by Susie Kuse
Starting on Black Friday, we will be providing you with words of empowerment and encouragement from the strong women we love, and positive affirmations you can use daily.
We’re sharing three ideas here to help you make the most of those affirmations and positive words.
The holiday season can be a mixed blessing. Of course, there’s the joy, excitement, and tidings of good cheer. It’s a great time to catch up with people you haven’t seen in a while, or only see at this time of year.
But there can also be loneliness, stress and depression. Family fighting, your over-packed to-do list, missing people who are gone.
Before you fall into that this year, we'd like to offer some help. Here are three ways you can stop any negative self-talk. And allow the positive affirmations and words of encouragement we share help you maintain your sanity this season.
The idea is that we need to value ourselves more. Get centered, and remember that we are the most important person in our lives. Not from a selfish point of view. We just can’t take care of others if we don’t take care of ourselves. Just like the airline flight attendants caution at the start of every safety review - put your own oxygen mask on before you help others.
So here is your holiday “oxygen mask”. Three simple practices you can start right now, today, to help you maintain a sense of calm, a sense of worth, and a feeling of happiness this season. And maybe next year too.
Have Gratitude - For Yourself
Do you start each day with a gratitude journal? Many of us do. I like the 5 Minute Journal app on my phone. It starts my day with things I’m grateful for, things I will do to make today great, and a daily affirmation or message to myself.
I get a chance to review at night, noting things that made today amazing, and what I could have done to make the day even better.
This morning and evening ritual - 5 minutes for myself - really helps to focus the day, put things in perspective, and keep me on track. And it builds appreciation, since you are looking for positive things every day. Finding positivity is like flexing a muscle. The more you do it, the stronger it gets.
But how often do you write down something you are grateful for about yourself? It’s so easy to be thankful for the people or things in your life - and completely leave out the things you appreciate about yourself.
Take a moment, right now, and write down just ONE THING you appreciate about yourself. Is it your sense of humor? Your hard-earned wisdom? Your smile? The amazing cup of coffee you make better than any you can buy?
Now start your gratitude journal each morning with one thing you appreciate about yourself. Repeat this to yourself throughout the day. Set an alarm on your phone or use your timer to remind you every few hours.
Connect With Your Senses
Whenever you can, make your next step one that lets you connect with your senses. Your body is loaded with sensory capacity. But our minds can race so fast that we forget to connect with our body. Or we may have pain somewhere, and that’s all we can feel in our body.
Grounding yourself physically can help you reconnect with your body and bring you into the present moment. It’s that mindfulness, that being in the present, that can help us throughout the day.
The best way to ground yourself is outside in bare feet. But unless you’re camping, you may want to do this inside. Start when you get up, placing both feet on the floor, and notice everything that you feel through your feet. You can use tree pose or mountain pose, or just stand.
As you stand up, center yourself and focus on your heart. I like to imagine an energy beam running from my feet to the center of the earth, and up through my body to the sun. (No judging!)
Now take a moment to pause and listen. Is it the fan running? The dog snoring? Birds chirping?
Place your hands on your belly, and feel yourself breathe deeply. Feel your heartbeat. Can you smell anything?
Just a moment or two here will help you bring yourself into the present. It will provide a brief rest from the worries and stress of the rest of the day.
You can do this anytime you feel like you need a short break. Then return to your day with renewed energy and focus.
Talk Yourself Into Seeing Your Value
Our stream of self-talk is ongoing. Many of us don’t even realize it’s there. But acknowledging it, and then knowing we have control over it, can change our lives for the better.
It’s so easy to catch ourselves in the mirror first thing in the morning and think, “Whoa look at those puffy eyes!” or “Wow I look tired!”.
How easy is it to give ourselves a hard time over really simple things, like spilling a drink? “How clumsy I am!”, you’ll think. Or for forgetting something as you’re rushing out the door - “What an idiot!”.
There’s so much negativity around us, it’s easy to be down on ourselves. Almost constantly.
You have to look past all that, and find something you value about yourself.
When you look in the mirror in the morning, instead of criticizing, take a deep breath. Now find one thing, however tiny, that you value in yourself. It can be something about your appearance, something you do, a talent you have, a task you do well. Just set yourself up for positivity by noticing something positive.
And say it out loud to yourself! “ I am darn good at _______” or “Wow, _____ looks good today!”
You’ll feel your positivity and appreciation rise, and the day will look brighter.
Make that into an affirmation for yourself today. We will provide you with powerful words of empowerment and positive affirmations this holiday season. You can (and should!) use those to create positivity in your life. But creating your own affirmation or mantra will be even more powerful for you.
Spending even a few moments seeing the good in yourself each day will carry over into everything you do. It will become a force field to shield you from the negativity and stress you encounter. Use it! Enjoy it!
And let us know how you value yourself every day on instagram or facebook. See you there!