At this point we've all heard about self-care and how important it is. But as we know it’s a lot easier said than done. Finding “me-time” can seem like the most daunting task, sometimes even adding additional stress. We search for that “perfect” balance of caring for ourselves whilst also caring for others and our daily responsibilities. But it doesn’t have to be perfect. The balance doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to fit into anyone else’s idea of what self-care is. To some, self-care is waking up early and going on a jog. Whilst for others sleeping in is self-care. Self-care looks differently for everyone. Most importantly, our self-care needs to be filled with self-compassion or self-love. Show yourself love. Be kind, understanding forgiving toward yourself. Which can be a lot harder than setting aside 10 minutes a day to stretch. We spend our days supporting and showering others with love that we forget to show ourselves even a fraction of that support and love.
Ways to practice self-compassion and moving toward self-love:
Be present. Often times we find ourselves caught up in negative talk. We are carried away by the inner critic that tells us that we aren’t worthy. We tell ourselves we aren’t smart enough, liked enough, attractive enough, skinny enough, etc. It can be isolating and exhausting to live in this perpetual space of negativity. So, when you find yourself being swept away by the inner critic take a moment and pause. Take deep breaths and connect to your breath. Ask yourself: when did this inner dialogue begin? Has it helped me in the past? Has it motivated you?
Talk to your partner. More than likely you’re not alone with these difficult thoughts and feelings. So many of us have this inner critic reminding us that we are less than, not worthy and should be ashamed for whom we are. Ask your partner if they too experience these moments of self-doubt. How do they try and support themselves in difficult moments?
Be patient. The core element to self-compassion is to be patient with yourself. Be understanding. Love yourself through the good and the bad. Especially the bad. Allow yourself to make mistakes and to be imperfect. After all, in the imperfect moments we tend to learn the most about ourselves. When you make a mistake try and remind yourself that it was a mistake and that it doesn’t’ define you. Doesn’t make you inept or unable. It was simply that, a mistake.
When individuals show themselves compassion, they’re easily able to recognize when in their own relationships they aren’t being shown the respect and appreciation that they deserve. When you’re unable to show yourself kindness and forgiveness then it is that much easier for those in your life to do the same. Challenge yourself to practice self-compassion this week. Try and catch yourself when the negative talk begins. Remember to show yourself kindess and forgiveness– you deserve it.
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