Wishing you health and happiness as always,
How often do you compare yourself to other people? This time of year can be a time that we can be extremely tough on ourselves. Reflecting on the year that past and setting ourself a mountain of goals to achieve in the year ahead which can be overwhelming. Whatever my goals are I always put my Physical health, mental health and wellbeing at the top, why? Because if I don’t look after these aspects of my life I won’t achieve much else.
What is it that you ultimately want to achieve? Consider all the goals you may have related to your health, fitness and wellbeing. What lifestyle, career, relationship or spiritual goals have you contemplated? How will those goals get you where you want to go? How will your life look when you achieve all your goals?
Often when goal setting we will compare our lives to other peoples. If you’re constantly telling yourself that other people are fitter, more successful or “better” than you, it’s pretty rough on your self-esteem and can have far-reaching consequences for your wellbeing. I know, I have been there myself.
These negative comparisons are something that lots of us do on a very regular basis and it’s also one of the big reasons why we struggle so much with the idea of self-love. When you’re constantly comparing yourself unfavourably to other people, it’s really hard to appreciate yourself and see yourself in a positive light. Here’s why it can be so unhealthy to compare yourself to anyone else and how you can move away from doing it.
It’s not a fair comparison
When we compare ourselves to other people, we tend to think the worst of ourselves while playing up the best in them. And that’s hardly a fair comparison! It’s easy to forget that outside appearances can be very deceptive and in all truth, you’re probably only seeing what other people want you to see and not the actual reality of their life. Just like you, they have good and bad days and plenty of flaws that you can’t see from the outside looking in. Remember – no one is perfect!
We’re all unique
There’s another super important reason why it’s not helpful to compare yourself to other people. You’re completely unique and there’s no else like you out there. This is why it’s a waste of energy and very unproductive to try to compare yourself to other people. Their path is going to be different to yours, after all. Just because they’re having some success in their life, don’t assume that it means you’re failing in any way.
You’re on a different journey and one that isn’t going to be a direct comparison to anyone else’s. Recognising this can be a game-changer for helping yourself to not compare yourself negatively to other people.
Compare yourself to yourself
If you’re going to compare yourself to anyone, use yourself as the benchmark. Trying to be the best version of yourself and to be as healthy as you can from a physical and emotional point-of-view is much more productive and you’re a lot more likely to practice self-love if you go into it with this perspective. Celebrate your personal progress towards these type of goals and make other people irrelevant. This is your personal and individual journey and while some people may have a role to play in supporting and inspiring that, it’s super important to make sure that no one else is the end goal. It’s all about becoming a better version of yourself, not someone else!
Try thinking of life as a journey and not as a competition with other people. This can be hard when you’re surrounded by and bombarded with adverts telling you that your life would be amazing (just like the person in the advert) if you buy a certain product or behave in a particular way but taking a step back and recognising that this isn’t going to be the case can change your whole perspective.
Instead of competing with other people in your mind, switch your focus to yourself and what makes you unique. Self-love isn’t something you’re likely to achieve overnight but making it a goal and commitment to accept and value who you are is a super important first step.
Gratitude is quickly becoming a recognised form of self-care and there’s a very good reason for this. Taking the time to incorporate gratitude into your life and make it a regular habit encourages you to be more appreciative of the good things in your life, especially the finer details that are easy to gloss over. Gratitude has also been heavily linked to positive thinking and optimism about health and wellbeing so there’s a lot to be said for this practice! One of the easiest ways for me to be more grateful involves listing a few things every day that I am thankful for. From a self-care and self-love perspective, I can extend this to things that specifically involve my skills and good qualities so that I become more thankful and appreciative of who I am and what I bring to the table. Over time, it will become second nature to focus in on your good points and prioritise them.
If this is the year you want to focus on your own health and wellbeing why not come and join me and lots of like-minded people doing my 30-Day Jump Start New Year, New You Challenge. We will be focusing on ditching a few pounds, managing cravings, finding the perfect workout for you, portion control and mindful eating. To read more about this challenge click here.
I hope you can join us,
P.S Use voucher code NEWYOU10 for £10 off 🙂
Do you tend to put a strong focus on what’s wrong in your life and rarely (or never! ) acknowledge the good parts? This is a major sign that you’ll benefit from changing your mindset to a more positive one that will help you to build better mental strength.
As you probably know from personal experience, negative thinking paves the way for stress, anxiety and other mental health problems. It also lowers your expectations if you’re constantly expecting the worst case scenario to occur.
How are you doing when it comes to self care and taking care of your own needs? If you still feel that it’s selfish to focus on yourself rather than other people, this is another sign that it’s time to alter your mindset and make yourself more of a priority.
Putting yourself first sometimes is super important for your own health and wellbeing, especially when it comes to things like sleep and healthy eating. Self care also triggers a relaxation response, which can help to stop the stress response affecting your health. These days, we know that chronic stress and the inflammation it can trigger is a big factor in a lot of health issues. Self care can therefore be a lot more crucial than you might think and changing your mindset to reflect this can be one of the best things you can do for your health.
