A powerful way to connect to yourself, to practice self-care, to self-reflect is to write letters to yourself. Below are some letters you can write:
Write a letter of forgiveness. Forgive yourself for eating something that made you feel terrible that you didn’t even like. Forgive yourself for saying yes when you really yearned to say no. Forgive yourself for getting angry and yelling at your child. Forgive yourself for gaining weight. Forgive yourself for bashing your body. Forgive yourself for making decisions that didn’t nourish you. Forgive yourself for being rude. Pick one thing or pick a few things that you can forgive yourself for.
Write a letter about something you haven’t been able to admit to yourself. Write about a truth.
Write a letter of gratitude. Thank your legs for carrying you on that really fun hike. Thank your arms for cradling your sleeping baby. Thank your eyes for letting you see tonight’s magical sky. Thank your taste buds for letting you identify the many interesting flavors in your favorite meal.
Write a letter about how you’re doing, about how you’re feeling, about what’s been on your mind.
Write a letter about something you’re struggling with and offer yourself compassionate support. Talk about the ways you’re here for yourself. Make a list of things you can do to feel better and to solve whatever problems you’re going through.
Write a letter about your dreams, and the steps you’ll take to make them come true.
Write a letter about a decision you’re not sure about. Write about your options and potential scenarios. See if writing to yourself can make the path a bit clearer.
Write a letter of permission. Give yourself permission to eat foods that you enjoy and that nurture your body and mind. Give yourself permission to rest and to take naps. Give yourself permission to bring up difficult topics, to have difficult conversations. Give yourself permission to have fun. Give yourself permission to end the diet. Give yourself permission to do less. Give yourself permission to feel all your feelings, and to accept them fully, whether it’s sweaty, shaky anxiety or a sinking sadness. Give yourself permission to try.
Write a letter about a story you’ve been telling yourself for years that you’d like to revise. A story that doesn’t support you. A story that makes you miserable. A story that isn’t the end-all, be-all truth that you thought it was. A story that you’ve actually misinterpreted. I couldn’t finish grad school, because I couldn’t cut it, because I’m a failure becomes I made a difficult, scary decision, which led me to the meaningful career I have now.
Write a letter about everything you love. People. Places. Passions. Experiences. Memories. Books. Things. Your own qualities.
Write your letters in a journal. Or put them in envelopes and seal them, so you can open them at another time. Or rip up the letters and toss them in the trash. Burn them. Do whatever feels best. The power really resides in the act of writing. Because we are listening, we are exploring, we are wondering and getting curious and getting vulnerable. And because that’s how we connect.