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 🙂
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!