| Seven Days of Self-Love | Day Four: Self-Kindness 💙
Knowing how important self-kindness is in the overall process of self-love, I make an active effort to try to be a better friend to myself. At one time I was definitely “my own worst enemy” and the criticism and harsh judgment that arose from being my own bully fueled my anxiety and impeded my wellness.
I realized that I was more positive, encouraging, supportive, and realistic when speaking with my close friends than I was with myself. As I began to delve further into my mental health journey I realized I deserved the same kindness from myself that I happily share with my loved ones.
One way I practice this is by not only accepting imperfection, but encouraging effort. In the past I would look at a picture like this and focus on all of the issues with my angles, rotation, balance etc. and now I look at this and think— “WOW, what a memory! I was so fortuante to celebrate being married to the love of my life for just one month by exploring the top of Gran Canaria. I am lucky to have a husband to explore the world with, and who still lets me have my mindful moments. This is my absolute favorite yoga pose, and who cares if it’s not perfect? I’ve certainly grown in my abilities in the last decade and that’s what really matters.” Try this with yourself! Scroll through your photos to find the last picture you considered sharing but reconsidered.
Can you practice being kind to you?
| Seven Days of Self-Love | Day Three: Self-Esteem
I believe that the process of self-love is always a work-in-progress. However, some areas are easier than others, and self-esteem is one of the harder domains for me.
Learning that high self-esteem isn’t the gold standard (see last post) has made this journey a bit easier, but there are still some days I worry that my self-esteem and anxiety will team up and impede my self-love & mental health.
One of these days was our wedding day. Although by this time in my life I was active in pairing my awareness and skills to combat my own negative messages, I knew that the pressure of the day could lure out that inner critic. I tapped into my motivation to empower me to take charge of my mental health.
I allowed myself the ability to plan in the months prior, and to slowly release control in the days leading up to our big day. 📉
I entrusted my inner circle, and sought their positive vibes often, you can ask them! 😝
On the day of, I was intentional about carving out time to myself practice solo sunrise yoga. 🕉
Throughout the day I allowed myself to immerse in the present. 💛
Although you cannot control it all, you CAN manage your self-esteem.
Tuesday, Terrific Tuesday? Terrifying Tuesday? Troublesome Tuesday? What’s your Tuesday?
Mines been a “Tuesday full of emotions that I’m struggling to process”.... Tuesday!
I had my first full intense CBT session today. I had to talk about things that were going on that I didn’t even know how to word. They could see that my face change by the end of the session, I was so done talking, so done digging into situations that bring up raw emotion, I just wanted to get out of that room and into the car as quickly as I possibly could. It’s true what people say, you walk into your first intense session and you never want to go back again in the weeks to come! But, deep down I know it’s for the best. I know in the long run it will help me more than anything, before I start my DBT. I know that actually putting into words how rubbish I’m feeling will help, I know, I do know. For now though, I’ve just got to get through the stormy days to find the better days and stick at it!
On a positive note, I got to see my little sisters today. Being a big sister was the best thing that ever happened to me, they are my purpose to recover and my purpose not to give up! My little saviours, and although they don’t understand why yet, one day when they’re one enough to understand why they are my saviours, I will explain and answer every question I possibly can!
Oh, and I booked... LOVE ISLAND LIVE WITH MEET AND GREET WITH THE ISLANDERS for August which I’m absolutely buzzing for😍. Positivity and advice... Give every situation that could possibly HELP and ENCOURAGE your recovery a second chance. I will walk back in to CBT next week as my second chance, maybe you could do something similar too?
Hope your Wednesday is as wonderful as you are tomorrow, keep going💖
| Seven Days of Self-Love | Day Two: Self-Exploration
One of my favorite aspects of self-discovery is learning what works for YOU. Sure there are some things that commonly work for others, and there’s of course evidence-based research supporting certain strategies. However, the only way to truly know fits with you is by seeking that answer for yourself ❣️
As a student, I was lucky to have the opportunity to teach dance to support my undergraduate career. When it came time to graduate, I was eager to embrace what I thought would be a professional work identity. Beginning my master’s program I wanted to make sure my professional path received the adequate amount of attention to succeed. One by one, I started to drop my teaching opportunities. I was suddenly hit with misery.💔
Fortunately I figured out what was missing from my formula. I had managed to minimize how curative dance was for me, my entire life. Dance was a way for me to connect to my culture, express my emotions, cope with stressors, and share art in a positive and healing way. In my narrow view I undermined the power of dance, lost my primary coping skill at the time, and failed to honor who I am as a person. 💔
In this situation I thought I was being purposeful, but my view was tainted by expectations and societal messages. Now, I am much more careful about making intentional choices. While I consider the world around me, I am purposeful about considering the world within me as well.❣️
📸 @kristenwheelerartist .
| Seven Days of Self-Love | Day Two: Self-Exploration
Your self-knowledge begins with your self-awareness and is furthered by your courageous willingness to delve into the depths of your identity.
