Archives for Self Worth
Self-care is a term that gets thrown around a lot. We might think it's synonymous with bubble baths, manicures and massages. And sometimes self-care might be these things. But at the heart of it, at its core, self-care is self-preservation. It is shielding ourselves from harm and danger. Which could mean anything from surrounding ourselves with trustworthy people to seeing a therapist for managing our ADHD to eating when we're hungry to taking regular relaxation breaks.
Below is a selection of powerful quotes from The Coloring Book of Mindfulness: 50 Quotes and Designs to Help You Focus, Slow Down, De-Stress, illustrated by Holly MacDonald. I hope these quotes remind you to be more present and to savor each moment---because we naturally and inevitably forget, too wrapped up in our mind's chatter, too focused on our to-do lists. Which is OK, because we can simply refocus on what's unraveling right before us. We can start using our senses fully, refocusing on what we're seeing, smelling, hearing, touching, tasting.
On Monday, in this post, I wrote about asking ourselves questions to help us respond to our in-the-moment needs. Which is what self-care is all about. Today, I'm sharing questions we can ask ourselves to check in as a whole. Because so often we move through our days without much, if any, pausing. So often we move through our days without thinking or reflecting or being aware of ourselves and what's happening inside us.
Self-care is not a to-do list. I was recently reminded of this in this newsletter from Nicole Antoinette. In other words, self-care isn't a list of tasks you need to check off every day or every week. Get a manicure and pedicure Monday. Take a bubble bath on Tuesday. Work out on Wednesday. Make a home-cooked dinner on Friday.
I'm not sure that I've ever felt good reading a fitness or "health" magazine geared toward women. Instead, I've felt self-conscious, inadequate and way too big. At some point I realized the words in their glossy pages weren't gospel. I realized that I didn't have to believe or act on their tips---which focused on watching my weight and what I was eating (like a hawk), feeling guilty any time I wavered and preparing for (i.e., panicking over) bikini season and holiday parties.
I'm ending the week with another piece on self-love. (Here are parts one and two.) Below are additional examples of what loving yourself might look like in your life. I personally love examples, because I'm always curious about real-life applications. I'm always curious what a concept looks like day to day---especially when we're talking about something as big and abstract and unfamiliar as self-love.
I've been thinking more about self-love and what it means and looks like for me. Yesterday, I shared some thoughts in this piece. Today, I'm sharing more examples. I hope these inspire you to think through your own definitions and how you can start embracing and loving yourself. Because you can. No matter where you've been and no matter what others have said to you, you can. Start small. Start now.
There are many misconceptions about self-love. Some people assume that loving yourself is a cop-out or an excuse to do whatever you want---as in miss work just because, or spend money on some big purchase that's going to set you back (i.e., spending money you don't have). Some people assume it means not taking responsibility for your actions, or slipping into excess, or obsessive behaviors. Some people assume self-love is a synonym for hedonism.
We tend to look at our "negative" emotions as a nuisance at best or with anger at worst. We judge ourselves for feeling sad or lonely. We judge ourselves for feeling anxious. Often we just want these feelings to go away. Often we pretend they don't exist in the first place. This is understandable. Maybe we weren't taught to process our emotions. Maybe we'd simply rather feel good instead of heavy, weighed down and hurt. Again, totally understandable. And that's hard. Because these feelings don't dissipate. They don't go away.