Monday, February 25, 2013

Hello, Gorgeous: 10 Tips for Loving Yourself!

My brother Cale and I are polar opposites. For starters, he was blessed with a beautiful olive complexion and sports a tan year round (without even trying!). Then there's me with my ghostly pale complexion. Nurses never have any trouble finding my veins for shots. But seriously, physical descriptions aside, we're also polar opposites in the personality department. While I was saving my allowance just for the pure joy of saving my allowance, Cale's was burning a hole the size of the Grand Canyon in his pocket, which provided me with the perfect opportunity to play banker and hike up the interest rates. Then while I would rush home after school to complete my homework (who does that?), Cale was rushing out the door to round up his neighborhood buddies for some good old fashioned after-school fun. Oh...and while I was busy setting goals and making serious life plans, Cale was busy on the couch... relaxing.

My little brother is a professional when it comes to taking care of himself. He doesn't take anything too seriously, and he allows his body the time it needs to rest and recharge. He's basically the expert when it comes to self-care.

We could all learn a thing or two from him.

Setting aside time to love and nourish ourselves is something we all need to do. It's something that I need to work on daily, especially since not much has changed for me since childhood. I'm still busy making plans!

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So today, I'd like to leave you with 10 tips for loving yourself...

1. Talk to yourself in the same way you'd talk to someone you love. If you said just half the things you say to yourself to your significant other, you'd find yourself sleeping on the couch. Respect yourself enough to quiet the 'bully' in your head.

2. Buy yourself flowers. Who said you had to wait around for them to show up on your doorstep? Treat yourself to some flowers and when you see them, remember how precious your life is.

3. Practice gratitude. Before you go to bed, make a habit or either writing or thinking about one great thing that happened in your day. Even on a bad day, I bet you'll be able to find something that brought you joy or make you smile.

4. Tune out the gossip and drama. Sometimes the drama inevitably finds us, but other times, we willingly allow that negativity into our lives. Maybe it's the magazine you read or the websites you peruse. If these things make you compare yourself to someone else or induce negative thoughts for you, then trash them. They're not worth your time.

5. Learn to say 'no'. When you have no time left for yourself, it's a clear sign that you're doing too much. Learn to say 'no' to unnecessary commitments. Other people will understand, and then when you do say 'yes', they'll appreciate your time that much more!

6. Perform a random act of kindness. The best way to feel good about yourself is to do something nice for someone else. This is foolproof. Give it a try.

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7. Smash your scale to itty, bitty pieces. You've seen the scene in Office Space where they take the baseball bat to the copy machine? Do that. You'll feel much better. The number on your scale is just that - a number! It says nothing about your body composition (your muscle to fat ratio) or how hard you've been working to get those pounds off. Instead of letting the scale dictate your self-worth, learn to judge your progress by the way you feel mentally and physically.

8. Make time for yourself every single day. Whether it's 5 minutes or 2 hours, I don't care. Just make sure you have time to do the things you love... reading before bed, watching your favorite TV show, working on a hobby. These activities allow your mind to relax, and when you're relaxed, your health and outlook inevitably improve.

9. Surround yourself with inspiring people who will love and encourage you. You eventually become like the people you surround yourself with. Choose carefully so that you become the person you want to be, and so you get the love and support you need from your relationships.

10. Make a habit of celebrating your accomplishments, no matter how big or small. You don't have to land a prestigious job to celebrate what you've accomplished. The small things count too! When you've done something good in your life, throw a party or open a bottle of wine with a friend! Take time to celebrate YOU!

Just one last pic... because I couldn't resist! (I'm working on my fitness while Cale, once again, relaxes.)

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