Bravely encountering internal obstacles and recognizing inner blind spots allows you to know your true self.
Sincere self-exploration allows you to know discern your needs, and provide yourself with the love you need as well.
A few ways to practice your self-exploration: ➖Start simple by getting to know you. When you first meet someone and begin to develop a friendship you tend to slowly inquire about who they are. Ask yourself some of these questions!
➖Since we are ever-evolving throughout the course of our lifetime the exploratory process is ongoing as well. Think about what you have already excavated about yourself and what you hope to explore in the future.
➖Although the onus of self-love lies on you, it doesn’t mean that your self-love journey needs to be an isolated one. When provided with genuine care, feedback from a loved one can help you to shine light on a blind spot you may have. If you get stuck in your own reflection, perhaps you can seek input from someone you trust to honor your process. .
Self-awareness is the ability to recognize who you are, how you influence the world, and how the world influences you.
When you develop your sense of awareness you are able to better see the interplay between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
As you attune your attention, you may notice patterns in yourself that you can honor and validate or consider and change as needed.
Through an ongoing practice of self-reflection, you are able to maintain a relationship with yourself that is conscientious and fulfilling.
A few ways to practice your self-awareness:
Take time to pause & consider your thoughts & feelings. There’s no better time than the present, maybe try it right now!😝
Try a stream of consciousness writing prompt in which you simply jot down anything and everything that you are aware of in that moment.
Think of two opposite subjects. For example, this may be simple as best-worst ice cream flavors or intentional as “Within my control” and “Beyond my control.” Putting them on opposite sides of the spectrum, begin to fill in as much as possible, trying to be mindful of the ranking/order of all that falls along the gray area.
Someone has a similar struggle 💚
Someone can understand your pain 💚Someone is able to help you 💚
Someone cares for your well-being 💚
A few things I like to do when I catch myself feeling lonely:
▪️See the silver lining-Time by myself is a luxury! Life can get busy and I love the freedom to tend to what I need in that present moment.
▪️Reach out-Relationships go both ways. I prefer to contact someone and spread some positive vibes.
▪️Make plans-I try to take accountability when I notice myself withdrawing. When I catch myself it might be hard to connect in the present, but I try to empower myself to take charge by making future plans with loved ones.
💚I recognize that sometimes loneliness can drag you in before you know it, and trying healthy coping is easier said than done.
In the most extreme cases loneliness can cause suicidal thoughts. If this rings true for you or someone you love, please seek help by contacting a mental health professional or calling 1-800-273-TALK. 💚
It is an unexplainable feeling to finally be in a place where I am safe to be me. Where I can hold myself the way I want to, dress the way I want to, speak the way I want to, create the way I want to, heal the way I want to, work the way I want to, set boundaries the way I want to, express myself the way I want to; without being criticized, picked apart, misunderstood, overlooked, devalued, scapegoated, accused of terrible things and put into a box of someone else’s idea of perfection.
The new things I am experiencing are:
True relaxation and rest are no longer a struggle.
I actually feel present in my body and environment.
I can think straight again.
I no longer fumble over my words.
My memories are coming back.
I like interacting with people again.
I actually enjoy waking up in the morning.
The people around me appreciate me, understand me, love me, see me, respect me and want the best for me.
The littlest things make me incredibly happy.
The smallest of interactions can be very meaningful.
I respect, love and care for myself in ways I’ve never been able to before.
It is safe to be me.
It is safe for me to exist.
I am more than just my body.
I am more than just my looks, my hair, my makeup, my jewelry, my clothes, the things I own, the things I do, the things I’ve been thru.
My voice matters.
My perspective matters.
My feelings matter.
My art matters.
I am worthy because I exist.
I am free of the shackles placed upon me by external forces.
This cannot be taken away from me again.🕊
Song originally by Beautiful Chorus
Fashion is a form of creative art and design so it is also a form of art therapy. The American Art Therapy Association defines art therapy as “a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical , mental and emotional well being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behaviour , reduce stress, increase self esteem and self awareness, and achieve insight,”(Cherry, What is Art Therapy). Basically thoughts, images, perceptions, feelings and imagination from the inner self are coerced to emerge from inhibition through art sessions of sculpting, painting, drawing and collage making.#bridgetriley#bridgetrileyart#bridgetrileyartist