Today I have Shona Dee from Thriving Sistas on the blog. She shares a really great post on ways to learn to love and value yourself, and how that can help you cope with the curveballs life has to throw at you. Her post provides great insight on self care (and the uttermost importance of it), and also provides a look at how this can apply to living intentionally. Check out the post, and be sure to check out her blog, which is linked below!
If you have been on the receiving end of a massive life change or upheaval – be it divorce, the loss of somebody you believed you couldn’t live without, or maybe an unwanted move to an unfamiliar area – you will know that it SUCKS. It is frightening, it hurts and it has the potential to shake us to our very core.
Us human folk are fond of clinging to a known way of being – we like what we know and generally prefer our comfort zones. So what happens when life throws us a whammy – when change and upheaval are suddenly and unexpectedly thrust upon us?
Truth is, we will all face some form of change or upheaval in our lives – it is part of being human! But it is how we react and deal with these situations which will determine how traumatic, painful and long-lasting the overall effects will be.
If we have a healthy dose of self-love we will naturally fare better when it comes to dealing with life’s ups and downs.
Why? Because when we love and value ourselves, we are more able to:
- Remain resilient to what is happening around us
- Trust in our ability to deal with whatever we are going through
- Place less emphasis on what everybody else thinks we should be doing (or being)
- Truly know and believe that we will come through the other side intact
Sounds simple enough, but how can we be sure that we’re truly loving and valuing ourselves? That we have the capacity to face adversity, stand up for what we believe in, and know that we will be OK regardless of what life throws at us?
Here are 5 simple things you can do to love and value yourself:
Accept yourself – ALL of yourself
Accept yourself for who you are – warts and all. Celebrate the fact that you were born with traits that are unique to YOU. The moment you accept (rather than deny) the beautiful and flawed being that you are is the moment you become EMPOWERED. When faced with upheaval, or when ‘bad’ things happen to you, look for the positive AND the lesson – they will be there. Change ‘why is this happening TO me?’ to ‘why is this happening FOR me?’
Let go of what you can’t CONTROL
We often have little or no control over outside circumstances. Things will happen to us. Shit happens. We can keep allowing our mind to resist what is, and fight to control every little thing – but this is pretty pointless. The only thing we can really control is our reactions. When we are able to train our minds to remain in the present moment, to see the situation for how it currently is and make judgements and decisions based on this reality – rather than a perceived or feared reality, we will be able to let go of the fears, doubts and worries, and take charge of what is truly important – our own peace and sense of wellbeing.
Accept – and allow – your FEELINGS
You may have been brought up to believe that certain feelings are ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ and should, therefore, be suppressed or denied. Yet accepting, and then allowing, our feelings is a fundamental component of loving ourselves. Feelings and emotions usually come upon us for good reason and can be suppressed for only so long. If we can allow ourselves the time to feel what we are feeling, the emotion will soon flow right through us, eventually release, and save us from repeated heartache in the future. When the feeling comes, do your best not to label it (or yourself) as wrong or bad. Sit with it, process it, and then let it go.
Practice regular SELF-CARE
How long has it been since you made yourself a priority? What better time than now to start thinking about yourself? This step is super important in helping us to love and value ourselves. DO THESE THINGS: Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Eat the right things. Don’t drink too much alcohol. Make a little time for exercise each day. Make a little more time for mindfulness or meditation. Acknowledge (and write down) the things in your life that are going right, and that you are grateful for.
Allow yourself some JOY and FUN
When we are doing something which serves no other purpose than finding joy or having fun, our worries are naturally suspended for a period. Our minds are freed up a little from the usual clutter and concerns, and due to this, it is very possible that we will find answers to the problems that have been plaguing us when we are in this state. Whatever it is that you find fun, that makes you laugh and feel good, just do it. And remember, the best things in life are free – you shouldn’t have to look too far to find a little joy.
None of us ever really know what’s around the corner for us – life can have an annoying habit of throwing curveballs at the moments we least expect it. Yet there is little doubt that those of us who know how to love and value ourselves, and make a regular habit of doing so, will fare a whole lot better when the next curveball comes along. So, what are you waiting for?
Shona Dee is a divorced mother and writer from Australia.
After surviving the pain of the sudden and unexpected breakdown of her marriage, her passion now lies in supporting and empowering women to not only survive but THRIVE through change and upheaval – whatever the cause of that change and upheaval.
Shona works and writes primarily at ThrivingSistas.com – a site dedicated to supporting and empowering women as they navigate life’s changes and challenges. Her main passion is helping women realise that it IS possible to live life without unhappiness, bitterness or regret – regardless of previous struggle or upheaval.
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