When things don’t go to plan, do you usually put the blame solely on yourself and refuse to recognise that other factors may be involved too? Excessive self-blame is linked to mental health problems, including depression. It’s also something that holds you back from being able to learn and grow from mistakes and experiences.
Instead of blaming yourself, try recognising that it’s time to shift your mindset towards self-acceptance and self-forgiveness instead. We all make mistakes and having a mindset that accepts this and looks for ways to use them in a positive way
Everyone worries now and again but if your worries are consuming you, you’ll definitely benefit from a mindset change.
A negative and anxious mindset can be very exhausting and it’s also very unproductive. A lot of the time, you’re worrying about things that will never happen or that you can’t change so it’s literally wasted energy. Finding ways to stop worrying about things you have no control over is super important for a more positive mindset. And for the things you might be able to change? Focus on what you could do to make that happen.
If you’re expecting things to happen without the right mindset, it’s usually going to end in frustration and disappointment. This is particularly true when it comes to happiness. We often expect happiness to just happen to us, usually in line with material things or other people. Expectations about who you should be and what other people expect from you can also super stressful.
Shifting your mindset to recognise that your expectations start with you can be a game changer as it helps you to feel that you have control over them. Experts have suggested that lowering your expectations can be a secret weapon in the road to happiness.
Have you noticed a shift in your sleep, appetite and mood lately? If this isn’t for the better, it’s another sign that your mindset could use a more positive stance.
A negative mindset can have an effect on your health so it’s probably no great surprise to know that negative changes in your routines can come about as a result of your mindset, especially if you don’t have a positive one. Negative thought patterns can affect your sleep patterns and mood, and can also lead to emotional eating.
Have a think about your biggest priorities in life. Maybe these focus on your health, happiness or family, for example. Now have a think about whether your life is really helping you to work towards your priorities. Were you surprised to recognise that your priorities and values don’t fit too well with how you’re living your life? It’s another sign that you’re in the right position to change your mindset and bring your life in line with your values.
When it’s done right, self-love can help to improve your mental wellbeing and stop mental health problems taking control. Practising self-love and self-care is an important part of my life. It helps me manage my anxiety, improves my mood and overal happiness. As a mum of young children we are often made to feel guilty about putting our own needs first, to be honest, it is imposable sometimes. For me, my children will always be my priority but it doesn’t mean to say I should stop taking care of myself. I was Christy before I was mum and she still deserves a break. To be the best mum I can be it’s important for me to take care of you myself too.
There can be a lot of confusion around self-love and what it really involves but it’s basically all about being kind to yourself. This can take a lot of different forms, some of which aren’t always obvious as self-love. Here are a few self-love practices that work for me and may work for you.
Eating Nourishing Foods
What you choose to nourish your body with is a form of self love. A “self love” diet helps you to feel better, gives you more energy and can even help you to avoid health problems.
Believing that you’re worthy of this kind of self care and nourishment is the first step to making a big commitment to your health and wellbeing. When you feel that you’re a truly worthy recipient of self love, you’ll automatically start putting your health at the center of everything, especially nutrition. This means choosing foods that are good for your body and that help you to feel fuller for longer and keep your blood sugar levels stable.
A self-love diet doesn’t mean totally depriving yourself though, just as long as you take the cues from your body and stop when you’re full. It is always about balance!
Being “In Your Zone”
Having “me” time is really important for getting in your zone, even if it’s just for short periods at a time. Even five minutes of quality time “in your zone” is an underrated way to practice self love. How you get there is a personal choice – some people use meditation, mindfulness or their favorite music, for example. Anything that helps you to be in the present and focus your mind counts for this one.
Being Grateful for What You Have
If you’re not showing yourself self love, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other people. This can be toxic for your mental health and is pretty much the opposite of self love. It can be a hard one to break if you’ve been in this mindset for a while but one way to do this involves gratitude.
Get into the habit of feeling grateful for all of the good things that you have in your life, whether that is health, a loving family or good friends. According to studies, writing in a gratitude diary at least once a week can help to make you feel happier, especially if you do it for around 15 minutes each time. Up it to three times per week and the results can be even better. The idea is that you list up to five things that you were grateful for on that particular day. This can be as simple as you like – in fact, being grateful for the simple things can work really well!
Having a Clear Out
Have a look around your home and see how many things you have that you don’t use anymore. For most of us, this is going to be more than you think! Clearing out anything you don’t need or use can be wonderfully therapeutic. A good rule of thumb is to throw out anything you haven’t used in the past year. Chances are, you’re not going to miss it too much if you’ve not used it for this long.
The theory behind this one is pretty simple and it’s all about getting rid of old things so that you can open the door to new alternatives. It can also help to cleanse your mind to this effect.
