Sunday, 14 February 2016

Your Best Body: Self-Compassion

      Hello my lovelies! Happy Singles Awareness Day. I hope you all are having a great day. I am for sure. My friends and I saw How To Be Single yesterday which was the perfect way to celebrate yet another holiday where I'm single. On another note, I'm back in a boot cast for a few weeks because I've been working on balancing on demi-pointe and my sesamoid bones decided to swell up. Lots of time for cross-training though. 
        Anyways, on to today's post, in the spirit of Febuary being the month of love I thought I'd write a post that is not a relationship-love post. And as I am famous for super long posts, make sure to get get comfortable with a cuppa and enjoy!

        Buddha says, “If you’re compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” Loving and being compassionate towards yourself can be very difficult, especially towards the end of high school and throughout college because you’re approaching adulthood and there are so many stress factors within that new world. In the spirit of the month about love, I thought I would share a list of ways to practice self-compassion and some of the billions of reasons why you should love yourself.

Before I begin, here are ten questions to ask yourself about self-love.

1. What does self-love mean to me?
2. How can I benefit from giving myself love?
3. In what ways can other people in my life benefit from my self-love?
4. Do I treat myself the way I treat other people?
5. Do I look for ways to nuture myself daily?
6. Am I self-depreciating and/or self-destructive?
7. Am I friends with myself?
8. Do I always put my needs and desires last? If so, how does this affect me?
9. What three self-loving deeds can I do for myself today?
10. Have I forgiven myself of my flaws, failures and limitations?

Now, first of all, you must know that self-compassion comes from being gentle with yourself. Give yourself a break when you’re having a bad day. Know that it’s okay, not to be okay. Life isn’t always kittens and cotton candy. Pamper yourself weekly in the form of a sweetly scented bubble bath, soothing music, a good exfoliation, a renewing facial and a mani/pedi. Get dressed up for no reason. Go out and have fun instead of hiding at home with Netflix and your pets. Take walks and enjoy the beauty of the world around you. Wear what you feel comfortable in. Do more of what makes Y-O-U happy. Volunteer. Sing. Draw. Sculpt. Bake. Act. Dance. It’s your life so you owe it to yourself to be compassionate and love yourself. 

Here are five simple strategies for self-compassion.

1. Consider how you’d treat someone else
The simplest thing you can do, is to imagine what you’d do if someone you cared about came to you after failing or getting rejected. What would you say to that person? How would you treat them? Now, next time you fail at something or get rejected, treat yourself the way you'd treat a friend who's dealing with whatever you are in this moment in time.

2. Watch your language
You may be so used to criticizing yourself that you don’t even realize that you’re doing it. So it helps to pay particular attention to the words you use to speak to yourself. If you wouldn’t say the same statements to someone you care about, then you’re being self-critical.

3. Comfort yourself with a physical gesture
Kind physical gestures have an immediate effect on our bodies, activating the soothing parasympathetic system. Specifically, physical gestures “get you out of your head and drop you into your body,” which is important since “the head loves to run away with storylines.” For instance, she suggested putting your hands over your heart or simply holding your arm. Any gesture will do.

4. Memorize a set of compassionate phrases
Whenever you find yourself saying, “I’m horrible,” it helps to have a few phrases at the ready. Pick statements that really resonate with you. Combining that with a physical gesture; like hands over your heart, is especially powerful, Here's one I like.

This is a moment of suffering.
Suffering is part of life.
May I be kind to myself in this moment?
May I give myself the compassion I need?

The answer to those questions is always YES! 

5. Practice guided meditation
Meditation helps to retrain the brain, This way, self-compassionate gestures and self-soothing become more natural. The apps Simply Being, Happify (my personal fave) and ISleepEasy are amazing. 

Self-love is not easy, this I know. I am constantly being critical of myself. Am I dancing hard enough? Am I doing my very best in school? Am I being a good daughter? A good sister? A good (girl) friend? Am I being a good person? The answer, once again, is a resounding YES. As long as I'm putting my effort into everything I do and that I'm upholding my personal morals and believes, then yes I am a good person.  

