|Photo by Matheus Ferrero.|
The saying "fake it 'til you make it" is both great advice and a kind of cruel framework that keeps us from asking for help or showing weakness. In general, the world would be a much better place if we weren't so afraid to let each other know when we aren't quite on top of things, am I right?
But! Here is a great place that faking it can actually help you make it: when you're learning to love yourself.
Here's how: when you are doing something, anything really, do it as if you love yourself.
Eat like you love yourself. Exercise like you love yourself. Get ready for bed like you love yourself. Get up and get ready for work as if you love yourself. Choose holidays like you love yourself. Make plans with friends like you love yourself. Choose clothes like you love yourself. Plan your future like you love yourself. (Oooh, that last one is really hitting home for me, how about you?)
What does that even mean? Chances are it will be different for you than it is for me, but for me, it means two things:
1) Doing things that feel good.
If I get dressed like I love myself, I'm not going to wear clothes that are uncomfortable or binding or don't feel like "me." If I get ready for bed like I love myself, I am going to add lavender essential oil to my moisturizer so it's that much nicer to put on and read a book in bed for a bit before falling asleep.
I will also eat food that is truly enjoyable to consume, go on holidays places I want to visit, prioritize time with friends who invigorate me, and choose physical activities that make me feel great about moving my body.
2) Doing things that are good for me.
Getting ready for bed like I love myself also means brushing and flossing my teeth (and according to my dentist, now also using mouth wash, is it never enough with them?) and doing it at an earlier hour so that I get enough sleep. It means choosing food that is not only enjoyable to eat but has nutritional value. It means making sure I do that fun exercise, even when I don't feel like it.
It's the parenting combo of loving indulgence while also having firm boundaries and discipline where needed.
The best part is that you can often combine the 'feels good' and 'good for' parts into one! For example, I love eating a hefty breakfast in the morning. I used to just make a cheesy egg scramble every day, but then I realized that if I threw some veggies into the mix I would get my delicious meal AND some vegetables in my diet. Two-in-one!
It's as if I love myself.
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