5 Ways to stop being so hard on yourself

Are you one of those people who is constantly worrying or getting caught up in your own thoughts and negative self talk? Do you get overwhelmed and feel a lot of pressure to perform? Yep, I’ve been there, too. Trust me, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few things I’ve learned that have really helped me to let go, let loose, and just enjoy my life a little more.

Journaling in nature

Meditate. Meditation was my biggest game changer when it came to being nicer to myself. Meditation increases your awareness of your thoughts, your feelings, your desires. It has been scientifically proven to improve your relationships, your physical health, your sleep, and so much more. There is no wrong way to meditate, and even small moments of meditation help. Start by paying attention to your breath as it moves in and out of your lungs for a few moments. Don’t judge yourself as thoughts come up. Or start with a guided meditation. I’ve created a guided meditation album and meditation guide that would benefit you if you are interested in starting meditation or adding to your practice.

Journal. This is another great way to get in touch with yourself, and will therefore have a better understanding of your wants and needs. Journaling can help us process experiences and feelings, it can improve gratitude, and it can help us find positivity in difficult situations. Not sure what to write about? Sign up below to get four of my favorite journaling prompts sent directly to your inbox.

Take it slowly. Take a deep breath. Let go and trust a little. What happens if you don’t finish everything on your list? What happens if the laundry doesn’t get done today or you can’t make it to that meeting? It’ll all be okay! Learn to take things a little more slowly. Maybe commit to less. Treat yourself a little more. Take a bath. Watch the sunrise or sunset. Create a little more space in your life to just be.

Have more fun. After you’ve created the space, allow more fun into your life! Dance, sing, play, go hiking, travel, do something silly. Remember how good it feels to have as much fun as possible. Life doesn’t have to be so serious. Go with the flow a little more and say YES to the fun things that come up without guilt!

Forgive yourself. Remember that you are human. You screw up. You get hard on yourself. You have feelings. Forgive yourself. Forgive your mistakes.

What are some ways that you are kinder to yourself? Comment below or send me a message! I’d love to know and share.


Want more reflection and growth?

I'm finishing up a special project that will have you meditating, reflecting, and journaling to add some more growth in your life. Be on the lookout in the next few weeks for more info on the Air & Earth Growth Guide, a 12 day growth program to accompany Air & Earth Guided Meditations & Mediation Guide.

Baby Steps to Loving Life

Loving life is a practice. Yes you heard me right, it's something that we can learn and develop. It’s a skill. If you feel like you’re stuck or unhappy and don’t know how to fix it, let me tell you, you can fix it. I’ve fixed it in my own life. I’ve watched myself go from being sad and stuck to absolutely loving my life, even during hard (or as I call them, “growth”) periods. It took me years and lots of effort, learning, and practice. It definitely didn’t happen overnight or due to a specific event. It takes a series of baby steps, as well as the knowledge that progress is not linear. It’s a life long practice to overcome obstacles and keep going and loving. Here’s some tips to start loving your life.

Set boundaries.

You don’t have to listen to the toxic and negative gossip at work. You don’t have to go to that dinner if you’re feeling exhausted and just want to chill at home. You don’t have to do anything out of fear or obligation or just to please others. Take care of yourself first. In front of everyone. EVERYONE. If you put yourself first, you will love others more fully. You will care and give from a place of love, not from a place that will leave you feeling resentful and drained. It’s not selfish. It’s not conceited. It’s actually one of the best things you can do for yourself and others. Setting boundaries means living with integrity.

Find practices that work for you.

For me, it’s meditation, writing, reading, nature, and yoga. For you, it may be lifting heavy weights, making music, and prayer. Find the stuff that fills your soul and make time for it. Even 10 minutes a day.

Don’t be afraid to test the waters.

Just because you made a choice a few years ago doesn’t mean you have to stick with it for the rest of your life. Don’t be afraid to try new things, new experiences, hobbies, even careers. If it’s a big change, take it one day at a time. Consider the worst that could happen and the best that could happen. Then dive in (or baby step in).

Get out of your head.

It’s easy to get caught up in our own problems and insecurities until we're in a puddle of life loathing and don’t know how to get out. Practice recognizing when negativity and sadness start to creep in, and then change it up. Go for a walk. Take 10 deep breaths. Make plans with a friend. Move your body. Listen to a podcast. This will help you stop the spiral of frustration and get a fresh perspective.

