We are suddenly living in times of uncertainty and many of us are feeling unbalanced right now. Here are some tools you can use to help yourself feel grounded again.
Self-love might be the furthest thing on your mind right now and you might even be questioning why we’re even talking about it. Yet, it’s in times like these, that you need it the most.
The world is changing around you. Every day, the media reports deadly statistics and the growing numbers of the pandemic. It’s hardly a positive place that we are in right now and it can provoke a lot of anxiety and stress. This is totally normal and totally ok. Please acknowledge that and stop beating yourself up about feeling lost and confused. The world is in chaos. It’s normal to feel in chaos with it.
However, this makes it even more important for you to practice self-love. Being stuck in a negative place like this for long can cause havoc both for your body and mind. You’ve got to do your best to break the spiral. How? By practising self-love. Religiously. Every single day. Why? Because self-love breeds calm and contentment. It lowers your anxiety and stress, and helps you feel more in control. In a world where a lot is out of your control, it’s nice to know something is in your hands.
Self-love comes in many shapes and forms, and all shapes and forms are equally valid. As long as they make you feel more love and compassion, they’re self-love.
But, to help you get started, here are some tips especially relevant for a time like today.
1. Acknowledge How You Feel
Trying to deny, hide or fight how you actually feel will only make you feel worse. Being honest with yourself, on the other hand, will calm you down. Simply saying out loud, or to yourself, “I feel anxious”, will give the feeling less power over you and make you feel like you’ve got this. Also, saying “I feel anxious” rather than “I am anxious” will remind you that it is just an emotion that eventually will pass and that it is not a permanent state of your being.
2. Drop the Pressure
Now is not the time to force yourself to get uber-productive, start a new weight-loss diet, or write that book. The world is going mad and it’s normal to feel all kinds of things about it. It’s also normal for you to struggle to focus and get things done. As per the previous point, simply allow yourself to feel what you feel and do what you can. If that is very little, that is ok. If that is a lot, that is fine too. Trust your intuition and creativity and let them tell you what and how much you can do right now.
3. Practice Positive Self-Talk
Beware of your mind chatter. If you hear it, ask yourself, “Is this something I would say to my best friend?”. If the answer is no, ask yourself, “What loving thing would I say to my friend to show my support for her?” – and then say that to yourself. You can easily become your own worst enemy and that is the last thing you need right now. Remember to be your own best friend and only use words of love.
4. Limit Your Media Intake
It’s easy to get even more addicted to news and social media today. But you have to stop yourself from this. Otherwise, your mood will be dictated by what you consume and your mind will be cluttered with negativity. This is not a loving thing to do. Instead, try to start and end your day without any media intake. For me, that’s the first and last 30 minutes of every day. Furthermore, limit how often you check your social media and the news, and give yourself a time limit for how long you’re allowed to do it. Make sure your feed isn’t all doom and gloom. If it is, add more inspiring, positivity inducing accounts to your stream. You deserve it.
5. Take Good Care of Your Body
The uncertainty around you can cause havoc in your body. That’s why it’s more important than ever to take extra good care of it. Move it daily however you can, get plenty of sleep, eat nutritiously, and hydrate with plenty of water. All of this will also help your immune system to stay strong.
6. Practice Self-Care Daily
On top of the basic things you do to stay healthy and fit, also practice specific forms of self-care. These are things like taking a long hot bath, having a mindful walk in nature, practicing mindfulness, or doing a beauty ritual on your face or body. All of these help you to feel good about yourself, which in turn helps you to feel calmer and more content. Finally, this also reminds you that you are worthy of self-care and self-love.
Oh so simple but oh so powerful. Taking long, deep breaths are the best possible remedy for stress and anxiety. They are scientifically proven to lower your heart rate, relax the muscles in your body, and refocus your mind. My favourite is Dr Andrew Weil’s 4-7-8 method. That means inhaling for four counts, holding for seven, and exhaling for eight. If this feels hard at the start, do each bit for shorter counts and work your way up to 4-7-8. This is also an effective breathing technique to use for insomnia if you struggle to sleep.
Finally, remind yourself that you alone are enough. More than enough. And you have nothing to prove to anyone. Especially in a time like today.
Take a page from Kristin Neff’s book, which says,
“Unlike self-criticism, which asks if you’re good enough, self-compassion asks what’s good for
Reconnect with what’s good for you right now. Reconnect with your self-love.
For more help on self-love, sign-up to Susanna’s The Self-Love Booster course. It’s 33% off all of April.