Learning to love ourselves

How often do you see yourself or others saying I wish I could but … or I wish I looked like them … or they have it all why can’t I …

This plagues us on a daily basis, comparison and it robs us of happiness, joy, engagement, being present and learning to be our true selves.

Just tonight I re watched our 80s burlesque routine video and thought I can’t watch this I look huge! Followed closely by who do you think you are doing this and then it spirals and affects every part of life, from how I enjoy dance, climbing, feeling great post my boudoir shoot on the weekend and more, when that happens I’m likely to turn to something delicious to fill the void that these thoughts have brought about make me feel better - but we all know that doesn’t work!

So instead, I’m switching to writing, writing about these feelings and not letting them derail how far I’ve come this year. I’ll allow myself to feel how they make me feel and acknowledge that they are there, give myself a hug and a pep talk and move forward.

It’s hard to acknowledge that I have an issue in this area, that what I see in the mirror and what the camera see is two different things, that I battle with my relationship with food and that my hypothyroid and Hashimotos makes that a daily battle.

This is where this year I’ve decided that along with being outside my comfort zone, it’s about learning to love who I am and if I can’t do that at 40 when the heck am I going to do it. Since starting burlesque at the start of the year I’ve been challenged on who I am, how I see myself and then being uncomfortable and vulnerable, and that makes me realise that we can’t grow if we aren’t going through life and being challenged, stretched, given a goal or target and we sure as heck aren’t going to love ourselves any more, or be happier when we hit that goal, if we don’t do the work along the way.

Tips that I’ve been trying to live by…

  1. Be kind - if we aren’t kind to ourselves then how can we expect others to be

  2. Practice self love - this can be in so many ways, and ties into #1… if we can’t love ourselves then what’s the point

  3. Find hobbies that challenge and stretch you - these will assist in breaking down walls, beliefs, make you look at yourself in a mirror and try new things

  4. Routine - a cup of tea before bed, meal prepping, yoga in the morning, watching the sunrise, whatever it is have a routine that helps prepare you for the times of boredom when you look for old habits

  5. Exercise - this doesn’t have to be 2 hours at the gym, we are all different and what serves one doesn’t another, for me this year it is about dance, climbing, hiking, yoga, finding exercise that fills my soul and makes my muscles work

  6. People - surround yourself with people who challenge and lift you up - in a good way - if they don’t do that then they need to be removed from your circle

  7. Relationships - like #6 but this time with food, alcohol or both, I know that my body can’t handle too much alcohol - I’ll put on 2kg just having a night drinking - so my aim is to stay away from it, or just learn to have one really amazing chardonnay. As then that relationship with alcohol flows into food, and for a day or so after I’m just trying to make myself feel better with all the wrong foods and that then compounds… equals I can’t win.

  8. Health - get the tests done, make sure your bloods are good and see a doctor - I prefer an Integrated Doctor over the normal GPs - to get the right balance of medicine and herbals, but look at health from a holistic view, don’t just solve the symptom but look underlying cause and fix that.

  9. Nature - escape the city… go for a hike, alone or with friends, but just reconnect with the earth. We aren’t made to be in the city 24/7.

  10. Write - write or read, but look at how you can verbalise and record how you’re feeling.

This is definitely a journey, but one that needs to be done. We need to love ourselves, to grow and realise that even with our flaws we are amazing humans with people around who deserve that we love ourselves as much as they love us.