Male or Female : We all have those days when things just don’t feel right. Your clothes don’t seem to fit the right way, your skin is blotchy and dull, your hair has a mind of it’s own, somehow you messed up your morning oatmeal, and no matter what you do or how hard you try things just don’t seem to balance.
First things first, you are not alone! Let me tell you there are some days I look in the mirror and can’t even believe that what I see is the same person as the day before. I usually stand there, looking into the mirror, silently hoping that if I stare hard enough, maybe this less appealing version of myself will go away. Surprise, she doesn’t! But instead of thinking that I look less than incredible and more like a sack of old potatoes, I give myself the loving I deserve. I want to share with you how I take care of myself when I feel out of balance.
I try to identify reasons beneath the surface of my discontent. I ask myself: “Am I really fat, ugly, and stupid or do I just feel lonely, anxious, scared, ashamed, inadequate, or invisible?” We attach our feelings of negativity to underlying emotions. Whatever the feelings are I recognize that they are separate from my body.
Sometimes we are our own worst critics, so when those terrible self-hating thoughts come swirling in we have to push them out. I respond to my negative thoughts as a loving and caring friend would. If my best friend were feeling the way I do I would be the first one to tell her how amazing she is. I most certainly wouldn’t tell her not to eat the whole day to compensate for the junk she ate last night. I definitely wouldn’t tell her she’d never be good at anything if she can’t even make a bowl of oatmeal. If I wouldn’t tell my friend these things, then why should I tell myself them? Many of us have trouble with self-love, so break the cycle and start treating yourself like a friend, you deserve kindness and love from everyone, especially yourself.
Here is the real eye opener, what we look like does not define us. Although it’s tough to realize, it true. I am as much a living, breathing, feeling human being with inherent value as I was yesterday. Even on the worst day where everything seems out of balance, nothing can discount your worth as a human being. I stare into the mirror in the morning hoping to change what I see, but why? Staring into the mirror won’t show me my goals, dreams, passions, and values. It won’t show me my strength to endure or my talents and insight. Remember you are a soul and a spirit and a force of nature, no “bad day” can take that away from you.
I make a “Reasons to love Noelle” list. I list all my great qualities and write down enough stuff to truly convince myself to see the awesome person I am. I use the list as a reminder that it’s the internal things like my character, wit, passions, goals, successes, compassion, morals, and dreams that truly define who I am.
On days like this I feel on edge and there is a ton of built up energy and emotion dictating the way I feel about myself. It’s healthy to let it all out! If we hold on to how we feel or engage in behaviors to simply numb ourselves it may make us feel better in the moment, but in the long run, it doesn’t make us feel better and it just keeps us stuck. You have to let go of the judgment you have about what you feel and recognize that you are feeling these things for a reason. Give yourself permission to release your emotions and let everything out. I cry looking in the mirror or scream in the car until I cry but what ever works for you, do it! Allowing yourself to feel your feelings is part of healing and becoming in balance.
The bad days are the ones we need to take extra care for ourselves. Try these things to help get you out of your own head: Meditating and deep breathing, get a massage, watch your favorite movie, hangout with a supportive friend, do some yoga, cuddle with a pet. Whatever it is make sure it’s self-soothing. I brew some herbal tea and sit in a bubble bath listening to my favorite tunes. Now that’s self-love!
The most important thing I remind myself is: I may not be able to control the way I feel about myself, but I can control what I do in response to how I feel. We have more power than we think. Don’t let one unbalanced day keep you from living!