And if you need more reasons to love yourself here are TWENTY of them. You're welcome. 

1. You are 150% unique. There will never (ever) be anyone just like you. You’re like the hope diamond (only waaaaaaay more sparkly)!
2. You’re resilient as hell! There’s nothing in life you can’t overcome. No problem you can’t find a solution for.
3. You feel. That’s right, you have an emotional vocabulary and you’re not afraid to use it (for good)!
4. You have dreams, endless, beautiful dreams. And you haven’t stopped believing in them (even if it sometimes feels like you have).
5. You’re grateful. You know that you wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for all the glory and pain of the past. You acknowledge that and how it’s shaped you into the amazing person you are today.
6. Your kindness to others. From the times you volunteer, give your dollars to mighty causes, give some change to a soul in need or help the older woman cross the street – your kindness is bountiful and changes lives.
7. You’re open to growing. You’re not afraid to work through the hard stuff. You want to be the best version of you possible!
8. You are creative. Whether you’re a musician, a writer, a graphic designer, an accountant, a filmmaker or a landscape designer – there is art in what you do and how you do it. 
9. You show up. Yep, you do. You show up for your life, for your friends, your family, your job, your pets, yourself. You show up. Kudos to you my friend!
10. Your brainiac smarts. It didn’t take a Harvard MBA for you to be whip smart like you are. Baby, you were born that way.
11. Your faith which gets you through the rough patches. Your belief that in the end, it’ll be ok (even when you’re not sure you really do believe).
12. Your vulnerability. From the moment that you stood on stage alone with a microphone, to the time you cried in front of your boss, to the tenderness you express with loved ones – you are vulnerable. And vulnerability is strength.
13. Your story, which is what makes you uniquely you. You have a story, and every time you tell it, you give others permission to tell theirs. Bravo!
14. Your senses of sight, smell, sound, touch, taste and intuition are finely tuned and always available.
15. Your choices. You make them every single day, lots of them. And they’ve got you to where you are!
16. Your presence. Just you being here, on the planet is a gift to us all. Just you being here in this moment, reading these words, savoring your life, is a gift to yourself.
17. Your hair. Your body. Your eyes. Your stomach. Your nose. Your limbs. Your mouth. Your toes.  All of you is gorgeous and worthy of heaps of love.
18. Your ability to sink really low. It might not feel like that’s worth celebrating, but your lowest of low’s are what enable you to reach the highest of high’s.
19. The way you defend the ones you love. You don’t stand for no crap. And you will protect the ones you love – always. Always.
20. The fact that you are alive and healthy with food on your table and a roof over your head. Some people would do anything to have those things. 

If you are interested in purchasing a workbook about self-love and self-compassion here is one I bought recently and really enjoy. 
Love Yourself, Heal Your Life

And there you have it. Ways to show yourself compassion and reasons to love yourself. Please enjoy this dance I did a few weeks ago on self-love and self-compassion as this is something I've struggled with (but then again, I'm positive every teenage girl has at some point). Song is Save My From Myself by Christina Aguilera. As always, make sure to give this post a +1 on Google+ if you liked it, share it with people you know who may benefit from this and leave me a comment saying one thing you love about yourself. Have an awesome February everyone. I love you!

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  1. I love this! I am certainly going to start watching how I criticise my body so thanks!
    Chloe ♡
    i love the amount of effort you put into your posts x

    1. Thanks. I'm really glad you liked it. I always go with quality over quantity of my posts. I'm not going to publish something until I am happy with how it looks. And I'm constantly reviewing old posts from when I first started my blog and deleting them (sometimes I save the content for a future post).


  2. I definitely need to take better care of myself, this was such an inspiring post xx

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I'm so glad you liked it. Means a lot to me.


  3. This was is inspirational, I loved it! And I loved the pictures too x