Nine Ways to ….be Kinder to Yourself
In times of uncertainty it’s worth taking a little time to just calm and re-energise yourself
Article by Denise Rabor Photograph by Julia Caesar
Let’s admit something to each other: the unknown can instil fear and anxiety in most of us, especially as we struggle to understand the events that take place around us over which we have little or at least limited control. I don’t think that any of us is in doubt that the year that shall remain nameless threw a lot of disconcerting events at us, so much so that we started begging the new year to arrive, hysterically running toward it like lost children who’ve just found their parents in the crowded department store.
Now another thing that I feel I should admit is that I love quotes, so here is one of my favourite quotes by Margaret Drabble “When nothing is sure everything is possible”. I bring it in just as a reminder that it’s highly unlikely that any of us are suddenly going to develop the superpower of being able to control global outcomes anytime soon, so the next best thing could be to work on equipping ourselves to be better able to not just roll with the punches but to actually thrive and grasp the endless possibilities that will surely come our way if we have the inner strength to raise our heads above the parapet to see them.
We all know how easy it is to allow looking after ourselves to slide to the bottom of a ‘to do’ list when we are busy working, achieving and managing our lives, especially when we feel the effects of stress, anxiety and fatigue: ironic isn’t it that just when we need self-love the most is when we are too stressed to see it, but equally we can all relate to the positive benefits of taking a little time to look after ourselves. Being kind to yourself is about more than just going to the gym or eating and sleeping, it’s about acknowledging that you need to put your wellbeing at the centre of all that you do because unless you’re operating fully, you’re not going to be able to thrive in challenging times nor will you be able to truly maximise all of the amazing potential that stands before you!
So here are nine Wow Beauty ‘tried and tested’ tips to help you along.
1 Number one on this list is ‘listen to you’ and trust your intuition, that inner guide that is always there to point you in the right direction for you. I know, I know, you’ve heard it all before but although you know it, how many times in the last let’s say…six months have you avoided trusting your inner voice and are still regretting it now? We know this, and yet sometimes we allow ourselves to be persuaded away from simply listening to our inner voice. In uncertain times, when nothing is sure we have no choice but to keep doing what we do, follow our vision and to intuitively find our path.
2 Practice self-compassion: setbacks actually serve to humanise us, they humble us and when we accept them as temporary glitches in our journey, they motivate us to push forward. Be kind to yourself and accept that you cannot be perfect and actually, perfection is not the goal. Self-compassion drives confidence, it can increase our motivation as it cushions us and enables us to move forward after setbacks. It also encourages us to practise more Positive self-talk, which many of us could benefit from right now: instead of beating yourself up over what you haven’t done, applaud yourself for what you have accomplished.
3 Make time for mindfulness: a few minutes a day might be all that you can manage, but it’s also all that you might need. A mindful moment allows you to connect with yourself away from all of the elements that are competing for your time & attention and at the very least you’ll feel calmer and clearer. If you are new to mindfulness, there are several apps that you can use to help you on your way.
4 Take regular Breathe breaks– it’s amazing how often we forget to just breathe… I often find myself unconsciously holding my breath and this reduces the oxygen to the brain and leads to the build-up of stress hormones….it’s easy… just breathe.
5 Listen to your body. A) keep hydrated throughout the day …it helps brain function and can help alleviate brain fog, plus it’s great for keeping your skin moisturised and supple, great for detoxing. B) reduce your intake of salt and sugar C) increase your intake of greens and antioxidant foods
6 Walk – in your efforts to get fitter why not start by promising yourself a daily walk? (It’s not always about complicating your busy life with joining the gym) It’s one of the simplest forms of cardio and one of the most effective! 30 minutes a day does wonders….for the brain and the body.
7 Connect with your cheerleaders, you know those people in your life who support you, who believe in you and who make you laugh out loud! We get so busy that we often don’t make time to talk to friends, family…. and it’s often these relationships that help us to remain balanced and authentic, especially in times like these.
And while I’m on the subject, why not make an effort to connect with new people.
8 Trust that you are on the right path for you. The less energy that you waste trying to control the uncontrollable, the less anxiety about the future you are likely to experience and ergo the more energy you’ll have to pursue your goals.
9 Live: don’t wait – I guess this one speaks for itself really. It’s great to plan things for the future, but it’s also very liberating to just start doing things sooner, like now tomorrow or next week after all as the saying goes “Time and tide wait for no man” (or woman).
Denise is a make-up artist and founder of http://w-o-wbeauty.com/