Get in a habit of self study.

What are your priorities? What are you grateful for? What are your goals for this week, this month, this year? What is bringing you down? What little changes can you make today? Write it down. Knowing yourself will help you make decisions that will lead you to where you want to be.

Make it important to you.

Carve out time every single day to take care of yourself. When you start to heal the inside (your heart, soul, and mind), your external reality will follow along. Most of all, don’t give up. Life will throw hard stuff at you. You will experience heartache, grief, loss, and a multitude of other hard experiences, but that doesn’t have to mean that your life sucks. Know that you are not alone. Know that you can take these experiences and grow through them. Know that you can find happiness and contentment right inside your heart with a little bit of practice.


Sending you love and lots of joy today,

Melissa



Nine Paths to Healing

Sometimes life gives you lemons and you get to make yummy lemonade.

And sometimes life gives you lemons and you think you’re making yummy lemonade but then you realize one of the lemons was rotten and it messed up your entire pitcher of lemonade and you really wanted to share that lemonade at the party that you’re going to later but now it’s just ruined and that really sucks and you wish you would’ve realized before squeezing that lemon in there but how could you have known and you’re wondering if you can still drink it and be fine but you’re just sad and confused now.

Aka.. Sometimes we think we’re doing the right thing, but things get messy and we get hurt anyway.

This is about how to move on and feel better once you (or someone else, or life) have squeeze a rotten lemon in your lemonade.

Healing from hurt is scary and hard. So many past emotions (ones we thought we had healed from or ones that were buried deep down within us) come to surface. We can experience confusion, self blame, grief, anger, denial, depression all from one single event or series of events.

But there’s hope. There’s growth. We just have to see it and not give up.

Here’s how:

  1. Drink the lemonade. Just kidding. It's a metaphor. But we have to FEEL THE PAIN to get to the other side of pain. Pushing it away will only save it for later. It’ll come up again. We’ve all experienced this. So, if you’ve gone through something traumatic recently, allow yourself to grieve, cry, yell. Let the feelings roll. Even a good 20 minute crying session can make way for you to feel a little like yourself again for the rest of the day.

  2. Get help. You’re not alone. You’re never alone. Talk to someone. Family, friends, significant other, a therapist, your dog. Find a support group or online forum. Don’t be ashamed of your feelings. We all have them (no matter how well we can hide them sometimes).

  3. Become familiar with what you’re experiencing. There are so many articles out there on every type of painful experience. Reading about what you’re going through is a way to help you understand that your reactions are completely valid.

  4. Do stuff you love to do and do lots of it. Watch a movie. Read a book. It’s okay to spend some time being distracted from the pain. You can’t spend all of your time in #1 (just make sure you spend some time there).

  5. Think big picture. Sometimes it takes looking outside of your life to get a little perspective. I love going into the grandness of nature for this, or listening to the news. Personally, some of the stuff I’ve been through is still nothing compared to what others have been through. This doesn’t invalidate my pain, but it does make me realize how much I have in my life for which to be grateful.

  6. Keep going. If you’ve experienced some deep pain recently, even 20 minutes of productivity can feel amazing. Do small things first and work your way back to being productive. Put on your favorite shirt. Clean up your house a little. Little things can make you feel back in control of your life at least a wee bit.

  7. Find healing methods that work for you. We all go through different things, and we all heal from them differently. Personally, talking to others, therapy, spending time in nature, and meditation are my biggest healers in my life.  

  8. Find compassion. If someone hurt you, try try try not to take it personally. Even if they were super close to you. Hurt people hurt people. We hear this all the time, and it's true. It doesn’t excuse their behavior, but it can make it easier to find forgiveness. Find forgiveness as soon as possible, for your own sake, not necessarily theirs. Also be compassionate with yourself. You don’t have to be fully okay all the time. Allow yourself the time you need to grieve, hurt, or work through anger.

  9. Find gratitude. OMG honey it’s growth time. Not just that “ohhh lets try something new and grow” growth, but that “shit just hit the fan and I have no choice but to grow or else my life will fall apart” growth. It sucks, yep, but you have the potential to learn SO MUCH right now. Take note of what you’re learning, and how those things can be used to help you in the future with how you treat yourself and others. Then, be grateful for that.

Healing can be hard and messy, but with a little consciousness with how you move forward after a trauma or loss, you can come out stronger on the other side. 

Much love, Melissa