How was your weekend? I had a lot to think about this weekend because I took a lot of time for myself (thanks to my supportive hubby)! It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day craziness that can leave you irritable and crabby and perhaps even saying, “I’m so tired. I feel fat. I haven’t had time for myself…” Do you recognize the negativity with which we fill ourselves EVERY SINGLE DAY? Here’s me raising my hand. I heard something over the weekend and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. It’s not the first time I hear it but it was a well needed reminder, “Be nice to yourself”. We are not showing ourselves gratitude.
Why are we so mean to ourselves? Not just the working moms or the stay-at-home moms but all of us. Why can’t we be more gentle? So another reminder: if we can not be nice to ourselves, we can not be kind to our children, to our significant others, to our students, and to the baristas at our coffee shops! We mirror each other and without that positivity floating around, well then…we are all just walking Negative Nancys. Hmph.
I have 7 tips for you (and for me) to practice the niceties on ourselves. You can do one a day or you can do them all over a weekend. I did them all this weekend and feel amazing. Challenge yourself. Be conscious and see what works and what doesn’t. Most of them don’t take much time at all and they don’t have to cost a thing!
1. Meditate. When I worked for the Chopra Center in New York City back in the day, I learned that I didn’t have to be an expert during the process of meditation. It’s actually very simple. Instead of taking those precious and free fifteen minutes to check Facebook or E! news, find a quiet spot, sit down, close your eyes and in your head ask yourself these questions, “Who am I?” And answer in your head, “A mother, a teacher, a wife, a sibling, a daughter…etc.” Ask, “Where do I come from? Where do I go? What do I want to achieve? What do I want?” Deepak Chopra says to ask these questions and to go ahead and be honest. It’s okay to say you want the big house. Put your intentions out there.
2. Be alone. Sure it’s fun to go shopping with girlfriends and catch up on the latest gossip while having coffee. But have you ever just done something for you completely alone? Have you ever had dinner by yourself? Without your smart phone? Try it. Grocery shopping counts if you never get a chance to do it on your own. Don’t be afraid of enjoying your own company. If you can make time to see your friends, make time for just you and don’t be afraid to turn down an invitation or two.
3. Eat Clean. For one whole day, make your own food. Your mom making it for you doesn’t count. Take the time to see what you are putting in your body. If you make it, you see it. Try fruits and veggies, nuts, a homemade sandwich, grill the meat, make a salad, make your coffee and drink lots of water. Avoid processed foods, frozen foods and fast foods for one day and see if you can incorporate new habits for your future.
4. Try something new or revisit a hobby long forgotten. Remember how good it felt to make a scrapbook, to paint, to take a yoga class? Whatever it may be, why haven’t you done it again? Schedule time for the hobbies you enjoyed doing or try something new such as a cooking class, a spinning class or a photography class.
5. Learn. Be conscious of “you learn something new everyday” and share that knowledge. Did you know that there are fish that get groomed by other fish? Yes, they eat the grossness off their backs, literally. Diego was so happy to teach me this and I was so happy to show him that I did not know that!!!!!
6. Take care of your body. You’ve heard it a gazillion times, “Your body is your temple…” Yes it is. Let’s love our bodies. Give it water, sun, exercise, a massage, stretch…
7. Pass it on. After trying out 1-6, I hope you feel rejuvenated and excited. I hope you feel a happiness of yourself for yourself. After giving it a go you most likely will have learned a new recipe, you read a new book, you found a new pair of shoes-pass it on. Share your enthusiasm and your positive energy with someone else.
It takes consciousness to realize that you are not being nice to yourself. When you are mean to someone else, they will give you a dirty look or a bad attitude right back. We just don’t always see how we are harming ourselves by treating “me” poorly. Watch how things will start to become a little brighter and people around you will smile a little longer just because you are gentler to yourself. I also heard another fantastic thing this weekend while working out, “You are brave, look forward”. I’m being nice and passing it on to you.
Do you have a tip or two to add to this list? Would love to hear what nice things you do for you.