tend to overeat, after all. We can’t stay on a diet to save our lives, after all. We’re lazy, after all.


Instead of Being Furious, Get Curious About Your Body And Yourself

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

amelia island, breakfast

I just finished writing an article on strategies for staying curious and why curiosity is so vital to our lives. (I featured tips and insights from Ian Leslie’s fascinating new book Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on It. Stay tuned for the piece on Psych Central next month.)

So I have curiosity on the brain. And, naturally, this curiosity pertains to our bodies and ourselves.


Embracing Our Bodies Despite Our Flaws

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

creative joy, 2012, yellow flower with quote

Many of us are hesitant to accept our bodies because they’re “flawed.” We have stretch marks, cellulite, too-big thighs, too-small breasts, too-round bellies.

We assume all these traits are terrible imperfections which preclude us from appreciating and loving our bodies.

How can I accept something that is flawed? How can I be positive when there is negative surrounding me, part of me?


The Different Ways We Can Be Kinder to Ourselves

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

amelia island, red flower

In Heart to Heart, my eBook with Anna Guest-Jelley, we focus on cultivating kindness, because we don’t heal ourselves with insults, judgement and body bashing. We heal ourselves — our bruised body image, our sinking self-worth — with compassion.

I like Sharon Salzberg’s definition of kindness in her book The Kindness Handbook: “Kindness can manifest as compassion, as generosity, as paying attention.”


A Unique Way to Approach Your Inner Critic

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

creative joy retreat, 2012, leaf and light

Most of us have a mean — maybe even cruel — inner voice that says everything from “You’re too big to wear that!” to “You’re so stupid!” Understandably, we may grow to dislike — maybe even despise — this inner voice.

We might dislike it because it sounds like someone who used to bully us. Because it sounds like a parent, past partner or so-called friend. Maybe it sounds like the younger you, who regularly received hurtful remarks about your appearance in school.

I like the approach in the book Mindful Compassion, written by researcher Paul Gilbert, Ph.D, and former Tibetan Buddhist monk Choden.


What Worthy Looks Like

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Our rose, april 2014

This week Anna Guest-Jelley — a close friend and founder of the ever powerful Curvy Yoga — and I introduced you to our eBook Heart to Heart: 20 Poems, Meditations + Affirmations to Embrace Your Body & Cultivate Kindness.

(You can learn more here. Plus, until Tuesday, the 19th, enter the code “HEART” to save $5.)

Today, I wanted to share a new poem with you about being worthy. Because it’s so easy to internalize the message that we must earn our self-worth with accolades, accomplishments and changes in appearance.

When you feel this way, when you second-guess your self-worth, if it resonates with you, return to this reminder.


A Vital Part of Self-Care: Your List of No

Friday, August 8th, 2014

ocean and sunset, by mama, no quote.2.2014

As I’m reading through The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance and Happiness by James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher, I’ve been thinking about all the things we can say no to. (I’ve already mentioned their book in this post.)

Because saying no helps us make room for the important yeses in our lives — the yeses that nourish and serve us.

Because saying no leaves us with more time, energy and even health. It’s how we can listen to ourselves, stand up for ourselves and practice compassionate self-care.


5 Questions to Explore Every Day

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

flowers and candle at home, aug 2014, cropped

Honest, open communication is key for healthy relationships. Talking to your loved ones about your concerns, needs, conflicts — and truly listening to their concerns, needs and conflicts — strengthens your bond.

The same is true for your relationship with yourself. It’s important to regularly ask ourselves about our needs, concerns and preferences. And, like all effective communication, it’s important for us to listen to what we hear.

Doing so creates a solid, strong connection to our inner selves (our real selves). It provides important insights to help us make good decisions, to create lives that honor and nourish us.


 
 

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Recent Comments
  • productive1: In my own case, I feel that there are many critical voices or inner critics within me. I do not try to...
  • Margarita Tartakovsky, MS: @ Anna, my pleasure! :) xoxo
  • Anna: Thanks for the shares, lovely! Hope you’re doing well! xo
  • dee: In my private practice I work both with children and adults. We often talk about the inner critic and ways of...
  • WRG: Thank you for this post. It describes me to a T.
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