Walking in the Park
Getting closer to nature is a great way to practice mindfulness and a walk in the park is the perfect way to start doing this. Studies have shown that being in green spaces improves your mental health. If you live in a fairly built-up area, getting out to a park or other green space can be just what you need to clear your mind, especially if you combine it with mindfulness. Even poor mental health can potentially be improved with mindful walking.
Walks in the park also have the added bonus of bringing another self-care move into play – exercise! We all know about the “feel good” endorphins and other mental health benefits that exercise brings but walking in nature itself takes this up a notch. It helps to reduce anxiety and boost mood.
Getting out to your nearest park (or any green space if you don’t have one locally) can be a really underrated way to show yourself a bit more self love and help to keep your mental wellbeing in check.
What can you start doing today to help improve your own self-care? Share with me in the comments below or on my Facebook group NUTRITION MATTERS
Wishing you good health and happiness!
For busy women, self-care can feel like an unaffordable luxury. Self-care is often advertised as long weekends spent at the beach, a trip to the spa, or even hours spent on exercise. In reality, though, self-care can be anything (small or big) you do to give your body attention.
Which is why the following self-care tips won’t take more than 10 minutes of your time while still having a big impact on your body and mind.
Touch your toes and stretch
It’s easy to ignore the stress in our spines. But the truth of the matter is that when we spend long hours hunched over the computer, curled up on the couch or picking up after the kids, our posture and body take the backseat. It won’t take more than ten minutes to step out of your chair and touch your toes, but the stretching will do your aching joints and body some long-lasting good.
While you’re at it, stretch the rest of your body as well. Perhaps you can look up a yoga posture, or you have a stretching routine in mind already. Whether it is advanced or basic, any kind of stretching will keep your body functioning well despite periods of inactivity. Touch your toes, extend your arms and gear yourself up physically and mentally for whatever task is at hand.
Massage and moisturise
We tend to link massage and fancy lotions to a day at the spa, not many of us have the time or budget to indulge in frequent spa trips. But that’s okay because no masseuse will know your body and your preferences as well as you do!
Use a natural lotion such as organic coconut oil or avocado oil (don’t be afraid to indulge in your favourite) and rub it mindfully into your arms and shoulders, or even across your legs. Spread the cream or oil gently and thoroughly and use your hands to massage over your body across areas that you might not realise are aching. You might come across some sudden sore spots, it’s important to focus on those for a moment, rubbing in the lotion. You will be relaxed and energised and your skin will benefit greatly from the extra moisturising.
Phone a friend
At a time where connectivity options are abundant, it’s funny how disconnected we actually are. The troubles of everyday life can be exhausting and drain us of all the time and will to socialise beyond what is absolutely necessary. During our free time, there are personal things we need to tend to that make socialising take a back seat. But to truly care for ourselves, we need to nurture social and emotional aspects as well.
While it’s easy to pick up your phone and send a text, take ten minutes out of your day to chat with a friend or family member. You benefit just as much as they do. Simply talk about your day and maintain the feeling of being connected. Your support system can help relieve stress and help you to maintain a healthy mindset through your shared bond.
Drink two additional glasses of water today
Water is that little magic potion we all too often ignore: it relieves fatigue, clears skin, detoxes your body, improves digestion, and prevents cramps. And yet we often forget to hydrate, or hydrate so little we get headaches as a result. Not only will drinking two glasses of water help you hydrate, it will also give you much-needed time to get away from your technological devices and focus on your surroundings.
Drink the water slowly and savour the break from your work before you dive back into it. Take it in slow sips if you need to, and be sure to follow this tip regularly to met your daily requirement of H2O. Try to follow the sensation of the water as it trickles down your throat as this will help you take your mind off of the stress and daily chaos of your life for a few seconds. Not a big water fan? Add a little squeeze of fresh lemon or lime to add a touch of flavour. Better yet, grab a jug of water and put some sliced fruit such as strawberries and mint for a delightful way to get your water in.
Play with your pet or go for a walk
Whether it’s a furry friend or a tank full of fish, scientists have proven the health benefits of animals at every turn. A pet of your own means a faithful companion. And in addition to that spending time with a pet is a proven way to lower blood pressure and increase oxytocin levels.
The enjoyment from pets can be calming and repetitive motion of petting your companion (or even staring at a fish tank!) will help soothe you. Don’t have a pet? Go for a walk to your local park, just taking in the sights of other dogs and animals has the same impact on your wellbeing.
Self-care isn’t just about facials, eating your greens and getting your hair done. It’s also about the soul food that fuels you and the small things that make big impacts on your overall wellbeing. By practising these 5 tips, you get to spend 10 minutes away from whatever it is you do each day and you get to separate yourself from the chaos and stress of your daily life. There is so much more to achieving a happy healthy body and mind than diet and exercise!
If you would like to have a chat about how I can support you to achieve a healthy balanced lifestyle, then please book a free telephone consultation at a time that suits you best.
Wishing you health & happiness,