After talking to hundreds of women -- some of them my clients, some in my free challenges, others via email, some from winning a free coaching session -- I've concluded that every single one of us needs to cultivate just a little more self-kindness.
I coached a woman today who said if someone was saying to her what she was saying to me, she would wrap them up in a big bear hug and tell them to please stop being so hard on themselves.
And so it inspired me to write this blog post.
To inspire you to be just a little bit kinder to yourself and your body today, tomorrow, and the rest of this week (and to continue it with you forever... but hey, we're working on baby steps here!).
How to love your body just a little bit more:
1. Say something nice to yourself every time you pass by a mirror.
What's your typical reaction when you pass by a mirror? Probably some version of "Ugh, I look horrible. My thighs are enormous, my stomach is sticking out, and seriously... how can I still have adult acne?"
Imagine if your dialogue to yourself every single time you passed by a mirror was, "Hey gorgeous, you look amazing." (Even if you don't believe it at first... try it and see how it can shift your thoughts!)
What if every single time you saw your reflection you said something positive? I don't care if it's about your hair, your nail polish color, your jewelry, the way your eyes match your shirt, how nicely you match, etc., find SOMETHING to say that's positive. And say it every time you see yourself.
This exercise alone can seriously change your life. Try it and see.
2. Do something to nourish yourself.
Self-kindness and love starts with taking care of yourself. What makes you feel nourished and loved? For me, I feel taken care of when I go to a yoga class. I carve out time for myself, without technology, without obligations and without distractions. It's a gift of an hour and 15 minutes to be with myself.
How can you nourish yourself? Is it a massage? Time away from your kids to just sit and read a book? A walk in a park on a Sunday morning? Find something that makes you feel loved and taken care of and do it this week. This sends a message to your body that you ARE important enough to be nourished and nurtured.
Remember, you can't love something that you don't take care of. They are interchangeable. As you take care and nourish yourself, you'll naturally begin to love yourself more and more.
3. Move in a way that makes you feel alive.
I took a walk at lunch today and felt my whole perspective in life improve in about 20 minutes. The air was crisp and clear, the sun was shining, the snowcapped mountain peaks gleamed in the distance... I inhaled and ahhhh... suddenly I felt alive and invigorated.
Find something that makes you come alive this week. Whether it's dancing to a song in your room when no one is home, walking in the park after work, hitting up a Zumba class on your lunch break or a leisurely bike ride on a sunny day. Moving helps you feel grateful to have a body that allows you to move. Use your body in a way that makes you come alive and then allow the gratitude of having a body wash over you.
4. Remind yourself of this every day: I am enough, just as I am.
This is my favorite mantra of all time. You might not believe it the first time you say it. Or the 100th time you say it. But keep saying it. It'll start to sink in. And you can remind yourself of it whenever you need a boost of self-compassion and kindness.
This is crucial to being a little bit more loving to yourself. Knowing that you are enough, right now. Not when you lose 10 pounds or when your stomach is smaller.
You are enough NOW. Without having to change your jeans size, whittle your thighs down or make your stretch marks disappear. You, just as you've shown up today, are enough. Beginning to believe that is the first step in your journey towards kindness.