Spring has sprung in Cincinnati. Now might be a good time to revisit those New Year’s resolutions and recommit to self care. If you look back on the intentions you set in January, you might be kicking yourself a little bit. Have you given in to your old habits or given up on your new ones?
You might think beating yourself up will foster the motivation you need to get back on track. Research indicates, however, that you’re more likely to stay motivated if you swap out your inner voice’s critical tone with a tender voice of kindness.
Of course, this is easier said than done. You may be used to admonishing yourself for small missteps, and it takes practice to change the tune of your inner voice. Not only should you be offering yourself kindness, but you can make simplicity and self-care a part of your self-compassion practice.
As you stride into spring, you can invite self-compassion and self-care to be your companions by using these techniques:
Through self-compassion meditations, you can train your mind to treat yourself the way you would treat your friends. Meditation fosters mindfulness, which allows you to observe your self-critical thoughts without judgment.
Elisha Goldstein, PhD, founder of A Course in Mindful Living, recommends a visual cue to support your mindfulness and self-compassion practices. “We are completely interconnected with our environments, and our brains are constantly scanning our environments for input on decision-making. This is why many companies spend a large sum of money on design of their offices to influence how customers or employees feel. Visual cues can influence our brain’s implicit decision-making by bringing an idea or a feeling to mind. This feeling will then create energy for action.”
What is an example of a visual cue? Putting a screensaver on your computer reminding you to be nice to yourself.
Offer yourself kindness by taking the time to clean up your environments at home and work. Commit to giving something away every time you receive something new for the rest of the year. This commitment helps us feel lighter and opens up new space for the Universe to fill.
Uplift yourself by taking advantage of warmer weather to connect with nature. Whether hiking, practicing yoga outside, or simply listening to the sounds of nature, you’ll be filling your cup as you fill your lungs with fresh air. Our practice, Staunton Primary Care, has plans for an early summer wellness session which will include yoga and fitness boot camps right on site. Please check back on our site or social media in a few weeks for more information.
I know this is hard, but a big piece of wisdom is the art of saying “no.” Perhaps taking an inventory of your priorities and making cutbacks to them can help you get back on track with your 2019 intentions. Even when can’t-miss opportunities arise, it might be wise to stay the course and politely pass.
By turning to one or more of these simple self-compassion techniques, you might find yourself back on track. Remember, if you do not find yourself back on track, practice self-compassion and don’t be hard on yourself!