This month, there has been a lot of emphasis on showing love to your partner, children and even your co-workers. Rarely, though, do we put as much effort into cultivating our relationship with ourselves.
As we prepare for spring, why not direct some of those loving thoughts, feelings and actions inwards? Here are some great suggestions for making yourself a priority.
Create a Gratitude Jar
Whether you buy a fancy jar at a craft store or clean out that jar of spaghetti sauce, you can create a wonderful little container for all the things for which you are grateful. Decorate it and then, whenever you feel grateful, write it down on a small piece of paper, fold it and put it in your jar. When you’re feeling low, you can read through all of your notes and be reminded of your blessings.
Most of us go through life worried that people are not going to like us for who we really are. We put a lot of effort into creating a persona that may change depending on who we interact with. One of the best things you can do is commit to being yourself every day at all times. You are unique – let the world see who you are!
Another thing that goes along with people-pleasing is pushing ourselves beyond our own limits in the interest of others. Be firm about what you are willing to do and learn to say no. Do not let someone else’s life overwhelm you. It’s tough enough to manage our own lives!
More and more research is showing the benefit of meditation. You can take a class, read books or download an app if you need help getting started but, once you commit, try to meditate for at least 10-15 minutes a day, working up to 30 minutes per day. Those who struggle with insomnia may benefit from meditating before bed.
Do you have skeletons in your closet that continue to loom over your head? Are you afraid of when the other shoe will drop? Are you enrolled in a program or working at a job that you absolutely hate? Is your marriage beyond repair? Get honest with yourself and the people around you. If all of these things are weighing on your mind, the best thing you can do is put them out in the open where they can no longer haunt you. You just may find that, regardless of the consequences, you are relieved to be living with authenticity.
Do What You Love
Each and every one of us has something that makes us positively giddy with happiness or provides us with a deep sense of fulfillment. It could be a hobby or a profession but, whatever it is, make the decision to live a life filled with doing the things that you love. You will wonder why you waited so long!
We all make mistakes and, depending on the circumstances, it can be really difficult to move past them – even if other people have offered their forgiveness. Imagine what you would say to someone else and say those things to yourself. You cannot change the past, you clearly are remorseful and you are subject to downfalls of being human just like everyone else.
Trust Your Gut
At one time or another, we have been faced with a decision or situation in which our gut has sounded the alarm but we chose to do something else anyway. Usually, we end up regretting our choice and saying, “I knew this was a bad idea.” Consider trying to trust your instincts more often than not and see if it has a positive impact on your life. At the very least, you will be able to say that you have no regrets.
Work Through Issues
Take a look at how you live your life and how you talk to yourself and pinpoint any areas where you need improvement. Make a plan and tackle these issues head-on. If you have deep-seated or stubborn issues that you cannot work through on your own, consider seeing a therapist. Letting go of old wounds can be extremely liberating.