As the New Year kicks off, it is a great time to evaluate where you are and where you would like to go. Resolutions (and that unhelpful focus on weight loss, diet, and exercise) can feel superficial and quickly get tossed aside. However, developing new goals and identifying things you would like to see different are ways to move towards lasting change.
Many with eating disorders struggle treating themselves in a kind manner. Most of my patients are the best partners, family members, employees! They go above and beyond for everyone in their lives showing kindness and empathy. But when it comes to extending those virtues upon themselves they really struggle. In its most basic sense, self-compassion is really about treating yourself the way you would treat a close friend. It is really hard to be in a place of peace and health when you are constantly ignoring your own needs, berating yourself and feeling critical.
So this year, as you kick things off for 2017 I challenge you to take care of yourselves! Find a way to be kind to yourself and honor your needs. Remember- self-care and self-compassion are not selfish.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Ask yourself, how do I feel? What do I need? Do your best to honor this
- * Read Kristin Neff’s amazing book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
- Set and maintain boundaries. Just as it is important to say YES To treating yourself well, it is also okay to say NO when something does not feel right or you just do not want to do it
- Make time for the things that make you smile. Take that yoga class, meet a friend for dinner, buy a new top, read the book that has been on your nightstand for months
- Stay in the moment
- Slow down and reflect
- Surround yourself with the people who make you feel good and strong
- Honor yourself
And most of all, have some fun. Enjoy the promise of a New Year. Make it YOUR year!