“To have a bikini body, put on a bikini.” -unknown
As the March Break approaches I am reminded of the opportunity to practice self-love when we head down south, or to a pool…or really, everyday when we put on our clothes!
Our bodies are beautiful as is!! And the more we love our bodies the more likely we are to treat them well.
In my adult life I spent a lot of time hating on myself. This manifested itself easily in picking on the slightest imperfections I saw reflected back at me when I looked in the mirror.
But as I journeyed along the path of self-love and care I have come to love myself deeply, inside and out! Here are a few of my insights about loving the skin you’re in.
What you are seeing is nowhere near as good as how you actually look! We are definitely our harshest critics! My advice, be gentle on yourself and listen to the compliments you receive. Soak them up and repeat them to yourself. When we accept compliments and words of praise authentically, we turn down the volume of our inner critic voice that tells us we’re not good enough.
ACTION: Show a trusted family member or friend a photo of yourself and ask them to describe what they see. Really listen to how they describe you and do your best to accept their words as truth.
Find your complimentary voice you offer to others! Imagine yourself ever talking to another human being the way you talk to or think about yourself! IT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN! Changing the dialogue, we have on speed dial with ourselves takes practice. First, we must become aware of how we talk to ourselves. Often this is so ingrained we don’t even notice how mean we are. And then, we can practice replacing our repetitive negative talk with positive, affirming statements.
ACTION: Begin each day with an affirmation specifically related to your beautiful body. Try one of these or make up your own:
I appreciate my glorious body. I am healthy, healed and whole. I know how to take care of myself. Or I love my body.
Treat your body as the temple it is! As we shift from body shaming and negative talk to a more positive, gentle approach to talking and feeling about ourselves, we have an opportunity to also change some basic habits that might be attached to the negativity. Healthy eating, exercise, sleep, and meditation are all excellent examples of physical things we can do to help ourselves feel better. Start small with these changes and celebrate often as you begin to form new daily habits!
ACTION: Start your day with a glass of warm water with freshly squeezed lemon in it. It is such a simple way to begin practicing new healthy habits and it is so good for your body, supporting good digestion, hydrating your body and rejuvenating your skin!
Enjoy yourself! If you are so lucky to be heading somewhere for the break HAVE FUN!! Beach vacations are my favourite! We can be consumed by what we’re “supposed to look like” according to ridiculous magazines and other media OR we can be present in the wonder and beauty of where we are. Personally, I am choosing the latter all the time now!
And if you’re staying at home enjoy yourself on the daily! Find activities, hobbies or events you love. See friends who make you happy. Play games, laugh out loud and find joy in the little things. Joy trumps negativity every single time!
The more we practice these insights the bigger impact they will have on our lives so practice daily. Talk to a trusted friend, family member or coach about your new journey to feel supported and accountable. And most importantly, be kind to yourself, you’re the only you you’ve got!
Karla Smith is our Toronto~West Branch Director, a Certified Personal Life Skills Coach who supports people struggling with transitional phases and crises they are facing in their lives and is a health and beauty entrepreneur. Together with her clients, she helps uncover personal blocks, teaches new tools and skills that create positive shifts, and sets and implements goals to transform clients toward empowering and joyful living.
Interested in finding out if coaching is a good fit for you? Karla offers a one time complimentary coaching session to help you see what is possible and leave feeling like you are on your way to a solution!